Restraining Order Against Prop B Granted

Order will slow implementation of pension overhaul measure

By Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012  |  Updated 12:10 PM PDT
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Restraining Order Against Prop B Granted

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Many cities in San Diego county are struggling to support their share in employee pension costs.

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A state judge has granted a temporary restraining order against the recently voter-approved pension overhaul measure Proposition B.

The order was granted Tuesday at about 4:30 p.m., and attorneys were informed of the ruling Wednesday morning, said clerk Rick Cersosimo with the California Superior Court.

The order will effectively halt any implentation of Prop. B, the pension initiative that switches all new city employees except police officers to 401k-style retirement plans.

The California Public Employment Retirement Board (PERB) asked a judge for the temporary restraining order to stop Prop B's implementation until legal challenges can be heard.

The order was granted on the condition that the City and PERB meet and confer about implementing some of the measure's most time-sensitive issues, according to court documents obtained by NBC 7 Wednesday.

"Both parties represent the imposition of the [Temporary Restraining Order] will not halt meet and confer efforts," the opinion read.

Click here to read the temporary restraining order.

The temporary restraining order is in effect until the measure's July 27 administrative hearing.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said during the hearing Tuesday that the city needs time to meet and confer with the unions on how to hire new employees under Prop B.

"You're ordering us to violate our charter which we can't do," Goldsmith said. "That's the rock and the hard spot"

But the union's attorney Ann Smith argued any delay in hiring new employees while the details are sorted out adds pressure to union workers to stop fighting.

She said Tuesday each delay in adding new staff, forces union workers to work longer hours and denies the public the benefits of a complete city staff solving and fixing problems.

"We have been bargaining and partnering with the city all the way along," Smith said during the hearing. "But you would not know it from a word that comes out of everybody here in the city."

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