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Nearly one-third of Fremont public safety workers retire on disability

I got some additional figures from the city this week.

First, average retirement ages:
Police officer — Age 52
Firefighter — Age 55

Also, since 2005, 80 public safety employees have retired from the city. Of those, 26 retired on disability. That’s 32.5 percent.

I’ve asked other cities to provide me with similar stats to add some context. But, at least compared with San Jose, Fremont’s disability rate is quite low. Two-thirds of San Jose firefighters and one-third of police officers retire on disability.

According to San Jose, that’s way too many.

Matt Artz

  • Mytown

    The city Manager should be checking into this. Just doesn’t sound right. Maybe the state should be checking into why the dr.s are signing off on so many.

    Don’t get me wrong, Police and Fire personal do a great service for our communities. But let’s be realistic, they shouldn’t be taking advantage of the system so grotesquely.

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    This scam is typical in California, and for firefighters in general.

    BTW, where’s Russ?

  • Jen

    Let’s not forget to mention those who collect disability and then go on to have jobs in other industries while still collecting their disability payments.
    As far as I’m concerned, if you can make money doing something else, you shouldn’t be collecting disability.

  • Audrey

    Wow, and this is funded by public money? Sad :(

  • Irvington

    A person’s disabilities do not disappear simply because they are able to make a living at a different job – that’s why the law recognizes that reasonable accommodations should be made for those with disabilities, so that they can again support themselves and contribute to society. Just because you can make a living in another way doesn’t mean that your daily activities are not still compromised by injuries that you may have suffered in your previous occupation.

    In addition to other skills, public safety careers require high levels of physical ability, which are tested frequently as a condition of employment – far more physical ability than is required from those who work in more sedentary occupations.

    Also, if you work while you receive SSI disability benefits, you must report your earnings to SSA as soon as you start working. SSA uses that info to compute a new, reduced benefit rate.

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    The fire union will fight to the death to preserve obscene overtime benefits, then turn around a complain about mostly fictitious disabilities caused by a career of strenuous work.

    If up to 2/3 of a city’s public safety workers are really disabled at the end of a relatively short career, then major changes need to be made to overtime rules to keep these men and women at a 40-50 hour/week average.

  • West

    This is a perfect example of a lack of leadership from the Mayor to the City Council, they took the easy way out. I do not want local politicians to take the easy way out.
    Remember this when the elections come up in 2012.
    We need a strong Mayor type of City government, along with district representation.
    We all know certain parts of the City is ignored, bit it is not Niles, are you listening Ardenwood?

  • charlie C

    #7..So who would a Niles dissing FCNer like you suggest then? Might you suggest some reasonable people to be our next Mayor and City Council representatives? Remember reasonable people want what’s best for their community!

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/parting-gifts-for-election-losers/ Marty

    I’d volunteer to represent Niles, and then run the place with an iron fist.

  • charlie C

    Only if you promise to pave Victory Court with gold… take whatever monies you need to get it done out of the cricket fields budget!

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/parting-gifts-for-election-losers/ Marty

    Charlie, I have a 3 point plan for Niles-

    Tax antiques out of town.

    Cement the taco truck to the pavement.

    Irrigate the hills above Niles so they’re green year round.

  • Mike R

    When these people retire at 52 and 55 what percentage of their salary do they retire with and how much have they contributed to their retirement?

  • John

    Sometimes the retirements are forced on the employee because the city gets tired of waiting for them to heal up.

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/parting-gifts-for-election-losers/ Marty

    Sometimes the retirements are forced on the employee because the city gets tired of waiting for them to heal up.

    Corrected that for you, John.

  • Gus Morrison

    Re 12 & 13

    Safety employees retire with a pension of 3% of their single highest year times the number of years of employment, to a maximum of 30 years. They have paid 9% of their salary toward their pensions. City employees do not pay into social security (FICA).

    Fremont does not have permanent light duty assignments and safety employees who are limited by permanent disability preventing them from fully exercising their normal duties must retire. I tried to find how that compensation is calculated, but was unsuccessful.

  • bbox231

    Seems like time at the animal shelter would certainly qualify as “light duty”.

    Sworn officers working the shelter is pretty uncommon as I visit other communities.