Meeting Notice and Presidents Report

Special Guests:

Clare M. Murphy, Executive Director San Francisco City and County Employees’ Retirement System
Karen Breslin, Endorsed Candidate for the Health Service System

President’s Report:

Training and Education Achievement Pay. By now, everyone has perceived the benefits of the M.O.U. negotiated between the City & County of San Francisco and Local 798. It is a deserved benefit for active fire fighters, and we are grateful to be included in the same provisions. After all, retirees with ten years of service completed the same training and deserved the same entitlement.

However, it was a legal struggle to get the Retirement Board to agree that this entitlement applied to retirees as well as active members of the Fire Dept. It was the opinion of the Ret. Board that this provision did not extend to retirees. It took a threatened lawsuit to convince the Ret. Bd. that our cause was right and just. The retroactive one time COLA payment that retirees received on Dec. 31, 2000, was the result of the litigation settlement between Retired Firemen and Widows Assn. v. Retirement Board, San Francisco Superior Court No. 312-159.

The following is a brief history of the events leading to, and including the settlement.

1. 05/19/99: M.O.U. negotiated by Local 798, adopted in August and retroactive to July 1999. (Training and Achievement Pay)

2. 12/27/99: 2 letter by Duane Reno to Ret. Bd. with his opinion that anyone who retires with ten or more years of service should receive achievement pay.

3. 03/22/00: Letter from Ret. Firemen & Widows Assn. to Ret. Bd. that achievement pay be included in retirement allowance.

4. 04/21/00: Ret. Firemen & Widows Assn. retain Law Firm of Davis & Reno to litigate in our behalf. They agree to take our case on a contingency basis. (15% of retroactive moneys collected).

5. 05/10/00: Attorneys prepare Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory Relief with the Superior Court.

6. 06/06/00: Letter from City Attorney. Training pay can be calculated for retiree benefits with restrictions.

7. 07/07/00: Our attorneys file Plaintiff’s First Interrogatories to Defendant City & County of San Francisco: Superior Court No. 312159.

8. 07/07/00: City attorney ask for an extension of time. Issue is now one year old.

9. 08/03/00: City offers to settle. Achievement pay to start from 12/31/00. No retroactive provisions.

10. 10/13/00: Offer is unacceptable. Attorney is instructed to file suit for retroactive provisions plus interest payments.

11. 11/20/00: Letter to Retirement System that they pay attorneys fees as a condition for Retired Firemen & Widows Association to not sue for interest payments.

12. 12/12/00: City attorney replies with an unworkable convoluted arbitration offer, which is deemed unworkable and thereby rejected.

13. 01/12/01: An agreement and settlement is reached. Training and Achievement Pay becomes a part of Retired Firemen & Widows Allowance. Payments are retroactive to July 1999. Attorney fees are to be paid jointly by the Retirement System and by individual members of the Retired Firemen & Widows Association.

The above is an abbreviated report of the 18 months litigation that was necessary to attain our goals. It is now time to pay our attorney fees. The settlement agreement was that fees be paid jointly by the Retirement System and by the members of the Retired Firemen & Widows Association. On January 30, the Retirement Board authorized payment of $70,000 to settle the litigation. As part of the settlement all members of the Retired Firemen & Widows Association will receive a notice that the “Retirement System is to make a deduction in the amount of $100.00 from the retirement allowance that you will receive on or about March 31, 2001 for payment of fees to Association’s attorney”. This will be your attorney fees. It is unfortunate that only members of the Retired Firemen & Widows will have the attorney fees deducted from their March pension allowance; the Ret. Bd. would not agree to bill non-members. We are asking all non-members to join our organization and also contribute $100.00 to our PAC (Political Action Committee). The bottom line is: “no one would received any retroactive monies and increased pension allowance if our association did not take legal action on the issue of Education & Achievement Pay”.

If you read this article and are a non-member retired firefighter, you can contribute $100.00 to our PAC (Political Action Committee). In this fashion you will pay your fair share of the successful legal litigation. This is for non-members only. Regular members will have this sum collected by the Retirement System from your March pension allowance.

Make checks payable to:

Retired Firemen & Widows Association PAC

Send to:

Retired Firemen &
Widows Association
Box 12312
San Francisco, Ca.

Please contact the following officers on questions on the preceding article:

Anthony G. Sacco
125 Otsego Ave.
SF, Ca. 94112
Phone: 415-587-1871 Fax: 415-587-1041

Tim O’Brien
1709 Pine Knoll Drive
Belmont, Ca. 94002
Phone: 650-593-3420

Next Meeting:

Date: Sunday May 20, 2001
Time: 2 PM
Place: St. Gabriel’s Cafeteria, 40th Ave. & Ulloa St.

Refreshments will be served


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