San Jose faces December decision on pensions

From the SJ Mercury:

The city of San Jose and its employee unions seem headed for a December showdown after months of talks produced no agreement on a pension reform measure that Mayor Chuck Reed wants to put before voters to deflate ballooning retirement costs.

With the Oct. 31 deadline for negotiations on ballot language passed, city and union leaders remain far apart. And it seems unlikely that mediation sessions will deliver an accord by early next month, when the City Council must decide whether to put a measure before voters in a March special election.

Union leaders have shown little interest in negotiating over ballot language that Reed and other council members have proposed. The union officials dismiss the proposals as an illegal violation of their “vested rights” to pensions. Union leaders argue that the proposals would be overturned in court, resulting in no savings and more layoffs.

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