Update-Pension Reform Language in Contract (Art. 14.6.2)
In regard to recent California pension reform, Section 126.96.36.199 of the newly ratified PSEA Bargaining Agreement provides that “classic” employees of the District could chose to keep the status quo in terms of District-paid PERS contributions, or instead chose to resume pension contributions in exchange for a 5% salary increase.
As you might recall, this was the PSEA Negotiation Team’s creative way of trying to respond to the recent pension “reform” legislation out of Sacramento. Because that pension “reform” legislation was hastily drafted and poorly written, however, both PSEA and the District were concerned that there might be an unforeseen legal problem with the arrangement we negotiated, so we wrote into the Agreement (in Section 188.8.131.52) a provision that states that if any legal problem was later discovered, we would both sit down right away to negotiate an amendment to fix the problem.
The San Diego County Office of Education has recently notified the District that that this arrangement violates California Government Code section 20691, as well as California Code of Regulations sections 569 and 571(a)(1)(B), because similar employees are not allowed to have different arrangements regarding PERS contributions. After extensive review and analysis by both PUSD’s attorneys and our own, it appears that the County Office of Education is correct. Therefore, PSEA and the District will be meeting on October 25 to negotiate a replacement provision. The Negotiation Team has discussed our options and based on feedback from members during negotiations, we are inclined to recommend to members that we keep the status quo, so that all classic employees continue with District-paid PERS contributions.
We hope to have more news for you by the end of this month. If you would like to provide input to the negotiation team, please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.