- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A union representing state engineers is agreeing to contribute toward workers’ retirement health care benefits for the first time.

The deal likely sets a precedent for other California unions to help reduce the state’s pension liability.

The Sacramento Bee reports Wednesday (https://bit.ly/1EBpH1y ) that Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration reached the tentative three-year agreement with the Professional Engineers in California Government.

It calls for members to begin paying half a percent of their pre-tax salaries into a fund in mid-2017, with higher contributions after that being partially offset by salary increases.

Coverage for new employees and dependents would fall to 80 percent, from 100 percent for workers and 90 percent for dependents. Employees hired starting in 2016 would have to work another five years to be vested.

The contract still requires ratification.

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