Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding chapter 32 of the General Laws or any other general law or special law to the contrary, the city of Taunton may institute an early retirement program on the same terms, conditions and eligibility requirements as those contained in section 116 of chapter 46 of the acts of 2003, except as otherwise provided herein.
SECTION 2. The authority granted to the city by this act may be exercised if a majority of the city council of the city votes to accept this act and then the mayor of the city formally approves this act, both of which must occur within 30 days of the effective date of this act.
SECTION 3. Any employee eligible under authority of this act shall file his application for retirement not later than a date determined by the mayor of the city, which shall be no later than September 1, 2004; provided, however, that the retirement date for eligible employees shall be determined by the mayor and shall not be earlier than the effective date of this act and shall be no later than September 30, 2004.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding section 116 of chapter 46 of the acts of 2003, the executive authority, in consideration of the benefits conferred in this act, shall negotiate to agreement any payment due to the employees for accrued vacation time, unused sick leave, and other payments to employees usually made at the time of retirement in accordance with chapter 150E. Notwithstanding the negotiation referenced in this section, payments shall be made over a period of 5 years. Any payments due, as provided in this section, shall commence, at the earliest, on July 1, 2005.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.