MEA’s Recommendation on the SDCERS DROP Vote
Vote “No” in Upcoming DROP Benefit Elections
Most of you have either already received or will soon receive “Benefits Election” materials from SDCERS related to proposed changes to the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) for all unclassified and unrepresented employees, as well as all employees represented by the San Diego Police Officers Association (POA) and AFSCME Local 127. Each proposed change to DROP is detrimental to the affected employees:
(1) DROP is eliminated altogether as a benefit for all unclassified and unrepresented employees (except Council Assistants and Council Representatives);
(2) the DROP entry age for Police Safety Members is increased from age 50 to age 55;
(3) the DROP entry age for General Members represented by Local 127 (with 20 years of service credit) is increased from age 55 to 60; and,
(4) These same groups of employees would not be eligible to elect a DROP annuity when changing their status from Active DROP to Retired DROP.
HOW AND WHY DID THESE PROPOSED CHANGES HAPPEN?
During the 2009 “meet and confer” process, the City proposed these DROP “take-aways” to all the City’s unions, including MEA. Since MEA was successful in reaching a new 2-year MOU with the City, MEA was able to dodge the “bullet” of these DROP take-aways. But POA and Local 127 did not reach agreement and, after an impasse hearing, the City imposed its “last, best and final offer” on the employees represented by POA and Local 127, including these DROP take-aways. At the same time, the City “imposed” these DROP take-aways by edict on all unrepresented and unclassified employees who have no bargaining rights.
NOT SO FAST . . . THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!
The City’s imposition of its “last, best and final offer” on POA and Local 127-represented employees, and its “edict” with regard to unrepresented and unclassified employees, was not the end of the story. The City cannot get these DROP “take-aways” to become “law” without your approval because Section 143.1 of the City Charter prevents any “ordinance amending the retirement system which affects the benefits of any employee” from becoming law unless the ordinance is approved by a majority vote of the members of SDCERS – and that includes you!
DON’T BE FOOLED . . . YOUR DROP BENEFIT WILL BE NEXT!
Although these proposed changes to DROP do not affect your DROP benefit as an MEA-represented employee right now – rest assured that, if the City can get one group of employees to approve pension “take-aways” that hurt another group of employees, your DROP benefit will be next on the chopping block.
REJECT THE CITY’S “DIVIDE & CONQUER” STRATEGY
VOTE “NO” ON THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO DROP!
PLEASE NOTE: THIS SDCERS DROP ELECTION IS NOT RELATED TO MEA’S CONTRACT EXTENSION RATIFICATION VOTE WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE ON TUESDAY, MARCH 22! PLEASE SEE SEPARATE INFORMATION ON MEA’S WEBSITE REGARDING CONTRACT RATIFICATION.