The existing Memorandum of Understanding between the Town and Atherton Police Officers Association expired on September 30, 2013. The parties have been in negotiations for a successor MOU for the last several months. Since the very beginning of the negotiations both parties have worked cooperatively to address major policy objectives set by the City Council: 1) transfer of pension liability for the employee share to the employee; 2) eliminate Town-paid retiree healthcare for new hires; 3) establish a healthcare plan with a cost-share model and caps; and 4) implement the requirements of AB 340 setting up a new pension tier with lesser retirement benefits.
We are pleased to announce that the Town and APOA have reached a Tentative Agreement that addresses all of the major policy objectives and more. The Tentative Agreement represents a cooperative effort by the Town and APOA to fairly and comprehensively address and solve the issues at hand. While the Tentative Agreement represents a savings to the Town in the short-term (approximately 7.6% of salaries) it more importantly addresses long-term fiscal sustainability issues. The totally re-written MOU establishes a lesser, Tier II pension plan, creates a model cafeteria health plan with caps and cost-sharing, eliminates Town-paid healthcare premiums for retirees, transfers the employee-share of the pension obligation back to the employee, and eliminates the mandated 70th percentile salary-survey.
In addition to short-term savings, the Town will realize cost savings and fiscal sustainability in the long-term through reduced pension obligations, reduced post-employment obligations, reduced active employee healthcare costs, and controlled salary costs.
The 3-Year MOU, available via the Town’s website for the October 16 Regular City Council Agenda, is a significant step forward for the Town and APOA. Appreciation to the City Council for their patience and collaboration and a special thank you to the negotiating committee members who have done a fine job during very sensitive and involved negotiations. The APOA represents the Town’s largest employee base of 22 employees – 17 sworn positions and 5 civilian positions.