Omaha Firefighter Contract Finalized
As reported by the Omaha World Herald, the city of Omaha and the Omaha Firefighters have reached a contract agreement. It is not clear whose negotiations, Mayor Suttle’s or the city council’s, would have yielded a better stewardship of Omaha citizens’ tax dollars, but AFP-Nebraska is pleased to see a completed contract between the two parties.
We are happy to see that the negotiations have attempted to eliminate pension spiking and that firefighters will be contributing more to their health care and pensions. The larger health care contribution alone will save $679,000 for the city.
Even with these gains, more needs to be done. First, the contract doesn’t help current tax payers, most savings come decades down the line. Second, the investment rate, eight percent, that the pension fund is based upon is unrealistic and will ultimately result in insufficient funds to cover the liabilities. Third, the auto wage increase is nearly a full percentage point higher than the average private sector increase. This will only harm the city’s bottom line. Finally, the staffing provisions settled upon in the contract limit the City Administrator’s flexibility and will drive up costs.
AFP-NE will continue to push for further public sector union reform.