Vote delayed on Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto's buyout plan

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A vote on Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's proposal to usher out some long-time city employees with buyouts was delayed today until council can hold a public hearing.

The legislation is a central aspect of Mr. Peduto's plan to restructure government with fresh faces using Talent City, a foundation-backed initiative that opened up many city jobs to national searches. He has also described it as a way to provide a "soft landing" for those not on board with his administration.

Under the current version of the bill, whose official sponsor is now Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, those with a combined age and years of service of 70 or more would be eligible to receive a lump sum payment to retire. The payment would be equal to 2.5 weeks of pay for every year of service, with a cap of a year's pay.

An earlier version of the bill lowered the requirements for employees to retire with a full pension, a proposal that Mr. Peduto said would be cost-neutral because he planned to eliminate about a third of the jobs left vacant by early retirees. But that plan was derailed when then-Mayor Luke Ravenstahl threatened to veto the bill. It also faced opposition from state overseers, who said it violated the city's financial recovery plan.

The hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday at 1 p.m. in city council chambers.

Moriah Balingit: or 412-263-2533. Twitter: @MoriahBee. First Published January 15, 2014 12:12 PM

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