SAN JOSE (KCBS) — A challenge to a controversial pension reform measure passed by San Jose voters last June has been cleared to go to the courts, after a decision made by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Harris has granted the San Jose Police Officers’ Association permission to seek a judicial ruling where they have sued the city over Measure B.

“This is a huge move forward in our claims that the mayor bargained in bad faith and didn’t fulfill his obligations and put forward any legal ballot measure,” said James Gonzales, who sits on the SJPOA board.

San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle called the AG’s action a “procedural matter” and still thinks the city will prevail in court, explaining that the city went through nearly 18 months of negotiation with all bargaining units.

“I should note that there are four other complaints pending with PERB [California Public Employee Relations Board] that are the same, it’s just that PERB has jurisdiction over those. This will have to go to Superior Court, but it’s the same claim that the unions are making that the city, in spite of 18 months of negotiations did not negotiate in good faith,” said Doyle.

In a statement, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said he’s confident that the courts will agree that the city bargained in good faith and fulfilled its entire meet and confer obligations.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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