Pending PERC Ruling – Financial Urgency

As most of you know, when the City took away some of our pension benefits back in 2011 in Financial Urgency, Local 2432, the PBA and IAFF Local 1375 filed unfair labor practice charges against the City with PERC to contest Financial Urgency, and ultimately, those claims ended up before the Florida Supreme Court.

The Florida Supreme Court held that the City violated the State Constitution, and ordered PERC to hold hearings to determine what remedies would be appropriate. Those hearings have now been held, and we are awaiting PERC’s decision as to whether the City will be required to restore all of the pension benefits back to what was in effect before Financial Urgency. Once the PERC process has run its course, we do not expect that the PBA, IAFF nor AFSCME will bring any additional litigation against the City regarding Financial Urgency.

During our first contract negotiations session, the City expressly stated that it recognized that it needs to treat all of its union-represented employees equitably, whether members of Local 2432, the PBA or IAFF Local 1375. Not only are we seeking to have our pension benefits fully restored, but also, to have the City address the shortcomings that we have all experienced with our healthcare coverage since the switch from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Cigna.

PERC – Bargaining Units

The Florida Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC), based upon the Florida Constitution and state laws, determines which city jobs are to be included with the General, Professional or Supervisory Units, and which must be excluded.

Last year, we filed a petition with PERC to have our units recertified, and to get clarification as to which jobs should be included within our bargaining units. Based upon this process, it became clear that over the years the City had improperly slotted several job classifications outside of our bargaining units into Managerial or Confidential positions.

We have a final hearing on May 1st, and then PERC will issue its final orders listing all bargaining unit positions, and all excluded Managerial or Confidential positions.

Once this PERC recertification process has been completed, and since we have already started contract negotiations with the City, we will also bargain hard for these additional employees.

Stay tuned.