For the first time in San Diego’s history, the mayor says he’s come to a five-year agreement with not just one labor organization but six labor groups.
For 18 years, Sgt. James Gartland has been able to call the beachfront his office. But for the past seven, it's been less than picture perfect.
"No, we've had pay cuts for the last seven years," Gartland said.
Those days are about to change.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bob Filner announced a long-awaited deal between the city and its 10,000 employees
It's a deal that gives annual pay raises adding up to about 5-percent over the next three years. In exchange, the city will save about $60 million in pension payments. Read Pay Increase Summary
Mayor Filner said the deal will give the city an incredible amount of money in its budget.
"That allows us to do things for employees, end the furloughs that were imposed,” Filner said.
“It allows us to add things to our budget like certain positions that we've added,” he said. “ It allows us to have a more optimistic view.”
San Diego will even get more money for the common complaint heard by city leaders in every district – potholes.
“We have more money for pothole repair than we've ever had in our history," Filner said.
While finally increasing paychecks for firefighters, police, and lifeguards among others, this compensation is clearly a compromise for both sides.
"Everybody had to give something to get here. Nobody got what they wanted, believe me," the mayor told reporters Tuesday.
"It isn't going to make us whole on what we've been cut,” Gartland said. “It's not going to keep up with the increases in healthcare, and the increases in cost of living."
But at the very least, Gartland says he's reminded every day why it costs so much to live here.
"I'm a lifeguard in San Diego. I'm lucky. I love my job," he said.
While the mayor is calling this a five-year agreement as far as the pension part of it goes, the pay raises will be negotiable again after year three.
The tentative agreements still have to be ratified by the unions' members. If so, they'll go into effect July 1st.