Ohio Senate Bill 5 Continues the Debate Over Pension Pickups (Toledo Blade)

Senate Bill 5 would weaken government workers' ability to collectively bargain for employment terms and rights. Among other things, it could ban the option of pension pickups commonly included in Toledo's contracts with city workers. Donato Iorio, attorney for the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association and Firefighters Local 92, explained the history of the so-called pickups, which have been wrongly characterized as windfalls for workers.

Even with the pickups, he said, compensation for Toledo’s police and firefighters in many years has trailed that of other major Ohio cities, nearly all of which offer no pickups. For instance, in 2000, police officers across the state saw an average pay increase of 3.95 percent, according to SERB data. That compares to a salary increase in Toledo of 3 percent plus a 0.5 increase in pension pickup.

He said workers would have preferred strict pay raises over pension pickups because the raises would have meant more money in the long run in additional overtime and pension payments tied to the base wage.

Read the full Toledo Blade article: "Retirement Perk Plays Major Role in City Contracts."