Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s elected public defender, is a modern-day Don Quixote tilting at unionized windmills while singing “To Dream the Impossible Pension Reform Dream.” The self-described progressive dared to take on that city’s powerful unions last year with his pension and health care reform measure, Proposition B. It lost 57 percent to 43 percent after being savaged and distorted by a $2.5 million union ad campaign.
Having licked his wounds and learned a few lessons, Adachi is once again saddling up to launch a new reform effort that has been dubbed “Son of B.” It’s actually triplets named Charter Amendments 1, 2 and 3. They differ in their requirements, with CA 1 requiring city employees to contribute more to their pensions; while CA 2 and CA 3 also require the employees to contribute to their health care. He needs to collect 46,177 signatures by July 11, and will decide later which measure to take to the ballot.
The measures share the following reforms:
* Pension spiking is eliminated;
* Employees with higher salaries have to contribute a greater percentage;
* Pensions are capped at $140,000;
* The retirement age for public safety employees is extended to 57 from the current 55 (and extended to age 65 instead of 62 for all others);
* New employees receive reduced benefits.
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