Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilman Bill Gates released a statement -- just before the Phoenix City Council considered the appointment of an Interim City Manager -- pledging not to approve a contract that would permit the next city manager to engage in pension spiking.
That is, the two said they would not support a contract that allows for unused sick and vacation time to be a part of the calculation for long-term pension payouts.
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Pension spiking is a practice in which employees inflate their pensions by applying unused sick days or vacation days to their final salaries before retiring. When that happens, taxpayers are on the hook for larger-than-normal pension payouts for those retirees.
City officials are expected this afternoon to appoint Assistant City Manager Ed Zuercher as Interim City Manager. He'll start his new post when David Cavazos steps down on Oct. 16, and will continue until a national search for a permanent city manager is complete.
"As I've said before, pension spiking undermines the public's trust that compensation for our employees is fair - it needs to end," Stanton states in the news release.
Gates adds: "Setting a clear line that we will end pension spiking for our next city manager is the right thing to do."