Local labor leaders want former firefighter on benefits committee

Monday, March 21, 2011 at 6:13pm
Staff reports

Three key members of Nashville’s organized labor community are requesting Mayor Karl Dean place B.R. Hall on Metro’s Study and Formulation Committee.

Doug Collier, president of Service Employees International Union, Local 205; Gary Moore, president of International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 140; and Robert Weaver, president of Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5, sent the letter, dated March 21, to Dean noting Hall would be “an asset with which to draw upon.” Hall is a retired firefighter.

The five-member benefits review committee, which the Metro Charter requires the mayor to appoint every five years, has been tasked with studying the benefits, contributions, extent of coverage and actuarial soundness of Metro’s disability plan, retirement plan and medical and life insurance plans.

Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling has said one item on the table will be exploring the possibility of increasing the length of required Metro service to 10 years for an employee to receive Metro pensions. Currently, employees must complete five years of government service to receive a pension.

Of note, Dean recently appointed Gerald Nicely, former Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner; Dot Berry, retired director of the Metro Human Resources Department; Steve Farner, assistant regional manager for the Laborers’ International Union of North America; Betty Nixon, a former Metro council member; and Bruce Young, retired audit partner at Ernst & Young. 

The letter does not specific if the three union leaders want Dean to add Hall or drop one of the existing five appointees.

When reached late Monday afternoon, Dean spokeswoman Janel Lacy said she could not comment on the letter as she had not yet seen it. Lacy noted the committee has Farner, a labor official.

2 Comments on this post:

By: BigPapa on 3/22/11 at 7:32

Dot Berry, REALLY?? She's clueless, and BR Hall has never met a Metro employee that he didnt think needed to receive a disability pension.

By: jsnap on 3/22/11 at 12:44

Right on Big PaPa. I wonder if the Mayor will give in to the unions?