Union representatives announced Wednesday that they have filed lawsuits against the city of San Jose to contest the legality of pension reform Measure B, which voters passed with 70% approval Tuesday night, according to semi-final results.
Measure B's approval, a victory for staunch supporter San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, prompted representatives of city employees to file two
lawsuits in state court Wednesday morning.
Among the changes contained in Measure B, new employees would pay 50 percent of pension costs, while current employees would be given the option to choose a lower-cost plan or pay more for their current one.
The measure would also give the City Council the right to temporarily suspend retiree cost-of-living adjustments during fiscal emergencies and would require voter approval for any future increases in retirement benefits.
Reed has said the city's retirement costs have tripled in the last decade and now cost the city $245 million per year.
Some union leaders and lawyers representing city employees say Measure B is unconstitutional because it allows the city to walk away from a
contract it made with employees.
Attorney Gregg Adam also filed a lawsuit Wednesday morning on behalf of about 1,065 current San Jose police employees.
In a statement Wednesday, Reed said he disagreed with union representatives, and that "Measure B was carefully crafted to follow California Law."
Reed went on to cite the California Constitution, which gives charter cities like San Jose the authority to follow their charters regarding
compensation for city employees.
The two lawsuits filed by unions Wednesday morning come as no surprise. Union leaders had said they would contest if voters approved the
measure, according to union consultant Tom Saggau, and the law was written to give time for such debate before going into effect in July of next year, according to Michelle McGurk, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office.
According to McGurk, the city also filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday night seeking validation of Measure B.