New Monterey Budget Built on Employee Concessions, Contributions
May 12, 2011
Monterey's been on the brink of a budget brawl, as city officials have struggled to close a $5 million gap in its budget for the upcoming fiscal year and employee unions have resisted ponying up more for their benefits.
In the end, however, it appears that the city's come out on top. Employee labor organizations, including the Monterey Police Association and the General Employees of Monterey, approved concessions that include contributing 3-4 percent more toward their retirement (raising their contribution to between 11 and 13 percent) and implementing a two-tiered retirement system for new employees. Scheduled cost-of-living raises for employees will go toward their retirement instead.
But even with these concessions, which will net the city $1.2 million in savings in the next 12 months, Monterey City Council members must vote to approve the elimination of both vacant and filled positions in various city departments. According to city spokesperson Anne McGrath, "Executive Management is working to place as many of the impacted employees in other city positions that are not filled." The price tag affixed to "staff and service reductions" is $2.8 million, but the exact number of position eliminations and layoffs has not been specified by the city.
The City Council will vote on these cost-saving measures at its May 17 meeting.
City Manager Fred Meurer was out of town and unavailable for comment.