I presented a contract offer to your leadership that includes a 20% salary increase over the next three years - 6.5% in year one, 6.5% in year two, and 7% in year three (that’s 21.36% compounded) - and a one-time lump sum consideration of 3% of your annual salary. In addition, my offer also restores your benefits that were reduced in June 2015, which includes restoration of your 3% COLA and 8.4% guaranteed rate of return on your DROP account. This means, every single member of IAFF will be on the same benefit plan.
With the help of your union leadership, Jacksonville earned a big win by securing an existing half-penny sales tax as a potential funding source for our staggering pension liability. However, in order to tap into that funding, the law requires us to close our existing pension plans to new hires. Your pension benefits and those of retirees stay exactly as they are
but we must create sustainable new retirement plans that attract and retain quality new hires. I am confident that the retirement plan I’ve proposed for new hires accomplishes these goals.
They include a 25% employer contribution to an 8% employee contribution, effective immediately upon hire.
Recognizing the inherent dangers of public safety and the concerns and needs of surviving loved ones, the new hire DC retirement benefit plan includes the same disability, death (and survivor) benefit extended to current firefighters.
Public safety impacts every aspect of our community’s well-being, making it my greatest priority. That’s why I presented a contract offer that includes deservedly generous salary increases; restored pension benefits; an attractive new hire retirement plan designed to recruit and retain the highest quality public safety employees; and secures our city’s long-term fiscal stability by solving our unfunded pension liability once and for all.
Thank you for your overwhelming vote of support for this plan and service to the citizens of Jacksonville. We now look forward to bringing this agreement to City Council for final approval.