Toledo Mayor Mike Bell wants to put a referendum on the November ballot asking voters whether the city should pay pension premiums for union employees in the future.
The city pays 10% of many employees’ pension shares, on top of the city’s required contribution of 19.5%, according to a report in the Toledo Blade.
The proposal comes after Bell and the City Council recently declared exigent circumstances when approving the fiscal 2011 budget, a move that allowed them to unilaterally amend union contracts.
The amendments required employees to pay the 10% “pension pick-up” and pay more for health insurance. Since then, many unions have reached new agreements with the city.
Toledo officials have blamed a $48 million general fund deficit in part on the pension payments.
“It is obvious to me over the last four months that people care enough in the city to have a say in government and possible structural changes,” Bell told the Blade.
The seven-member City Council needs to approve putting the measure on the ballot.
Newly hired union employees are required to pay the 10% premium under new contracts passed by former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.