At the request of the Peduto transition team, the Pittsburgh City Council opted Tuesday to wait at least another week before voting on an early retirement offer. Debate last week indicated that the vote would have been close and that there were still several unresolved issues.
“There were some additional questions and documentation requested from council the ICA, as well as Act 47 and we felt it prudent to delay the vote for an additional week,” said Kevin Acklin, Mayor-elect Bill Peduto's chief of staff.
Acklin and Peduto have often said the early retirement offer is a key building block in the new administration’s plan to restructure city government. Peduto has called it a “soft landing” for employees who have dedicated their lives to the city but are not interested in working under a new set of expectations.
To be eligible for retirement from the city with a full pension, an employee must currently be at least 50 years old have at least eight years of service and their years of service plus their age must total at least 80. The early retirement offer would lower that last number to 70. The offer would only be on the table until Jan. 31.
“It’s very important that everybody get together this week and focus on these issues because we have workers here, in terms of transition, who are watching this very closely to understand what their options are going to be for their future,” Acklin said.
Acklin said he had hoped to have everyone’s questions answered by this point but he does not think a one-week delay will upset the process.
Assuming the bill passes, it still must be signed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Acklin said this is one place where the current administration has been very helpful to the transition team.
“In particular the finance director and the finance office has really worked with us from the very beginning on this, (even) before we presented it to Act 47 and the ICA,” Acklin said.
Acklin believes the mayor will sign the bill without delay.