Political Leaders, Unions Work on Separate Proposals Amid Disputes Over How to Revamp San Francisco Retirement System
Local leaders in San Francisco are so at odds over how to overhaul the city’s pensions for public employees that different constituencies are crafting competing ballot measure for the fall, a situation that political observers say could confuse voters and prevent any proposal from winning a needed majority.
Interim Mayor Ed Lee announced a pension proposal earlier this month that would boost employee contributions and raise the retirement age for new hires. Public defender Jeff Adachi has devised at least three ballot proposals, one of which he says will end up on the ballot. And the city’s labor leaders are crafting their own potential ballot measure.
The groups have until May 24 to present their plans to the Board of Supervisors, which must approve measures for the November vote.
The push to remake the pension system comes as San Francisco faces a projected surge in budget deficits in the next few years. Rising labor and pension costs are a big factor in the shortfalls, say political leaders. Union officials counter that the financial crisis and huge investment losses are to blame.
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