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JEA Board Approves Financial Protections For Employees

JEA headquarters exterior
Bill Bortzfield

The JEA board on Tuesday unanimously approved contracts with all five unions representing JEA employees, giving some assurance that if there is a privatization deal for the utility, employees would get enhanced pension benefits for their retirement nest eggs and retention bonuses for continuing to work with the utility in the face of career uncertainty.

All five contracts will go next to City Council for its consideration and final ratification in November, over the next couple of months, except for the provision for pension benefits that is slated to come up for a vote by council at its Tuesday night meeting.

That pension legislation also would make clear that if there is a deal for JEA, the entity that takes over would have zero financial obligation for several hundred million dollars of unfunded pension obligations already earned by JEA employees and retirees. Those obligations would rest solely with City Hall.

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