CA Supreme Court Delivers Huge Pension Victory to SD Workers

AFSCME Local 127 won an enormous legal victory over the City of San Diego some days ago related to the City-sponsored local ballot measure, Proposition B.  This neasure stripped many of our members of hard-earned retirement security by replacing guaranteed pensions with 401(k)-style retirement plans for all newly hired city employees except police officers. Prop. B also froze wage increases for five years. 

The victory in the Supreme Court case, Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board, was in all the news headlines over the past week or so because of the importance of this case for the pension security and union rights of all public employees across the state.

Local 127 told the City all along that Prop. B was an illegal attempt to weaken worker pensions and worker power. The City was required to negotiate any proposed changes in our pensions directly with the union because a union must be brought to the bargaining table on every issue that affects members' wages, hours, and working conditions. Instead, the City arrogantly ignored the warnings.

Local 127 won the case at the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), but the City won at the Court of Appeals, so we took the case to the State Supreme Court.  With this decision, the Supreme Court vindicates the union and in a bit of irony, remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals to come up with a remedy. 

Perhaps the biggest lesson of the Prop. B victory is that by standing together with its labor partners, AFSCME District Council 36 and the Municipal Employees Association, the union has a powerful voice.  It has been a long tough battle but, like the 3.3% raise the Local negotiated into last month's paycheck, it proves that determination and unity will deliver victory!