First Hurdle Cleared in Implementing Pension Reform in San Diego, But Big Ruling Still to Come

Might we actually, really, actually, for real, (really, y’all) start seeing real pension reform catch on in California?

A judge in San Diego decided today the city can go ahead and start implementing the reforms approved by voters in June through Proposition B. The proposition will put new city employees into 401(k) plans rather than pension funds and freezes the amount of pay used to determine pension levels for existing employees for five years. More Via the San Diego Union-Tribune:

The state Public Employment Relations Board, along with employee unions, had asked for an injunction through at least October as the agency investigated a union complaint. Labor accuses Mayor Jerry Sanders of illegally circumventing state labor law by crafting Proposition B as a citizens’ initiative and then using the power and influence of his office to gather signatures on its behalf.

The city contends no labor negotiations were required because it was placed on the ballot through the gathering of 116,000 signatures from registered voters not by a legislative act of the City Council.

Judge Luis Vargas had previously issued a temporary restraining order preventing the city from taking any action on Proposition B. That order expired Friday and he refused Tuesday to grant a longer injunction.

In his written ruling, Vargas said he was satisfied with the progress made by the city and its unions on negotiating the terms of an interim 401(k) plan for new hires and noted that PERB will still have an opportunity to rule on the initiative’s legality.

As that last sentence notes, this ruling doesn’t actually end the fight. Vargas simply ruled that San Diego can start implementing Prop. B while the legality of the proposition is challenged.  

In other California union news, unions have raised $10 million to fight Proposition 32 so far, the November initiative that stops direct political donations to candidates from corporations and unions, but more importantly, stops payroll deductions as a tool to fund political activity.

By contrast, those evil corporate thugs who would like to turn the rich, vibrant economy of California into their own massive polo field have raised a mere $1.7 million.

That hasn’t stopped opponents from declaring the proposition favors rich and powerful business leaders who don’t have to take money from their workers’ paychecks to support candidates (this is apparently a bad thing) and won’t do anything about super PACs. As I’ve pointed out before, this argument is hilarious, because the opposition to the ballot initiative is organized by Alliance for a Better California 2012, funded by three different PACs. Isn’t that a Super PAC?

And in Los Angeles, Tyrone Freeman, former Service Employees International Union leader, faces 15 federal charges of stealing from union dues and a union charity and funneling the money to himself and his family. That’s also probably corporate America’s fault as well, for making fancy and expensive things in the first place.

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  • Ken Shultz||

    And in Los Angeles, Tyrone Freeman, former Service Employees International Union leader, faces 15 federal charges of stealing from union dues and a union charity and funneling the money to himself and his family.

    Thank God for unions. Otherwise, it'd just be a "race to the bottom"!

    LOL

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I wonder how much of the charges are just the usual piling-on that seems to be the vogue these days. Lying to a mortgage official? Violated tax laws? Those sound like the kind of charges anyone could be held up to. Billing the union for costs from his wedding? That could just be the usual swindle of talking about something for 5 seconds and calling it a business lunch.

    Unions are cesspools of corruption almost by definition, but US prosecutors aren't exactly paragons of virtue either. The main good I see is it ties up both of them and keeps them off everybody elses' backs for a while.

    I think the key is that the union is so mad at him that they sicced the feds on him and banned him for life. He probably didn't pay off the right flunkies.

  • Brutus||

    "...thugs who would like to turn the rich, vibrant economy of California into their own massive polo field..."

    Migelito, fetch me a cucumber sandwich, and the crusts had better be cut off!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "!Si, Jefe, right after I finish polishing your monocle!"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That hasn’t stopped opponents from declaring the proposition favors rich and powerful business leaders who don’t have to take money from their workers’ paychecks to support candidates...

    If the Incans are stupid enough to fall for this then they get the economy they deserve.

  • R C Dean||

    turn the rich, vibrant economy of California into their own massive polo field

    Substitute "undeveloped open spaces" for "polo field", and you've just described the greens and their multitudinous allies in California.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Here's an idea; why not pay them in cash up-front and let them take care of their own goddam old age pensions and health care?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Watch The Godfather, parts 1 and 2, and Goodfellas, and see if the answer comes to you.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They'll wind up eating their horses?

  • Homple||

    The "Really Big Ruling" will be issued sooner or later by arithmetic.

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