City Needs More Time for Prop B, City Attorney Says

Union leaders hope hearing will slow implementation of pension overhaul measure

By Lauren Steussy
|  Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012  |  Updated 5:23 PM PDT
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State Board Hears Prop B Arguments

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

The San Diego City Attorney was back in the courtroom today, arguing about the implementation of Proposition B.

Prop. B is the pension initiative that switches all new city employees except police officers to 401k-style retirement plans.

The California Public Employment Retirement Board is asking a judge for a restraining order to stop Prop B's implementation until legal challenges can be heard.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said 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 says 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."

The judge is expected to rule quickly on the request for the restraining order.

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