San Jose's Measure B Settlement Talks Move in Right Direction

Years of acrimonious labor relations and expensive litigation around Measure B's pension reform may finally be coming to an end. Last week, the San Jose officials and various City Unions began settlement talks to resolve the Measure B dispute and replace it with a new, more competitive pension benefit for Tier 2 employees. The tenor, tone and substance of the discussions represented a sea change in attitude from what we have experienced in recent years, and we are cautiously optimistic that a settlement can be reached.

During the first meeting between the City and Federated Unions, we quickly reached agreement on the framework and ground rules for these litigation settlement discussions and we discussed ways to improve the Tier 2 pension benefit. While many challenges and hurdles remain, Mayor Sam Liccardo and the new Council clearly want a new direction away from the bitterness and division of the Chuck Reed years.

Moreover, the interim City Manager and other City officials have demonstrated an inclination to engage City unions in good faith discussions to find mutual solutions to the issues facing the City.

By working together, we can overcome the antagonism of recent years and restore City services to levels of which we can all be proud. Critical to this endeavor will be the stabilization of the City workforce and ensuring the City of San Jose can attract the talented and committed staff it needs to deliver those services.