The Portland police union is challenging reforms voters overwhelmingly approved last week to the city’s police and fire retirement fund, reports the Oregonian. The reforms, expected to save taxpayers $47 million over 25 years, are set to take effect Jan. 1. The union this week filed a grievance with city officials to block the reforms from taking effect. The union contends the city failed to negotiate changes that will affect members’ pension and disability benefits.
The city’s unique $110 million-a-year public safety fund, which pays for police and firefighters pension and disability benefits, is financed by taxpayers through annual property taxes. Last week, 75 percent of Portland voters approved changes to how police and firefighters’ pensions are calculated and curtailed certain retroactive pay increases to retirees’ pensions created by new labor contracts.