READING, Pa .– Reading City Council voted Monday night to make changes that impact the wages and pension plan of city employees.
The council voted 6 to 1 to ratify a collective agreement with AFSCME Local 2763, which the administration identified as the city’s core employees. These employees are generally defined as those who do not occupy managerial or managerial positions.
The agreement will give employees a 4% raise retroactive to January 1.
City Councilor Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz voted against the deal, saying the administration has not shown where the extra money is coming from in this year’s budget.
Jamar Kelly, the city’s chief financial officer, explained that although the council approved a 2.5% salary increase for all employees in the 2021 budget, core employees have not received any increases this year. because their increase would be on the basis of contractual negotiations.
Also on Monday evening, council approved an ordinance to replace the City’s employee pension fund with a defined contribution plan for employees hired on or after January 1, 2022.
City Councilor Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz welcomed the move, saying the administration has gone to great lengths to understand the need for a defined contribution plan.
“We saw the difficulties with our old pension plans, which did not put us in a good financial position,” she said. “This will ensure the financial stability of the city in the future.
The board also discussed the allocation of US bailout funds at Monday night’s meeting.