San Diego’s City Council passed a landmark 15-year retiree health care deal early Friday afternoon, a plan that Mayor Jerry Sanders has estimated will save $713 million over 25 years.

The council voted 6-2 in favor with Republican Councilman Kevin Faulconer joining the council’s five Democrats to support the package. Faulconer said he wanted to lock in savings rather than face the risk and cost of lawsuits against changes to the benefit.

The council’s two other Republicans, Carl DeMaio and Lorie Zapf, voted against the deal, saying the city had left too much money on the table and there hadn’t been enough time to vet the deal’s specifics. The accord became public last Friday and Sanders’ office has been slow to announce details.

The agreement tames a cost that had spiraled out of control for three decades, but won’t gain immediate savings for the city’s cash-starved budget. Representatives of five of the city’s six labor unions have signed off on the package, but workers still need to approve it. That approval is expected in the coming weeks.

More on this today, but for now here’s a link to my story about the deal’s details.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter:

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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