US - San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders' plans to cut pension costs took a tentative step forward after two proposed ballot measures were unanimously forwarded to the full city council.
While they would cut San Diego’s costs, city employees feel they would come unfairly at their expense and are opposed to the measure.
This week, the City Council's Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental relations committee voted in favour of allowing the full City Council consider the two new reforms.
If approved, the first would require voters to approve any increase in employee pension benefits, while the second would allow San Diego outsource to a number of city jobs, such as trash pickup and custodial services.
Mayor Sanders said: It is my deeply held belief these two ballot measures are a critical part of the reform efforts we need at City Hall.”
While it is early days - a council vote is only expected end of the month - city employees have already voiced their opposition.
Earlier, a number of city employees picketed outside the Mayor’s office, carrying signs with slogans including Mayor Sanders, stop insulting city employees.
Much has been made of Sander’s proposed pension reforms, after California Governor last year unsuccessfully proposed his own raft of reforms.
Schwarzenegger had called for a reduction of pension costs by dismantling the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) - which have a combined portfolio of over US$300bn - and replacing them with DC programmes .
That proposal was heavily opposed by public sector pension funds, and came to nothing after Schwarzenegger was defeated in the 2005 special election.
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