June 9, 2009

Using pension money would have helped?

City Councilor Ken Cockayne said that if the city had pushed ahead with the use of surplus pension investments to pay for future health care for city workers, the budget crunch this year wouldn't have happened.
"GASB 45 would have changed everything," Cockayne said.
The proposal to use extra pension cash -- anything beyond 120 percent of the expected need to cover pension costs -- for health benefits for retirees would have saved as much as $1. 8 million from the city's bottom line this year.
With that much money available, Cockayne said, the city could have frozen taxes while allowing the unions to keep the raises they'd negotiated and hang on to their jobs. There wouldn't have been a need to eye concessions or layoffs, he said.
Cockayne said he hopes the city's unions, which have been wary of the GASB 45 plan at best, will reconsider before next year's spending plan is put together.

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


Anonymous said...

The unions made many different offers to the city [Diane Ferguson, Personal Director] to lower the cost of health Ins. She's not interested in any of them. Why doesn't she bring the ideas the union offers to the pw council and get there feedback ? You see Mr. Cockayne there are some people in city hall who would rather dictate than negotiate.

Anonymous said...

Unions have gotten exactly what they deserve. Thats what being GREADY will get you.
Now you have nothing. As a matter of fact, many unions members are taking home less money than before the raises. They are now paying higher cost sharing and have given back raises.


Anonymous said...


That is another "gimmick" which avoids addressing the real problem.

You hav been hanging around the democrats too long!

Anonymous said...

Councilman, that is like using a bonus to buy a house, but still not be able to make the payments based on ones salary.

Sorta like why the country is in the mess we are in right now!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone realized that the concessions have now given the unions footage to ask for twice the normal percentage raise in the next contract?

Anonymous said...

Cockayne, you have become like all the other politicians: any easy fix that pushes the problem into the future, on the next batch of elected officials.

We never learn, do we?