• State files Complaint against City in police retirement matter

    The Public Employment Relations Board of the State of California has issued a Complaint against the City of Pacific Grove. The Complaint charges the city with violating state labor laws when it capped City contributions to public safety employees’ retirement benefit plans without consulting employees’ unions, saying there was no prior notice to the POA and no “meet and confer” before the measure was approved.

    In November, 2010, the Pacific Grove Police Officers’ Association, which represents the City’s police officers, corporals, sergeants, animal control officers and other law enforcement professionals, filed a charge when the City Council, and then the voters, passed a cap on the City’s contributions to their retirement system. The POA has a contract which runs through Dec. 31, 2012 and which states that the officers would pay 9 percent of their salary into the CalPERS retirement system and the City would pay the rest as an employer contribution. These rates are contracted with the City by CalPERS.

    The PERB’s Complaint “is a vindication of our efforts to see that the City keeps it’s promises to its hardworking public safety employees,” said Pacific Grove POA President Sylvia Newton in a press release. “We will continue to work with the city to ensure current and future public safety employees receive adequate retirement benefits.”

    PGPOA representative Maureen Roddick advised that there will be an informal settlement conference scheduled soon, at which all parties will attempt to reach a settlement, as required by PERB. “The law suit filed by the POA addresses other contractual and constitutional issues however the Complaint filed by PERB against the City is a significant step towards a win for the POA,” said Roddick.

    If a settlement cannot be reached, a formal hearing before an administrative law judge is the next step whose decision would be binding on the parties.

    City Attorney David Laredo calls the Complaint “a preliminary step in a long process.” He states that it is not a confirmation of facts, however.

    The PGPOA, the City, and PERB staff will hold an informal mediation conference on June 28.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 20, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News

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