City Balks on Halting Pension Talks

UPDATED: When Alex Gurza gives an update on labor negotiations to the City Council on Tuesday, he’ll have some explaining to do about pension reform negotiations. City officials refused to discuss pension reform on Friday with unions so they could focus on language for a ballot measure. Union representatives responded by walking out. On Monday, Gurza said he was sorry and his office asked the unions to come back to the bargaining table.


Rocha: Fiscal Reforms Invite Lawsuits

Mayor Chuck Reed’s fiscal reforms, which would declare a fiscal emergency that allows the city charter to be changed in an effort to slash soaring public employee pension costs, will be discussed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. While it seems likely Reed will get the necessary votes to begin the process—he already has the support of Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and councilmembers Rose Herrera and Sam Liccardo—Councilmember Donald Rocha is suggesting the city stop, take a deep breath and consider the possible litigation that could ensue.

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Stadium, Pension Cuts on Same Ballot?

Mayor Chuck Reed sent a letter to Bud Selig last week, once again urging the Major League Baseball commissioner to come to a decision that would grant the Oakland A’s permission to relocate to San Jose. A few days later, the mayor announced that San Jose was in a fiscal and public safety emergency, and he wants the city to move toward putting measures on a November ballot to slash public-employee retirement benefits. The timing of the two actions could be coincidental. But then again, maybe not.


San Jose Firefighters Make Concessions

UPDATED WITH CORRECTION: Firefighters Union Local 230 and the city are on the verge of reaching an agreement that would reduce the deficit and possibly even get back some jobs. The most radical concession involves the introduction of a two-tiered retirement plan, and distinguishes between employees hired before and after the agreement is signed. It will be the first such plan for public employees in the entire country.