Posted on June 12 2012 – 8:30 PM – Posted by: Doug Brady
On Tuesday night, as the word spread that sweeping pension reform measures for public employees had won landslide victories in San Diego and San Jose, the highest-profile group opposing such reform in the Golden State put out a conciliatory statement. The Californians for Retirement Security said it respected the decisions of voters. But the union-funded group also lamented the failure of city leaders to pursue such cost-saving reforms through collective bargaining.
Not mentioned: the fact that when it comes to real pension reform, as opposed to tinkering on the margins, unions’ consistent response to elected officials has been, “Get lost.”
And on Wednesday and Thursday, it became clear that “respect” for voters’ decisions didn’t mean accepting those decisions. In San Jose, public employee unions sued to block the pension reform initiative. In San Diego, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith outlined his plans to try to defeat similar lawsuits filed earlier and to fight off the union-allied state Public Employment Relations Board, which tried to scuttle the city’s pension reform measure months before it was voted on. And in Sacramento, Democratic legislative leaders once again made clear that Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform proposal is just not a priority.