MORAGA -- Town workers will see their salaries rise over the next two years after agreeing to up their retirement contributions as part of new employee contracts kicking in next month.

According to the new agreements, employees ranging from the police chief to the administrative services technician will receive 2 percent base salary increases next fiscal year. Those raises will be followed by 1 percent pay increases in 2014-15.

In exchange, non-public-safety town staffers in the state's CalPERS retirement system will start paying on July 1 the entire employee contribution rate for retirement costs. The town currently pays 3 percent of those costs.

Sworn police officers and "miscellaneous" employees will also start picking up their entire share of retirement contribution costs. Police will pay the 9 percent CalPERS employee contribution rate now that the town is dropping the 3 percent employee contribution share it paid in addition to the employer contribution.

"Getting all employees to pay their full employee share of retirement costs is something we all feel is what the public demands and is consistent with the governor's Pension Reform Act," said Moraga Police Chief Bob Priebe in an e-mail.

Approved unanimously by the town council May 22, the agreements help Moraga maintain a balanced budget and lessen the risk of increased future costs, according to staff. The agreements also incorporate new pension guidelines approved last year, including the sharing of employer pension costs by public agencies and employees.


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According to the new police contract, public safety employees hired after Jan. 1 enrolled in CalPERS' "2 percent at 50/2.7 percent at 57" retirement program will pay 11.5 percent of the CalPERS contribution; Moraga will pay the other half.

The town will also continue to offer three medical plans, including a higher quality plan in which employees will pay 20 percent of their monthly premium rate. Staffers also agreed to cover future plan increases exceeding 12 percent up to 25 percent.

"I think the new agreements keep us balanced at Moraga's minimal government levels, and sustainable into the future," said Town Manager Jill Keimach, who also lauded staff for being creative and aware of the town's limited resources.

Other changes include a revised work schedule in which employees -- except police, public works and parks maintenance staff -- will work a 9-day, 80-hour schedule. The shift from a 10-day work schedule every two weeks means town offices will be closed every other Friday but public counter hours will be extended during the week.

A $50 cell phone allowance for department directors and a $50,000-per-employee life insurance increase for police officers are also part of the deals.

Staffers say the net cost to the town for the changes is $52,704 in the fiscal year beginning July 1. Net costs for fiscal year 2014-15 are projected to be $114,299.