By Steve Bell
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – More than a year after merging MAST ambulance service into the fire department, the Kansas City city council has a pension plan it believes will avoid or shorten a pending arbitration.
The firefighters union wants full credit for years of service by the ambulance workers. Under the proposal the council unanimously approved only a handful of long-term employees would get that, and would get credit for half or less of their years worked.
Even at that, Mayor Sly James said the council's proposal will have critics who say it's too exorbitant. The mayor said the council had to deal with the facts as they are, not as some would wish them to be. And he said the facts are: "We have to and are obligated to negotiate with our labor partner."
City Manager Troy Schulte says the compromise deal would cost the city $10.3 million dollars over twenty years or so. He estimates that the full credit plan would cost $25 million or more.