San Jose police officers and firefighters Wednesday made good on promises to legally challenge San Jose's voter-approved pension reform with a pair of lawsuits filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
San Jose voters Tuesday approved Measure B by a nearly 70-percent margin. Mayor Chuck Reed championed the measure to control pension costs that have soared from $73 million to $245 million in a decade and are projected to continue rising, outpacing revenues and forcing the city to cut staffing and services to residents to cover the bill.
But unions maintained the measure violates court rulings that prohibit government employers from reducing workers' pension benefits during their career without offering something comparable in return.
"Measure B is unlawful and unconstitutional," said Christopher Platten, an attorney for the firefighters. "Measure B impairs promises made to current and retired San Jose employees for decades."
The unions asked the court to block implementation of Measure B's provisions while the case is decided.
"If we lose, so be it, but we'll at least try to fight it," said San Jose Police Officers' Association President Jim Unland.
Reed said he was not surprised by the union lawsuits. San Jose preemptively filed suit in federal court Tuesday seeking a ruling affirming Measure B's legality.
"This is California," Reed said. "Nothing important happens without litigation." Read more at Contra Costa Times