RETIRED FIREMEN &WIDOWS ASSOCIATION OF THE
SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT
MEETING NOTICE AND PRESIDENTS REPORT
Date: Sunday, March 10, 2002 Time: 2:00 P.M. Place: St. Gabriels Cafeteria, 40th Avenue & Ulloa Street
We are on the Ballot for the March Primary Election! The Board of Supervisors has unanimously placed Proposition B, a Charter Amendment for Cost of Living Benefits for Retired City Employees) on the March 5 Ballot. Your organization, together with the Veteran Police Officers, The Retired Employees of the City & County of San Francisco, and the Retirees Guild of Local 21 has worked together to get the legislation this point. Time is of the essence. There is less than sixty days between the time that you receive this letter and the election. The first step is ensuring that that everyone is a registered voter. Make sure everyone in your family is registered. Get those 18-year and older young adults members to register and Vote! The last day to register is February 4 and the last day to ask for an absentee ballot is February 26, 2002.
Why is this issue important to public safety retirees? Since 1996 all retired city (including police and fire) employees have received a 3% compounded pension increase on their June 30 check. This 3% is actuarially funded until June 30, 2004. In the past, (pre Prop C 1996 era) retired firemen & widows received cost of living increases in various months, i.e. sometime in August, sometimes in November, and sometimes not at all. Passage of Prop B will ensure continuity of funding on a regular basis. What is of the most importance is that Prop B will codify Charter Language to ensure that portions of pensions will not revert back to pre 1997 levels when funding is not available.
Proposition B provides a safety net for Prop H retirees. They will receive at least a 3% compounded COLA increase when active firefighters receive less that a 6% wage increase Prop B especially helps tier two retirees. Their plan is limited to 2% simple COLA annually. Prop B will ensure that they will receive a 3% compounded annual Cola. Currently, the cost of living benefit for Tier Two retirees is the nearest one percent of the increase or decrease in the cost of living as shown by the Consumer Price Index for the preceding calendar year, but not to exceed 2%. Clearly, Prop B is a major benefit for this group
For the fire house lawyers, the following underlined sections is the new charter language additions as Proposition B
A8.526-1 SUPPLEMENTAL COST OF LIVING BENEFIT
(c) On and after June 30, 2003, any supplemental cost of living benefit Adjustment, once paid to a member, shall not be reduced thereafter.
(d) On and after June 30th 2003, the Reserve Account set forth in this section shall be used to finance only the increase in the supplemental cost of living benefit adjustments for the next ensuing fiscal year as set forth in section (a). If there are insufficient funds in the Reserve Account to pay the increase in the supplemental cost of living benefit adjustments for the next ensuing fiscal year, then the increase in the in the supplemental cost of living benefits for that fiscal shall not be paid. However, any excess earning as defined is this section shall be accumulated until an amount sufficient to make one fiscal years increase in the supplemental cost of living benefit adjustment is reached.
This is an important and critical issue. We must solidify the gains that our retiree groups have accomplished during the past five years. Passage of this Charter Amendment will ensure that our benefits will remain in place, and we will leave a legacy for future retirees. As with all legislation there is a cost involved. We are asking all members to contribute a minimum of $50.00 to help fund this campaign. Give generously; it is for your benefits. You may receive other request for contributions for the campaign for Yes on Prop. B. In order to keep an accurate account of donations by our retiree group we are asking that all contributions be sent to our Political Action Committee as listed in the bottom tear out section.
Note: Political Contribution are not Tax deductible according to the IRS.
Local 798 and the M.O.U. (Memorandum of Understanding)
The negotiated settlement between the City and Local 798 was explained in our last newsletter. It was our understanding that all increases were to be paid by Dec. 31 2001. The letter that everyone received from the Retirement Bd. explained why that did not happen. According to our calculation, we should again receive the benefits of the education and achievement pay, which we fought for and was a part of our last year pension payments. This should result in a substantial increase on our January 31 pension checks. If you have not contributed to our yes on B campaign there is no better time than now! Unfortunately, we cannot give a figure at this time, as the new fire fighters wage scale was not available for us at this writing. Local 798 has informed us that we will have a copy available for our March 10th meeting.
Election of Officers and Board of Directors
I would personally like to thank the membership for the vote of confidence in the unanimously reelection the current board for another two year term. We will continue to work for the betterment and the improvement of our organization. Come to our March meeting. We will have a special guest as our installing officer.
Please contact the following officers with any questions on the above.
Anthony G. Sacco, President
Dates to Remember
Make checks payable to:
The retired Firemen and Widows Association of the San Francisco Fire Department P.A.C.