San Jose's Pension Cuts Land in Court
The city of San Jose’s pension reform measure, known as Measure B, is under scrutiny this week in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The issue is whether the city may make unilateral changes to retirement benefits that were decided in contract negotiations.
Yolanda Cruz is president of AFSCME, representing about 3,300 city employees.
"There are opportunities for us to make amendments and changes to things," Cruz says."But the most important part is that it’s a compromise. So if we give something up, we’re supposed to get something in return. Instead, what the mayor and the city manager have done is create something that is all takeaways."
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed says the outcome of the litigation could mean the difference between stability for San Jose or a future of huge budget shortfalls and service cuts.
"There are billions of dollars at stake, and those are the savings that the city will receive through the implementation of Measure B. It’s also at stake for other cities across the state as they struggle to find an alternative to bankruptcy, and that is controlling these skyrocketing retirement costs without having to go to bankruptcy court."
Voters approved Measure B a year ago.