Friday, October 8, 2010

KMBZ Breaks News of Potential Local 42 Lawsuit

980 KMBZ has obtained a copy of the lawsuit that IAFF Local 42 is thinking of filing against the city with regard to the MAST/KCFD pensions. There have been rumors of this coming down the pike due to the hesitation on the part of the City Council over the $30 million cost to the city of fully vesting former MAST employees. Details are still sketchy but basically local 42 is suing the city for failure to follow the contract that was negotiated in collective bargaining.

The Observer has laid eyes on and read the very contract between local 42 and the now KCFD emergency medical service workers. The contract is quite clear as to what was to occur with the pensions. This subject was desperately under examined and evaluated by those pushing for the city/KCFD take over of the ambulance service and that lack of close study is now coming home to roost.

I would be watching very closely how those who are interested in being the next mayor of this city handle themselves around this very political topic that will have consequences for years to come. It is hard to see how the City Council can avoid litigation if they choose to not finance the pensions as specified in the contract.

Big kudos to KMBZ City Hall reporter Bill Grady. Here's the link to the story, and the above picture is snipped from KMBZ's website.

Author's Note: A commenter has already noted that Yael Abouhalkah wrote up the story of the letter from Local 42's lawyer to the City Council and the mayor two days ago warning of the impending law suit. To be honest, I did think I had seen something about this previously but I wasn't sure. It's a pretty big deal for one of the city's most powerful unions to sue the city for breach of contract. It looks to me that Local 42 is looking to gradually ramp up the publicity and pressure, pressing the City Council to pass the needed ordinance to fund the pension for the former MAST employees.

Here's the link to Mr. Abouhalkah's write up: Local 42 threatens lawsuit over MAST pensions

The Observer has vigilant commenters. Added at 1730 10/8

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really like your writing. Bill Grady does good work. But that lawsuit was in The Star's Midwest voices two days ago.

Bob G. said...

T.O.:
WOw...Deja Vu...all over again.
Seems Philly is (andhas been for a while) in the same place with police and fire PENSIONS.

Cities just don't have the MONEY to fund them any longer...and this is something that SHOULD have been privatized a LONG time ago, before this horse got out of the corral.

And it is interesting to note the the IAFF was at the D.C. rally right alongside known American Communist and Socialist party representatives.

MY nephew is a smoke-eater w/ the DCFD, and he was chastised (via email) because he merely ASKED WHY the IAFF would align themselves in such a manner.

It costs the deductions (dues) from (about) NINETEEN IAFF members to fund the pension of ONE member...

Now, what happens when THOSE 19 retire or become disabled?

This is something that CANNOT sustain itself...it's like building a pyramid UPSIDE DOWN.
The police and fire pensions will collapse under their own financial weight.

Good luck winning the settlement. It might break the city's coffers for a long time, though.

But I've yet to see any VIABLE alternatives in trying to stop this snowball down the mouintain.

Good post.

have a great weekend.

the observer said...

Anon:
Thanks for the kind words and the correction is already done! Have a great day.
The Observer

Bob G:
Another fantastic comment to which I have little to add.

The model of retirement based on the production of the next younger generations is now showing its flaws and needs to be replaced by an investment type system. The irony is that the folks affected by this merge/takeover HAD 401 (k)'s and many of them were advised to change over to the city's pension--in fact, their support for the merger/takeover was based on this being something they can do. Many of them liquidated their 401 (k)'s anticipating the pension that was promised. This merger/take over was not done for the practical merit of it, but for political power on the part of politicians at City Hall and the management of IAFF Local 42. It is a big flippin' mess!

As to IAFF getting involved with leftest and prog concerns, I am not surprised. I have never worked union, but that would bother me that my dues were going to organizations that I don't agree with in some very fundamental things.

Hope your weekend is the best! So far we have enjoyed awesome weather in KC--sunny and warm.

T.O.