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Facts and Figures
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Demographics for Palo Alto, CA

  • Palo Alto Population 64,484*
  • Average household size is 2.327 people*
  • 2007 Median household income $119,046**
  • Unemployment in 2008
    • Palo Alto 3.2%***
    • California 7.2%***
  • Unemployment in 2009
    • Palo Alto 6.4%***
    • California 11.6%***

*    As of 1/1/09, California Department of Finance
**   For 2007 from the American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau *** All unemployment estimates from the California Employment
     Development Department
Statistics provided courtesy of Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy (CCSCE)

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Bargaining Unit Statistics

   

General Employee Unit (represented by SEIU Local 521)
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  • 617 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
  • 59% of City employees
  • Median Salary $73,902
  • Average salary $72,662
  • Average Overtime earnings $3,914
  • Average annual pension contributions:
    • City-paid Employer rate (17%) $12,398
    • City-paid Employee rate (6%) $4,360
      • Employee-paid Contribution (2%) $1,453
    Average annual City-paid medical contribution $11,762
  • Average annual City-paid dental/vision contribution $1,676
  • Other Benefits* $7,803
  • Average salary + benefits $114,575

*Including additional costs such as Workers' Comp and Life Insurance.

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Employee Group Update
Negotiations began in Mid-May, SEIU contract expired on June 30, 2009.  The parties did not reach agreement on a successor contract, and City Council implemented terms from Last, Best and Final offer on October 26, 2009.


Management and Professionals
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  • Average manager to employee ratio 1: 9.33
  • 235 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
  • 23% of City
  • Average salary $113,002
  • Average overtime $0
  • Average Management Leave $4,346
  • Average annual pension contributions:
    • City-Paid Employer Rate (17%): $19,281
    • City-Paid Employee Rate (6%): $6,780
      • Employee Contribution (2%) $2,260
  • Average annual City-paid medical contribution $11,762
  • Average annual City-paid dental/vision contribution $1,676
  • Other Benefits* $6,912
  • Average salary + benefits $163,759

    *Including additional costs such as Workers' Comp and Life Insurance.

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Employee Group Update
Salary increase and Variable Management Compensation will not be provided for FY 2010.




CalPERS Pension History for Management and SEIU Employees
The City of Palo Alto participates in the CalPERS pension program, which is funded by an employer and employee contribution. This is a "defined benefit" program - which means the employer rate is adjusted annually by CalPERS to meet the future obligations of the retirement plan. In 2007, the City of Palo Alto adopted "2.7% @ 55," a benefit that results in an increased future payout from the pension fund. This means that the current payment to the fund must increase to meet this obligation. In 2007, employees began contributing 2% towards the 8% employee rate.




International Association of Firefighters (IAFF)
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  • 109 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
  • 10% of City employees
  • Average salary $104,878
  • Average Overtime earnings $16,001
  • Average annual pension contributions:
    • City-paid Employer rate (24.51%) $25,106
    • City-paid Employee rate (9%) $9,439
      • Employee-paid Contribution $0
  • Average annual City-paid medical contribution $11,762
  • Average annual City-paid dental/vision contribution $1,676
  • Other Benefits* $14,469
  • Average salary + benefits $178,387

*Including additional costs such as Workers' Comp and Life Insurance.

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Employee Group Update
Currently in contract (7/1/06 - 6/30/10).




Fire Chief's Association (FCA)
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  • 4 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
  • Average salary $138,200
  • Average Overtime earnings $0
  • Management Leave $5,316
  • Average annual pension contributions:
    • City-paid Employer rate (24.51%) $33,082
    • City-paid Employee rate (9%) $12,438
      • Employee-paid Contribution $0
  • Average annual City-paid medical contribution $11,762
  • Average annual City-paid dental/vision contribution $1,676
  • Other Benefits* $4,973
  • Average salary + benefits $207,447

*Including additional costs such as Workers' Comp and Life Insurance.

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Employee Group Update
Currently in contract (7/1/06 - 6/30/10). 




Palo Alto Police Officer's Association (PAPOA)
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  • 83 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)
  • 8% of City employees
  • Average salary $104,013
  • Average Overtime earnings $17,296
  • Average annual pension contributions:
    • City-paid Employer rate (24.51%) $24,899
    • City-paid Employee rate (9%) $9,361
      • Employee-paid Contribution $0
  • Average annual City-paid medical contribution $11,762
  • Average annual City-paid dental/vision contribution $1,676
  • Other Benefits* $16,609
  • Average salary + benefits $185,616

*Including additional costs such as Workers' Comp and Life Insurance.

Employee Group Update
Currently in contract (7/1/07 - 6/30/10), but in talks with the City to defer negotiated salary increase for this fiscal year (09-10).




Medical Benefits Premium History for All CIty Employees
The City participates in the CalPERS medical program, which provides a variety of plan options for employees, including a PPO (preferred provider network program), an Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and a Peace Officers' Research Association of California (PORAC) plan for sworn safety members only. Currently, the City pays the full premium for each employee and eligible dependents. All increases in healthcare premium costs are absorbed by the City both for current employees’ health coverage and for current and future retirees’ health coverage.

Cost-Avoidance
  • Due to the rising cost of fully funding retiree medical expenses, the City negotiated a more stringent vesting schedule for all employees. Rather than qualifying for lifelong 100% City-paid health coverage after 5 or more years of service with the City, employees hired after January 1, 2005 will fully vest into 100% coverage after 20 years of service credit.
  • As of 2007 the City no longer pays the full premium for PERS Care, the most expensive medical plan option. The City contribution is capped at the second most expensive plan.

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