SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed spent his New Year’s Day visiting fire stations, sitting in on police briefings and shaking hands with emergency dispatchers at the city’s communication center.

“These continue to be difficult budgetary times,” said Reed.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

Last year most city employees took a 10 percent pay cut. On top of that, Reed successfully convinced voters to weaken the city’s binding arbitration system, a system that he contends sent police and firefighter pensions soaring.

On Saturday Reed thanked city workers for their service, but unfortunately he said there are more tough times to come.

“There’s no doubt that changes are coming. Pensions are costing us huge amounts of money. We’re pouring money into the pension plans and draining money from other services,” said Reed.

According to Reed, negotiations start up again this month with 11 city employee unions. The mayor will be pushing for second-tier benefits for all- new employees to try to stem city expenses.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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