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February 28, 2011


The latest on Beutler retirement issue

by Deena Winter

Beutler held a press conference this morning to explain that his administration is proposing to reduce retirement benefits for future directors, aides and mayors, but not current ones.
Here’s a link to the LJS story.

The city contributes 12 percent of Beutler and his directors and aides’ salaries into their retirement fund, with no match required. That’s more generous than any city employees get — even though Beutler has worked for nearly two years to try to convince employee unions to take less generous benefits. He was only able to convince them to agree to less generous benefits for new hires only.

Beutler now says his law department says he can’t change the benefits for current staffers. But since the directors and aides work at the pleasure of Beutler, I would think they could change it — but hey, I’m not a lawyer working for Beutler. Do they have contracts? Not that I’m aware of.

Today, I called on Beutler and his staffers to take a less generous retirement benefit, to set an example for other employees — heck, he could give the difference to charity.

Meanwhile, his Republican opponent for mayor, Tammy Buffington, has finally spoken up on the issue, issuing a press release saying Beutler has been dodging the issue since it came up last week, telling a radio talk show host he didn’t know whether he could change the benefits immediately.

“Now it looks like even the union members are getting the short end of the stick by this mayor,” Buffington said in her release. “ How many workers in Lincoln get money contributed to their pensions without having to put a cent of their own money into the fund? “

“Even union members aren’t getting what the mayor gives himself and his buddies,” she said. “I don’t know of any private business in Lincoln that can afford that kind of generosity and still stay in business.”

She said she thought Beutler called a press conference Monday morning to “show leadership.”

“This announcement just shows he’s keeping our dollars and leaving us with change,” she said.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gene
    Feb 28 2011

    “radio host” almost made me spit my coffeee.

  2. Jane H Kinsey
    Feb 28 2011

    Come on, Mayor! do the honorable thing. Of course, he can’t lower his staff’s salaries as they would turn on him . I will be at the public hearing on this and encourage everyone else to do so.

  3. postman
    Feb 28 2011

    The Mayor could save some money if he had some of the employee’s show up to work on time and not leave early every day its the same cars and trucks all the time. I have reported this in the past but nothing changes it might for a week or to the its right back it. I reported this even before this Mayor.

  4. Chanda Leer
    Feb 28 2011

    I hope he just reduces what he takes, and leaves it in the budget. I don’t want him donating “our money”, tax money to charity, lest he start another bad precedent.

  5. What's Good for the Goose
    Mar 1 2011

    Modification to the terms and conditions of employment are a management prerogative, particularly when economic circumstances change. This applies to changes in current formal, and informal, agreements.

    Management may set apart groups of employees for purposes of compensation, including awarding different incentives to themselves. However, fairness alone would indicate that all employees be treated equally across the board out of respect for pattern agreements with the entire comparable employed staff.


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