February 25, 2009

Police say hands off city pension funds

Press release from the city's police union:

BRISTOL POLICE UNION

Local #754

P.O. Box 2014

Bristol, CT  06011-2014

Email: BristolPoliceUnion@gmail.com

Website: www.BristolPoliceUnion.org

860.940.7707

 

BRISTOL POLICE LOCAL 754 OF COUNCIL 15 AFSCME

PRESS RELEASE

REGARDING CITY OF BRISTOL’S GASB 45 ISSUES

February 24, 2009

 Bristol Police Local 754, acknowledges the difficult economic times facing the nation.  The Union will work with the City to find solutions to get through these tough times but cannot support draining pension funds anymore than we would support depleting a child’s education fund. 

 While it is true the City needs to address the GASB 45 reporting requirements it is not true that this must be done immediately and it is obvious to us that taking radical measures in a turbulent economic climate is short sighted and dangerous.  Reducing the funds in this volatile economy with a market that is fluctuating wildly on any given day makes trying to hit a particular funding level a fast moving target. 

 If this plan were 100 % fully funded the City would be responsible for making payments in the millions of dollars. There is no truth to anyone’s theory that the money is just sitting there and doing nothing. As a matter of fact, the current funding levels are actually paying for the City’s costs, which is approximately 6 million dollars this year alone.

 Moving money from the pension plan to pay current medical costs will result in nothing more than passing along the costs to future tax payers.  There are certainly many other ideas that the City can consider that do not result in our children assuming this burden. 

 If the City set up a retiree health care trust fund, with money that has already been set aside, and manage and invest it with the same vigor and expertise in which it has managed the pension fund, then the issue of retiree health care would evaporate.

 Bristol needs to only look to its neighbors in Waterbury to see the disastrous effects that tampering with pension funds create.

EXECUTIVE BOARD LOCAL 754

AFSCME COUNCIL 15, AFL-CIO

*******
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

typical union BS!! We will help...but what are you going to give me!!

Odd said...

ken johnson doesn't think ward should be worried about donuts, does that mean that johnson is vying for the police support?

Anonymous said...

Please give it a rest! Raise health insurance rates to start making up these short falls! My lord! The state and the city should just file bankruptcy to redo all Union contracts!

Anonymous said...

If I were Ken Johnson, I would hire someone to drive me around.

Odin said...

What a bunch of hooey. The City has the same obligation to make pension payments as it does to pay health benefits, so moving funds from one account to the other is not "stealing from our childrens' college fund". Those checks will get mailed out regardless of whether these accounts are funded or not. What this is REALLY about is the union bosses justifying their existence to their gullible members by trying to get something for nothing from the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Hire 40 more officers and give them pensions also.. I love how this city just throws money away.. There should be no more pensions for any new sin this city, any department.. Just do a match of 50% of up to 10% in a 401k or a cap of 1000 a year pre employee.. that would save this city a ton of money going forward

Anonymous said...

When is someone going to go after the insurance companies and the medical providers ? They have their own inflation rate 12% ,they are going to put all of us in the bread lines.

Anonymous said...

They had 4, yes FOUR cops on N. Main St today "directing traffic" while Laverio was digging up the street...yet again. They all seemed pretty content. I seriously doubt they were worried about their pension or benefits at all! I got a nice photo of them all standing around doing nothing. To bad I can't post it here. I think it would be the perfect fusion on entertainment and enlightenment :)

Anonymous said...

"If the City set up a retiree health care trust fund,"

Read the ordinances, the trust fund has been set up already. Problem is, it was only done as an accounting gimmick by Klocko to trick bonding agencies. No money has ever been put into the fund, although he led people to believe it had been done. He also led people to believe that pension funds could be transferred into that trust when he knew as early as April 2007 that it could not be done. It is incredible to me that nobody has called Klocko to task on his financial trickery. Fortunately IRS rules will not allow any transfers of negotiated municipal pension funds into a health account without collective bargaining. The police are doing the right thing. Klocko and his gang cannot be trusted.

Anonymous said...

2/25 9:05

All four cops were being paid by Laviero, plus 12% to the city. Not a dime of that was from the City, nor does it help their pension. You're complaining about nothing. And if you think that Laviero would charge the city less for work if he wasn't required to hire police for traffic then I have a bridge in New York I could sell you.

Anonymous said...

The sub-trust to fund the post retirement healthcare cost of retired city workers CAN be set up as long as it serves the same group of people. Further, if pension funds slide...the medical sub-trust can be shifted back to the pension fund.

The BEST solution is to negotiate this benefit out. I mean simply eliminate it before the city is bankrupt.

Klocko is a genius! He has saved tax payers huge sums by his skillful methods of keeping our bond rating intact and even getting them lower. This guy gets it. Union don't.

This statement by the police unionn is disturbing. They are not as intelligent as we need police to be. Shame on you police officers.

