HOLLYWOOD, FL – Voters in Hollywood, Florida chose to strip police, firefighters and the city’s general employee’s of their current pension plans, saving the city $8.5 million. The city faces a $38 million deficit and was unable to come to an agreement with the its unions.
Several other south Florida cities, which are also dealing with budget issues and increased pension costs, are eying the Hollywood ballot result with interest.
“It could be a harbinger,’’ said Stephen Cypen, an attorney who represents more than a dozen South Florida municipal pension funds, including Hollywood’s.
Union leaders said they will challenge the election in court.
“They went about this wrong way,” said Firefighter Union President Dan Martinez. “They completely superseded our right to collectively bargain.”
The changes, which take effect October 1, mean fire, police and general employees will have to work longer in order to retire, will receive a smaller percentage of their salary as pension and will no longer be able to include vacation and cost of living increases into the formula.
From The Miami Herald.