Chariho School Parents’ Forum

July 25, 2009

more figurin’

Filed under: contract negotiations,Police — Editor @ 2:10 pm

I keep thinking about the question Lois posed about calculating the exact cost of the pension using actual employees, versus the rough estimate I used.

We can make an assumption that future increases would be the same as the current contract but how do we calculate salary changes in the past  (thus giving us the number to calculate previous employee contributions).

Then there is the challenge of past year’s contributions for the employees who worked at the HPD prior to the implementation of the 3% compound COLA. The contract made the benefit retroactive (which came as a surprise to the Dept of Municipal Affairs), were payment retroactive? 

Then there is the challenge of calculating the return on investments made with those floating pension dollars (see post below for the difficulties there).

So, I’m not sure how to proceed (without a lot of dedicated hours researching old contract details and historic market performance).  Suggestions?



  1. I don’t see the point to more analysis, my engineering calculations have always been about figuring out how close the answer needs to be to make a decision. Your calculations sufficiently demonstrate that the cost is huge, it’s not like it’s a close call.

    As you pointed out, the discussion revolves around defined benefit vs defined contribution. Calculating the exact value isn’t particularly useful. Also consider, by the time you make a bunch of assumptions about pay increases, how good is the number anyway, certainly not “more accurate”, just different.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — July 25, 2009 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  2. What these conversations do demonstrate rather effectively is that the total value of a gov’t job is very complicated to calculate and those who generally understand how it works still can’t really get their arms around it.

    So’s how the average Joe supposed to understand the union contracts? Their’s too many, “we traded that for this 10 yrs ago”, “our contract is different, we’re the only ones that do it this way.”

    We’re a small state … it shouldn’t be this hard.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — July 25, 2009 @ 9:58 pm | Reply

  3. Hi!
    Whatever the relevancy of discussion on sites like this, is the fact that local leaders really engaged or really care? They should be assumed to more knowledgeable and be in a better position to get answers than the general public but that is not always the case.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — July 28, 2009 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

  4. Hi!
    FYI Chariho Future Farmers of America got a red bibbon in landscape exhibit at Old Home Days in Foster that just got over. I tool some photos of it.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — July 30, 2009 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

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