Anonymous said...

Impeach Kloko!

Anonymous said...

"The sub-trust to fund the post retirement healthcare cost of retired city workers CAN be set up as long as it serves the same group of people."

Wrong. Pension language is part of the collective bargaining agreements. No subaccount exists in the pension language and cannot be added without negotiation. IRS documents back this up, but even common sense (which you seem to lack)should tell you this is true. If they could have done this at any time why haven't they done so?

Anonymous said...

"Further, if pension funds slide...the medical sub-trust can be shifted back to the pension fund."

Not can, but MUST, according to IRS rules be shifted back to make the pension fund whole (120% funded.) Again though, these subaccounts do not yet exist in the collectively bargained pension agreement. They cannot be created out of thin air, they MUST be negotiated.

"The BEST solution is to negotiate this benefit out."

This is an option that Klocko and GASB suggest. However it would only be for newly hired employees, after an agreement was reached (at least you acknowledge the validity of the collective bargaining issue) All existing employees have already earned part or all of their retiree health care. If retiree health care were completely eliminated, existing employees would be owed the value of benefits already earned, millions of dollars. That is what GASB is all about , recognizing that these benefits were promised, earned and owed.

Anonymous said...

"Klocko is a genius! He has saved tax payers huge sums by his skillful methods of keeping our bond rating intact and even getting them lower."

When it finally comes out how deceptive misleading and outright dishonest Klocko has been over this issue he may be looking for other work. It is his bungling of this issue (retiree health care) that has prevented the improvement of the retiree health care system, which could be a win- win situation for pensioners and taxpayers. He has clouded the issue with misinformation and half truths. As a result he has made people like Cockayne and Collins look foolish (not that they need much help)

Steve Collins said...

I'm still working on the story, but let's get real.
Ronald Mulvihill, an AFSCME benefits expert from Washington, was at Tuesday's GASB 45 Committee meeting and specifically said that the information on this issue provided by the Press and the city comptroller's office has been accurate.
He said he doesn't think the city should take the step it's eyeing without negotiating because if it does, there will be a court case. But, he admitted, he's not sure who will win the case. He said the law itself is ambiguous and can be read fairly to favor either side.
So, please, stop trashing Klocko and me on this issue. I think we can all agree Mulvihill knows more than we do on all of this.

Anonymous said...

"So, please, stop trashing Klocko and me on this issue. I think we can all agree Mulvihill knows more than we do on all of this."

Go back and read the articles you wrote on this issue going back to the end of 2007. They are replete with inaccuracies half truths and deception almost all of it coming as quotes from Klocko. Better yet send copies to Mullvihill, I am sure he would be willing to point them out to you.

Steve Collins said...

It's 2009. If there were mistakes in early stories, they were unwitting on my part. We're all learning far more than most of us ever wanted on this esoteric issue.
And as I learn more, the stories have surely grown more accurate. That's how these things go.
Most of the truly wrong stuff has been spouted by anonymous commenters, not me and not anyone who's been willing to put their name behind their words.

Anonymous said...

"It's 2009. If there were mistakes in early stories, they were unwitting on my part."
Exactly. Klocko misled you. He used you. That is the story. If you really care you will look back at those stories and realize Klocko really took you for a ride. I am almost embarassed for you.

Steve Collins said...

I think Klocko's learned more over time, too.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Steve ever posts under "Anonymous"? I think I would if I were him, LMAO

Anonymous said...

The misinformation has been spread by the union heads, not Collins or Klocko. They just keep employing scare tactics with talking points like "raping the pension". I am embarrassed for them!

Anonymous said...

"The misinformation has been spread by the union heads, not Collins or Klocko."

During most of 2008 Klocko was quoted by Collins as saying that pension fund money could be moved into the new health care trust established in Feb. 2008 when as early as Feb. 2007 Klocko was advised that this was not possible. He was also quoted as saying that 1.1 million dollars was put into that trust when acually no money was ever moved. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Go back and look at the previous posts on this blog. Search
"pension" "Cockayne" "Klocko" "GASB". It is all there and more.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Collins should be a little more thorough, do a little more questioning.

If he is perpetuating false information then he is equally guilty.

Steve Collins said...

I've already written more about GASB 45 than any daily newspaper reporter in the universe.
And, for what it's worth, you try writing two or three stories every day and see how thorough you are. I try.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I think you've been reporting on the GASB 45 factually and fairly. The people here who are saying you're not are only saying that because the FACTS that you are reporting to support what they want everyone to believe. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

"Steve, I think you've been reporting on the GASB 45 factually and fairly."

Based on what? Show me some facts to back up that statement.I challenge you to post ANY quote or information concerning GASB 45 attributed to Collins or Klocko that shows pension funds can be used for retiree health care without union approval and I will clarify it with factual information. Put up or shut up!