San Jose Unions Offer Concessions On Pensions

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Five San Jose unions on Wednesday submitted a pension reform plan to San Jose elected officials that called a “fair compromise” to cut $467 million from the city’s pension costs over the next five years.

The proposals from the unions representing San Jose police officers, firefighters, architects and engineers, middle managers, and maintenance supervisors would raise the retirement age significantly, and decrease the rate at which pension benefits are earned.

The concessions from police and firefighters account for $280 million of the total savings.

Additional provisions from the police and firefighters unions include an option for current and new police and fire employees to move to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, pension plan.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Moreover, the police union would drop its arbitration over whether members’ 10 percent pay cut continues on an ongoing basis, a move that would save an additional $30 million in the next fiscal year, said George Beattie, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association.

Beattie said the proposals submitted Wednesday are a better alternative to the mayor’s plan, which calls for setting limits on retirement benefits for new and current employees and retirees — a plan that Beattie said is “illegal” because it attempts to nullify employee contracts.

The president of San Jose Firefighters Local 230 said the unions had put forward a legal plan that meets the city’s long-term goals and provides immediate savings.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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