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S.D. Council Considers Firefitghter Pay Raise, Other Labor Groups Continue Negotiations


Aired 4/19/09

Later today, the San Diego City Council will consider the mayor's proposal to give firefighters a 5 percent raise next year. Other city workers are still in labor negotiations, and one of the key sticking points is a new kind of pension plan. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more on changing city salaries and benefits.

Mayor Jerry Sanders has hinted that city employees other than police and fire are out of luck this year when it comes to raises. He's also trying to do away with guaranteed pension benefits and replace them with a cheaper pension plan with defined contributions. 

Labor groups are fighting the changes and threatening walkouts if a compromise isn't reached by next month. 

City council President Scott Peters hopes the council can sway the mayor  to preserve some form of guaranteed benefits.

Peters: We could meet the mayor's objectives with a pension plan that the workers would find palatable and if that's the case we should really look to do that rather than here all this stuff about strikes and walkouts I just don't think that's the best thing for the city.

Under considerable political pressure, Peters says he'll change his vote on the city council's own pay raise, and vote against it today.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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