The city of San Diego’s firefighter union continued to air the details of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ closed-door contract proposals this week, with Local 145 saying the mayor’s offer to eliminate the current plan would cut back benefits by $1,000.

The Mayor’s Office has said it is sticking to an agreement generally made with unions to keep the details of their talks private. The firefighters union says it eschewed the agreement this year when the City Attorney’s Office couldn’t promise confidentiality.

The mayor is seeking to trim what is now a cafeteria-style health plan, with city officials saying the city could get a better price if it consolidated the plans that currently allow employees to purchase health care through either the city or its union.

A press release from the firefighters reads:

By eliminating the cafeteria-style flexible benefits program, the City is seeking to save $1M by reducing the benefits contribution for firefighters by approximately $1,000 per member.

Ron Saathoff, President of San Diego City Fire Fighters Local 145, said of the proposal “the Mayor’s office has already proposed the worst retirement system in San Diego County, and this proposal would make the least-competitive health care benefits even worse. This will have significant impact in future years on our ability to recruit and retain quality employees …

Last month, the firefighters’ release of the mayor’s pension proposal led to a dustup with the police union.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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