Police Department – Require Police and Firefighter Unions to Fully Pay for the Pension Benefits of Members who Work on Union Business

Savings: $200,000

Under the current contract between the City and the police officers’ union, the Fraternal Order of Police, the union is allowed to have up to nine officers be on leave from duty to work exclusively on union business.[1]  While on leave, the officers continue to receive salary and benefits, but the union reimburses the City for the cost of their salaries and benefits, with the exception that the City pays the Employer share of the pension contribution for these employees.

Similarly, under the current contract between the City and the firefighters union, Local 2, the union is allowed to have up to five firefighters be on leave from duty to work on union business.[2]  While on leave, the officers continue to receive salary and benefits, but the union reimburses the City for the cost of their salaries and benefits, with the exception that the City pays the Employer share of the pension contribution for these employees.

Under this option, the City would require both unions to reimburse the City for the full cost of the salary and benefits of these officers and firefighters.  The average budgeted salary for a police officer in 2011 was $75,311.  The City’s contribution for police officers is twice the employee contribution, which is nine percent of salary.[3]  Assuming the officers assigned to the FOP earn the average salary, the total salaries for nine police officers is $678,000 with an employee pension contribution of $61,000.  This means that the City contribution on these employees’ behalf is approximately $122,000.

The average budgeted salary for those in Local 2 in 2011 was $78,327.  The City’s contribution for firefighters is 2.25 times the employee contribution, which is 9.125 percent of salary.[4]  Assuming the firefighters assigned to Local 2 earn the average salary, the total salaries for five firefighters is $392,000 with an employee pension contribution of $36,000.  This means that the City contribution on these employees’ behalf is approximately $80,000.  Thus if this provision was eliminated, the City would save approximately $200,000 annually.

This would require a change in both the police officers’ and the firefighters’ contracts.

Proponents might argue that since these officers and firefighters are not working for the City, the City should not be responsible for any part of their compensation. Opponents might argue that it is vital to the working relationships between the City and the police and fire unions to have sworn members working as union liaisons, and it would be unfair for them to sacrifice their pensions.

Budget Details

Dept: Police Department, 57; Fire Department, 59 Bureau: NA
Fund: Corporate Fund, 0100 Approp Code: Salaries and Wages – On Payroll, 0005
The appropriation is located on page 145 and the position schedule beings on page 147 of the 2011 Annual Appropriation Ordinance.

http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/obm/supp_info/2011BudgetOrdinance.pdf

 


[1] City of Chicago. “Agreement Between the City of Chicago and the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7. July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2012.” Section 17.2. pg. 26.

[2] City of Chicago. “Labor Contract between Chicago Fire Fighters Union, Local #2, International Association of Fire Fighters A.F.L.-C.I.O. – C.L.C. and the City of Chicago, Illinois. July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2012.”  pgs. 21 and 22.

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dol/supp_info/city_of_chicago_collectivebargainingagreements.html

[3] The City contribution is based on a multiple of contributions two years prior to the current year.

[4] The City contribution is based on a multiple of contributions two years prior to the current year.