Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mayor Bieter Announces Successful Negociation of Police and Fire Collective Labor Agreements, Establishment of Health Care Trust

10-12-10 Mayor Bieter Announces Successful Negociation of Police and Fire Collective Labor Agreements, Establishment of Health Care Trust

The following is a news release from the Boise Mayor's Office:


    Boise, Oct. 12, 2010 - Mayor David Bieter today announced the successful negotiation of the City's Police and Fire collective labor agreements, each effective through 2013. Terms of the separate agreements call for no wage increases for Police or Fire union members until October 2011.

    The Mayor also announced the establishment of a Police and Fire Heath Care Trust, an innovative plan that will allow the Police and Fire unions to jointly administer their own health care plan while saving the City of Boise an estimated $11.5 million in future unfunded liabilities. 

    Memberships of both the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 486 and the International Association of Firefighters Local 149 approved their respective agreements in earlier votes. Resolutions regarding the two collective labor agreements and the health care trust will be presented to the City Council this evening, where they are expected to be ratified.

    "These agreements and the establishment of this new health care trust will protect both our residents' safety and their pocketbooks," Mayor Bieter said. "By maintaining quality police and fire services for the next three years, we ensure Boise residents can sleep soundly knowing their families will have the help they need in times of crisis. By holding down wage increases and eliminating a major portion of the city's long term financial obligations, we allow residents to know that their tax dollars are being well managed."

    "By working together on these issues, we have reached a solution that is beneficial to both unions and the City of Boise," International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 486 president Guy Bourgeau said.

    "With a great deal of hard work on both sides, we succeeded in coming to an agreement that ensures that both Boise Police and Boise Fire will continue to be the leading agencies in the State of Idaho while at the same time addressing some very significant financial concerns of the city."

    "In these difficult economic times it is refreshing to see labor and management come together and resolve issues that create a win-win for both sides," Boise Firefighters Local 149 President Greg Womack said. "Both unions entered into this agreement to preserve health care access for our retirees. This agreement allows that to happen while still resolving the City's GASB obligation -- a far better solution than the state model that immediately severed retiree health care access. This agreement should be held up across the country as a model for others to follow."    

Health Care Trust

    Under the terms of the Health Care Trust agreement, the City of Boise will make a one-time contribution of $4.5 million to establish a new trust to fund eligible Police and Fire personnel health care plans. Transferring Police and Fire health care benefits to an outside trust will vastly reduce the City's GASB 45 obligation, which is currently estimated to be approximately $16 million for police and fire employees, and was expected to increase by an estimated 6.9% per year had the city not taken this action.    

    GASB 45, or Government Accounting Standards Board provision 45, was established in 2004 and requires government employers to measure, report and resolve unfunded liabilities associated with non-pension post-employment benefits such as health care coverage for retired personnel prior to Medicare eligibility. The one-time $4.5 million payment will come from savings generated by skillful management of the City's own health care trust.

    Establishment of the trust also allows the City to move from a defined benefit standard to a defined contribution standard for Police and Fire, as it has with all other city employees. A defined contribution standard allows for greater stability in health benefit costs for municipalities.
Terms of the defined contribution have been negotiated through December 2018. 

Police Collective Labor Agreement Highlights:

· Agreement effective from April 1, 2010 to September 30, 2013
· No wage increase from April 2010 to September 2011
· A 2.5% increase effective October 2011
· A 2.5% increase effective October 2012
· An increase to 12 in the number of civilian service officer positions allowed. (Civilian positions are more cost efficient than sworn officers.)
· A change in grievance policy requiring the loser of a hearing to pay the hearing officer's fee.
· An incentive of $300 for those who do not use any sick leave during the year and $200 for those who use 24 hours or fewer.

Fire Collective Labor Agreement Highlights

· Agreement effective from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2013
· No wage increase from October 2010 to September 2011
· A 2.5 % increase effective October 2011
· A 2.5% increase effective October 2012.
· A requirement that vacation be used in blocks of time rather that just a few hours to allow for greater staffing efficiency
· Adjustments to the structure of specialty teams to give the Chief more flexibility in the number of team participants and the membership makeup of the team
· An incentive of $300 for those who do not use any sick leave during the year and $200 for those who use 24 hours or fewer # # #