San Diego
Municipal Employees Association

BREAKING NEWS: MEA and City Have Reached Tentative Agreement on New Two-Year Contract With Well-Deserved Pay Raises Finally On the Way!

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MEA’s Negotiating Team has reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the City on a new two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin on July 1, 2021 and end on June 30, 2023.

On Mayor Todd Gloria’s recommendation, the City Council approved this TA in closed session yesterday and, if MEA’s membership votes to ratify it, these new contract terms will be confirmed in open session and take effect on July 1, 2021.

Here are the highlights of the Tentative Agreement:

1. A total 9% general salary increase paid out in two installments:

  • 4% on July 1, 2021

  • 5% on July 1, 2022

2. In addition to the 9% general salary increase for all, a number of special salary adjustments (SSAs) and new or increased voluntary certification pays (Cert Pays) will benefit certain job classifications experiencing severe recruitment and retention challenges. If your job classification is slated to receive an SSA or Cert Pay increase, you will receive a separate E-blast message from MEA later today.

3. Other important provisions in this TA:

  • The continuation of 24 hours of discretionary leave (DL) in each year of the two-year contract plus one new DL day (8 hours for full-time, 6 hours for ¾-time and 4 hours for half-time employees) will be available for an employee’s use at any time over the course of the two-year contract.

  • New language recognizing the end of Prop B and the beginning of DEFINED BENEFIT PENSIONS again for ALL with MEA! The City and MEA will meet and confer over the weeks ahead to implement these changes and the Court-ordered “make whole” remedy for employees who were hired under Prop B after July 19, 2012.

  • Improvements to the bereavement leave benefit related to in-laws, grandparents/grandchildren, miscarriage and stillbirth.

  • For Flex Benefits, MEA-represented employees will continue to have access to:

      • An $11,705 annual allotment if you waive health insurance or only cover yourself – with the right to take any portion of this allowance as “cash back.”

      • A $14,000 annual allotment if you also cover your child or children; $16,000 if you cover your spouse; or $22,000 if you cover your family – with the right to use any remainder amount for health/dental/vision coverage but no cash back.

      • MEA’s dental and vision insurance premium rates will have no increase in cost for the upcoming fiscal year, and MEA’s Sharp Health Plans will experience only a very small increase. This means that these Flex Benefit allotment levels will allow any MEA-represented employee to cover themselves and their dependents or family with dental (Met Life PPO), vision (VSP) and health (Sharp Select HMO) insurances – and have plenty left over to fund a health reimbursement account to cover out of pocket costs!

This TA and these pay raises represent great forward progress and a solid negotiations accomplishment as our local economy emerges from the worst effects of the pandemic. MEA has devoted countless hours over the past few years to educate the City’s elected officials about the effects of below-market compensation on the City’s workforce and its essential operations – along with wasteful spending to contract out work at increased cost for taxpayers.

The City’s current Mayor and City Councilmembers have not only spent the time to understand this history and its detrimental consequences but they are taking action to begin making long overdue improvements in the City’s compensation practices.

Your elected MEA Negotiating Team, Lead Negotiator Ann Smith, General Manager Michael Zucchet and President Greg Woods all support and strongly recommend approval of this tentative agreement. MEA members will vote this TA “up” or “down” during a virtual ratification vote beginning in early May. More information about the vote will follow in the coming days. Only MEA members are eligible to vote in the ratification process!

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call (619-264-6632) or e-mail ( MEA with feedback, questions or if you need assistance on any issue.