Toledo liable for pension costs in collective bargaining agreement

An appeals court has ruled that the city of Toledo's collective bargaining agreement with its largest union requires it to shoulder the cost of the increase in the employees' share of state-mandated pension contributions.

The ruling by the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals in favor of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 7 could cost the city about $384,000 this year and $593,000 in 2008.

Last year, despite looming deficits, the Finkbeiner administration negotiated and city council approved new collective bargaining agreements with the police and fire unions to increase the taxpayers' share of police and firefighters' pension contributions by 3.75 percent, to a total of 10 percent.

Toledo is one of the few cities to offer such a benefit to its employees.

The city government also pays a 19.5 percent employer share for police pensions and a 24 percent employer share for firefighter pensions.

The city's cost for paying the employee share of police and fire pensions was estimated at $12.7 million this year and $14.3 million next year, according to city Finance Director John Sherburne.

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we have union representatives serving as elected officials on city council and they approved the negotiated contract for members of the fire fighters and police department and other union employees in Toledo. Can you say conflict of interest?


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