Managers pay up to help balance budget

CITY HALL — City managers and department executives have agreed to pay a bigger chunk of Glendale’s rising tab for employee health-care and pension plans, a move that is expected to save City Hall about $760,000.

The Glendale Management Assn., which represents about 250 city employees, voted earlier this month to approve a one-year contract, which includes managers footing the entire increase for health-care premiums and paying a larger share of the city’s obligation to the state pension system.

The City Council is expected to ratify the contract, which association President Dave Cole said was approved by 94% of the voting membership.

“I am very proud of all of the managers who stepped up and gave back to our great city in these tough times,” he said in an email.

The deal is expected to save about $570,000 next year, which combined with similar concessions from department executives is projected to save $760,000. Officials said roughly half of that will impact the General Fund budget, which pays for basic public services like parks and libraries.

Faced with a projected shortfall of roughly $18 million, city officials again asked for millions in employee salary and wage concessions this year.

Much of the budget crunch stems from rising employee pension costs fueled by increasing salaries and benefits that came amid major investment losses sustained by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

The city can expect to pay more than $135 million into CalPERS through 2014, according to an analysis of rate forecasts in the city's annual financial report.

Closed-session negotiations remain ongoing with the unions for police, utility workers and general employees, and will likely continue past the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.

While many cities cover the entire pension expense, Glendale employees already contribute between 8.5% and 11% of each paycheck to CalPERS.

Under the new Glendale Management Assn. contract, managers will contribute 11% of each paycheck and see their payment for medical insurance rise by as much as $2,016 for the year.

“We're very pleased that our managers have once again come forward with some significant concessions to help address the budget deficit,” said Human Resources Director Matt Doyle.


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