Facing the prospect of deep budget cuts and hundreds of layoffs, the San Jose City Council is considering Mayor Chuck Reed’s request to declare a fiscal state of emergency. The declaration would give Reed the authority to amend labor contracts and pension deals. But union leaders and other critics say the move is illegal.

Sam Liccardo, San Jose City Council member and chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee
Ash Kalra, San Jose City Council member
Robert Sapien, president of the San Jose Firefighters IAFF Local 230
Chuck Reed, mayor of San Jose
Marcia Fritz, president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility

  • J Nava

    A good compromise should be that employees’ contributions to retirement accounts should increase (on a payroll deduction basis) when the retirement portfolio fails to produce the expected returns.  Right now only the employer is responsible for increasing its contributions.  If employees share in the risks, then they will be willing to take lower benefits.

    • Fair & Reasonable

      I think you have a good point that when the retirement portfolio fails to produced the expected returns, that the employees’ contributions need to increase — the risks do need to be shared.

  • Old Man

    Thank god people are finally starting to wake up to all the pending debt obligations being place on future generations.   How many of you non-public employees are going to get a six figure, lifetime pensions with a COLA starting at age 55?  Probably none.  See how many of your public servents are recieving 6-figure pensions:

  • Markb

    Why do you never lead with the facts that the rank and file are getting nowhere near these sweetheart deals.  The top administrator class for all these unions, public university and public employees control the deals are the ones robbing public trust.  It is not market driven for these scoundrels.  They are the ones doing the negotiating.  The average teachers and state and city employee pensions are tiny.    The top tier are destroying the budgets all over the country.  You never bring this up.  This is what needs to be fixed now.  Not destroying the puny pensions of the base of these unions.  The base employees were who these benefits were meant for in the first place.

  • Patricia Neyman

    Iverson’s skillful moderation generated exactly the discussion that needs to happen all over this country at local, state, and national levels.  All sides got a real chance to present their point of view and the reasons for it.  It gave me a lot to think about. 

    The point I would like to make is this. Salaries and pensions for government employees are WAY out of line compared to what most of us whose taxes are paying them.  Market schmarket.  I think the entity setting their pensions should include ordinary members ot the public.  

  • Reed Royalty

    Increasing the public employees’ contributions to their own pensions is not a reliable “fix” of the problem.  Most of our elected officials will be eager to give the employees a pay raise to make up for the higher contribution.  That’s not a temporary scam, either.  A pay raise becomes a permanent component of the employee’s pay, upon which future raises are calculated.   

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