Redding's five-member city council on Tuesday night voted to give up its retirement health plan for council members but kept their pension plan in place. The city needs to make $3 million in budget cuts and faces an estimated $94 million in retiree health insurance costs over the next three decades.
The story on the Redding Record Searchlight's Web site, quotes Missy McArthur, who is new to the council: "I am anxious that the city council lead by example. We are probably going to be making some pretty tough decisions, and if we are going to be asking employees to come in at a different rate we should be willing to do the same."
As we noted in a Thursday column a few weeks ago, state employees would love to hear elected state workers in the Capitol say something like that.
A couple of other examples of sacrifice from Redding: A separate story published on Monday by Chico TV station KHSL, noted that the city manager and city attorney have both declined to take COLAs and have postponed their scheduled raises.
KHSL also reported, "As part of negotiations, the city has asked the eight labor unions to make similar changes to the health benefits for future retirees - having them pay the full premium instead of a 50 percent discounted rate. Service Employee International Union Local 1292 (SEIU) which represents administrative and service city employees, have agreed to those changes."