Peduto wins early vote to allow 136 early retirements of Pittsburgh employees

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Pittsburgh City Council gave a preliminary nod to an early retirement plan proposed by Mayor-elect Bill Peduto to ease out some at-will employees when he takes office at the start of next year.

The plan would impact 136 employees, allowing those whose combined age plus years of service is 70 to retire with a full pension, shaving 10 years off current requirements.

If every eligible employee takes the buyout, the plan could cost upwards of $2 million a year for ten years. But today Mr. Peduto called that unlikely.

He plans to eliminate or combine some of the positions left vacant by retirees in order to make the proposal revenue-neutral over time.

The bill passed with a bare majority. Mr. Peduto, Councilman Bruce Kraus and Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith and Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak voted in favor.

Three members -- Councilman Corey O'Connor, R. Daniel Lavelle and Council President Darlene Harris -- abstained.

The bill is up for a final vote next Tuesday.

At-will employees are those without union or civil service protection. It's a category that covers a multitude of positions, including the mayor's chief of staff, crossing guards, lifeguards and non-union clerk typists.

Mr. Peduto plans to open positions with salaries of $70,000 or more for national searches through Talent City, a foundation-backed initiative that will allow third parties vet and select job candidates. It's an effort meant to take patronage and politics out of hiring.

Moriah Balingit: or 412-263-2533. Twitter: @MoriahBee.

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