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City workers may not get raises after JEA unions vote down pension change

News 4 JAX

Jacksonville police, firefighters will get raises after approving new pension

By Jim Piggott - Reporter, March 16, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Nearly 5,000 city of Jacksonville employees just learned that they may not get the pay raise they thought might be coming.

This comes after two JEA employee unions voted down a change in their pensions that are part of the city's overall pension-reform effort.

Many of the employees affected have not received a raise in several years and were hoping to get a 9½ percent increase over the next three years that was part of the city's offer to accept the new pension terms.

This does not include police and firefighters, who approved a separate contract and are to receive raises.

While the unions representing city clerks, maintenance workers and other employees approved the deal, it was rejected by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Laborers' International Union of North America. Under the city's terms, the deal was to apply to all non-public-safety employees or none at all.

A LIUNA spokesman said the JEA's proposal was too vague, but both unions will return to the bargaining table early next week for further consideration.

In order for the new pension plan to go into effect, the city has to close one of the current plans, which it will probably do with the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund. Given the JEA vote, the pension plan will likely remain the same, even for new hires.

JEA officials have not commented about what steps they will take. City officials said they can't comment on a JEA matter.