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City Council To Hold Special Meeting For City Retiree Health Care Agreement

The City Council will hold a special meeting today to consider formal approval of 15-year agreements on health care for retirees with five of the city's six employee unions.

Mayor Jerry Sanders said the deals could save the cash-strapped budget more than $700 million over the next 25 years by capping city contributions and requiring workers to pay into their health plans.

Payments for retiree health, estimated to have a $1.13 billion liability, and pensions are consuming larger portions of the city's revenue pie, lowering the amount of money available for the general fund, which pays for public safety, libraries and recreation centers.

So far, Carl DeMaio and Lorie Zapf are the only members of the eight-person council to express opposition to the agreements, while three of their colleagues displayed their support by attending a news conference in which they were announced.

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association has called for the approval vote to be delayed so the plan can undergo more scrutiny.

The city's white-collar workers and firefighters tentatively agreed to the deal last week, pending ratification of their memberships. Lifeguards, blue-collar employees and deputy city attorneys signed-on this week.

Sanders earlier said the Police Officers Association probably won't agree to the deal and could take the issue to court.

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