Unions sue to stop pension reform

Steven Greenhut: San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s modest pension reform measure has drawn the predictable lawsuit from the city’s public sector unions who, goes to figure, don’t even want to allow the city’s voters to have a say on the matter.There’s nothing unions fear more than an open process, given that their plundering of treasuries has taken place while the public wasn’t paying much attention.

Here is a press release from the initiative campaign, providing the latest info:


-Unions fight to stop San Francisco taxpayers from voting on pension reform in November-

San Francisco (August 11, 2010) – In an effort to stop San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi‘s Sustainable City Employees Benefits Reform Act from getting on the November ballot, several city employee labor unions have filed a lawsuit.  The suit, filed on August 10 by San Francisco Fire Fighters, Local 798, International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, Local 21, Service Employees International Union, Local 1021, the San Francisco Municipal Executives’ Association, and the San Francisco Police Officers Association attempts to discredit the Civil Grand Jury, the Department of Elections, the City Attorney and the rights over 77,000 San Franciscan’s who signed the petition and Adachi.

“The law has very specific requirements that must be followed in order to receive the approval from the Department of Elections for a measure to qualify for the ballot,” said Adachi.  “The democratic process by which The Sustainable City Employees Benefits Reform Act was approved both by the City Attorney through granting title and summary to the petition and by the Department of Elections when the signatures of 49,178 San Francisco voters were verified and accepted.  We as Americans have the freedom afforded to us by the Constitution to have our choices heard at the ballot box and the taxpayers have the right to address how their tax dollars are spent in San Francisco without interference from special interest groups.”

The lawsuit filed by the unions attacks the credibility of the Civil Grand Jury, the ability of the people of San Francisco who signed the petition to read, the City Attorney for granting title and summary to the measure, the rights of the voters to request that city employees pay into their own pensions and the right of the people of San Francisco to be informed of labor union bargaining agreements that direct taxpayer money towards employees rather than the preservation of city services and jobs.

On July 6, Adachi submitted over 77,000 signatures, well over the 46,000 required, for an initiative to qualify for the ballot.  The Department of Elections qualified the measure for the November ballot on August 2. If the measure is approved by voters in November it will save $170 million by requiring employees to contribute 9%  into their own pensions, which will include elected officials, and police and fire to contribute 10% . SF Smart Reform will maintain 100% medical coverage for all employees and allow a 50-50 shared provision for dependent healthcare.

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