For the purposes of this blog the City (City of Hollywood, excluding Commissioners Biederman, Callari, and Hernandez) and Staff (excluding the current CM, ACMS, and Raquel).
By this afternoon, when the Commission agenda is posted, you will see the CBA is not on the agenda for next Wednesday, August 26, 2015. The PBA has decided not to ratify the proposed agreement on Monday due to recent developments which jeopardize Article 43, wages. The City advised that 185 premium tax dollars may be withheld this year which, under the proposed language adversely effects the across the board raises.
How did this happen? Why would the State Division of Retirement withhold the 185 money? While the City Commission and staff was on a roll, gutting pension benefits and the pay of Police Officers to balance the budget (due to gross financial mismanagement on their part), the City Attorney’s Office, back in November of 2013, drafted a letter to the Division of Retirement to attack the 13th check distributed to retirees. See the PDF document Police-2013-11-21-City-attorney-letter.
The State responded some eight months later. It told the City of Hollywood that the post funding of the 13th check would not comply with FSS, which could compromise the distribution of the 185 monies. The PBA is unaware if the City responded to the state. Read the related PDF document Hollywood-police-13th-check-response-2014-07-03.
The City of Hollywood Commission voted 4-3 to litigate against the Hollywood Police Pension Board for distribution of the 13th check. BTW, each time the Pension Board Trustees voted to distribute the 13th check the board did so with approval from the Division of Retirement. The Hollywood Police Pension Board Administrator has the documentation to verify these communications. It should also be noted that none of the five elected Police Pension Board trustees receive the 13th check due to the 2011 referendum.
On August 18, 2015 the DOR sent a letter to the Police Pension accountant regarding several issues. See the PDF documents that relate. Read the PDF document Pension-Fund-Letter-Aug-18-2015.
On August 21, 2015 the Police Pension Board addressed all the issues relating to the DOR requests. Read the PDF document police-officers-retirement-aug-21-2015
WTF now? The state DOR has not yet taken the position of holding back the 185 money. The PBA has been in contact with our Tallahassee State PBA Staff as well as one legislator who is currently in Tallahassee to lobby the DOR.
If the funds are withheld, we plan to return to the table and address the proposed language. We are currently in a holding pattern.
One must ask: “What does the distribution of a retirement benefit have to do with my CBA–specifically Wages?” Clearly this is a behind the scenes move to pit active members against the retirees.
Please be on standby for a show of solidarity (and anger) on Wednesday, August 26th at 5PM at the Hollywood Commission Chambers. Maybe someone on the dais can answer that question.