The Encinitas City Council approved a new four-year contract with the Encinitas Firefighters' Association at its March 21 meeting. This replaces the previous contract which expired on Dec. 31, 2017.
Most Encinitas firefighters (those hired before Jan. 1, 2013) will soon see the amount they pay toward retirement increase from 9 percent to 12 percent. By Jan. 1, 2020, those firefighters will begin paying 3 percent of the city's required share CalPERS retirement contribution. The additional amount will be phased in over the next three years, with the first one-and-a-half percent increase effective March 16, 2018.
This is a significant shift from 2012 when the city was paying not only the city's required contribution but also the employee's 9 percent share. Firefighters hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013 currently contribute 12.25 percent of their pay towards retirement. The amount these firefighters pay is governed by the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act.
The previous two-year contract did not provide firefighters a cost of living adjustment or wage increase. The new four-year contract gives firefighters' base wage increases, when adjusted for the sharing of the city's retirement cost, equals 2 percent each year.
The new contract includes operational and other changes such as requiring an associate's degree to promote to Fire Captain (effective Jan. 1, 2020), revised educational and certification incentives, and a reopener in the event of changes in healthcare laws that may impose penalties or taxes on the city.
— Submitted news release