San Jose Reaches Pension Settlement With Public Safety Unions Over 2012 Cuts

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San Jose and the city’s public safety unions reached a settlement Wednesday, ending 3 years of litigation surrounding Measure B, a voter-approved package of pension cuts that was passed in 2012.

Measure B increased contribution rates for workers, eliminated retiree bonus checks and cut benefits for new hires. The settlement will restore benefits in some ways, but lock in cuts in other areas.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

After more than three years of bitter fighting, city and public safety union leaders Wednesday reached a tentative deal that would end litigation over the Measure B pension reforms voters overwhelmingly approved in 2012.

While the agreement Wednesday only covers retirement benefits for police and firefighters, Vice Mayor Rose Herrera said it would pave the way for settlements with other unions that also are suing the city.

“The other groups will look at this as a template,” Herrera said.


The proposed settlement would roughly maintain most parts of the measure already enacted, such as eliminating bonus checks for retirees and scaled-back pensions for new hires while abandoning provisions blocked by a trial judge’s 2013 ruling or which the council had not enacted, such as higher pension contributions from workers and some disability changes.

Police unions had argued the reforms made it extremely difficult to recruit talented officers. The number of officers employed by the San Jose Police Department has dropped dramatically since 2009, from 1,400 to 960.


Photo by Elektra Grey Photography via Flickr CC License

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