Pension Reform Measure Headed For San Jose Ballot

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The San Jose City Council voted Tuesday to place a controversial pension reform measure on the June ballot, an initiative that union leaders vow to fight.

Before the vote was taken, city workers addressed the council, urging them to not put the measure on the ballot.

“I am here today to urge the council to not push forward and support the mayor’s illegal ballot measure,” said Yolanda Cruz, president of the city’s largest labor union.

“We need real solutions with real outcomes that will protect all residents of San Jose. In the past year, my union and I personally have been scapegoated as unwilling participants in addressing pension issues,” Cruz said.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

The San Jose City Council passed the measure on an 8-3 vote. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, who cast one of the “yes” votes, said retirement costs have to be reined in.

“10 years ago, $73 million was what we spent on retirement costs. This year, we spent $245 million,” Reed said. “Those are actual dollars spent.”

Union leaders argued that it is unconstitutional to change the vested rights of current city workers and plan to challenge the ballot measure in the courts if the measure passes.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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