The council approved the contracts with little debate, saying they were happy with the outcome of the negotiations and thankful for a staff that works hard to keep the city running. It was the second public hearing of the negotiating process, as required by the city’s labor relations ordinance, though no public comments were made.
“The commitment from all of our staff and especially the leadership makes … the city the beautiful place that it is,” Mayor Dr. Julian Gold said. “You don’t find that everywhere, and we’re very fortunate for that. It’s much of what keeps Beverly Hills the way Beverly Hills is.”
“It was definitely a thorough negotiation,” Councilmember Sharona Nazarian added. “The cost of living has gone up, so we want to be able to support our employees and I feel that this is a fair and balanced agreement.”
Councilmember John Mirisch, who cast the sole dissenting vote, also praised the city’s employees for their service but said that the contracts did not implement needed pension reforms.
“I can’t support an agreement that does not address the pension system,” Mirisch said. “I think we need to move to either a hybrid plan or a defined contribution system such as – and this would be very generous – but such as is available for people in the private sector.”
Under the new contracts, which expire Oct. 2, 2026, each of the six employee associations will see salary increases over the next three years, according to a staff report. Though the first-year increases vary for some of the associations, all will receive a 4.5% increase in the second and third years.
Additionally, each association will receive a paid holiday on Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, as well as increased health benefits and compensatory time off, which is earned in lieu of overtime pay.
Members of the Municipal Employees’ Association part-time unit also received vision insurance and the options to enroll in a flexible spending account and apply for internal promotional opportunities.
The new contracts also increase reimbursements for tools, safety boots and glasses purchased by employees, increases the number of vacation hours that employees can cash out on, and raises the maximum benefits of long-term disability insurance for certain employee associations.
Another provision allows the city to make schedule changes without meeting and conferring with employees.
According to a staff report, the new contracts will result in a spending increase of approximately $12.6 million over the three-year period, and the council also voted to appropriate $1.177 million for the 2023-24 fiscal year to cover the difference between what was budgeted and what was negotiated.
That money is being drawn from 16 different funds, with $660,000, by far the largest amount, coming from the general fund.
The six employee associations include the Municipal Employees’ Association full-time unit, the Municipal Employees’ Association part-time unit, the Beverly Hills Confidential Employees’ Association, the Beverly Hills Supervisors’ Association, the Management and Professional Employees’ Association, and the Safety Support Association.
For more information on the negotiations and agreements, visit beverlyhills.org/departments/humanresources/negotiations/.