General Crime

* San Jose Can Do Better-Vote No on Measure B in San Jose

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What Is Measure B?

Measure B is an illegal and unjust initiative appearing on the June 5, 2012 San Jose ballot. Falsely claiming to provide reasonable changes to city pensions, it wastes millions of tax dollars on high-priced lawyers while delaying real San Jose pension reform for years while it’s tied up in court. The extremist measure unfairly slashes the modest pay of librarians, 911 operators, park rangers and other city workers, forcing many of them out of their homes and out of our city. San Jose needs real solutions that work, NOT Measure B.

Claim vs. Reality

Claim: Current employees pay an additional 16% of salary to keep current retirement plan, or opt-in to a system that slashes retirement security and increases retirement age. (Section 1506-A & 1507-A)

Reality: Ignores sixty years of court rulings overturning similar proposals due to violation of contract clause of the U.S. Constitution and California Constitution.

Reality: Measure B pension modification will be tied up in lengthy court battle, with little hope of survival. Millions of taxpayer dollars will be wasted on high-priced lawyers.

Reality: The opt-in program requires IRS approval which hasn’t been granted to any opt-in plan since 2005. With no opt-in, ALL employees forced to take an additional 16% reduction.

Reality: Most city workers will see their salary reduced by one-quarter between 2011-2013 even if Measure B fails. With Measure B, that’s a 42% wage reduction between 2011-2016.

Reality: City employees are not eligible for Social Security. Their pension is all they have for retirement. There is no safety net.

Claim: Measure applies to all City employees

Reality: Measure B does not apply to the Mayor or City Council. Their pensions are untouched by Measure B

Claim: Curbs abuses to disability retirement benefits, by defining an employee disabled if they cannot do the work they did before, and cannot perform any other job described in the City’s classification plan in their retirement system. (Section 1509-A)

Reality: Employees severely injured while providing City services aren’t considered disabled if they can perform ANY other job – even if no openings exist for that position!

Claim: Prohibits any enhanced retirement benefits without voter approval. (Section 1504-A)

Reality: Significantly undercuts basic worker rights regarding collective bargaining. Similar collective bargaining attacks are underway in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and elsewhere, funded by the right-wing and tea-party activists.

Reality: Negotiations are typically a give-and-take process. Past pay adjustments have been relinquished in exchange for better retirement security. This effectively prevents such negotiations.

Claim: Suspends Cost of Living Adjustments for retirees for up to five years during a fiscal emergency (Section 1510-A).

Reality: Courts have consistently ruled that reductions like these are unlawful.

Reality: The average Federated retirement payment is $37,880 – considered low-income in Santa Clara County according to the California Dept. of Housing. Taking away more will drive many retirees further into poverty.

Impact on a Typical City Worker
For the past seven years, Carlos has been protecting us from dangerous, aggressive animals. They may be loose on the streets endangering our children and pets, or trained as attack dogs guarding houses with drug activity. A life-long San Jose resident, Carlos and his wife recently bought their first home, have a newborn son, and another child on the way. They are active in their church and community, and hope to raise their children in San Jose.

He’s an Animal Services Officer, with a base pay of $53, 365. That’s much less than he was making a year ago, after a 12% wage reduction and higher health costs. And he’ll lose another $8,000 next year from increased contributions to pre-fund retiree health care. If Measure B passes, he’ll lose another $8,000.

“Times are tough right now. Just paying for the baby, our health care bills, and the house is a struggle after these cuts, We certainly don’t go out to dinner much anymore. If Measure B passes, I don’t know what we’ll do. I really want to raise my kids in San Jose, just like me, but we’ll have to move after a hit like this.” — Carlos

The Bottom Line
Annual Base Pay as of May 2011:

Scenario 1:
MEASURE B FAILS – Estimated Salary FY 2017

Scenario 2:
MEASURE B PASSES and OPT-IN CHOSEN – Estimated Salary FY2017

Scenario 3:
MEASURE B PASSES and NO OPT-IN – Estimated Salary FY2017

Click Photo Below For More Information

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  • Blinky,

    When the City Council passed the resolution to place Measure B on the ballot, they also voted to seek a judicial ruling should their measure pass. This is so full of legal risk that they are taking their own proposal to court – using taxpayer money.

    Furthermore, since when is promising to seek judicial relief when someone violates your constitutional rights considered a threat? Like it or not, the City entered into a contract with each and every one of its full-time employees when they were hired regarding retirement security – contracts protected by the Contract Clause of both the California and U.S. Constitutions. Sixty years of court rulings have repeatedly confirmed this protection. This was made perfectly clear to the City Council prior to their vote, yet they would rather gamble with our taxpayer money in courts in the far-fetched hope of reversing generations of legal rulings.

    This was all preventable. Every employee organization attempted to negotiate real, legal and substantial pension change with San Jose. Their offers may be seen on the City website. Hundreds of millions of dollars in pension savings were put on the table. These offers were rejected with virtually no consideration by City negotiators intent on pushing their ballot measure forward at any cost.

    No one is arguing about the need for modification of the pension system. Measure B is NOT the solution. It’s illegal and unfair. We need REAL solutions that work.

  • “Reality: Measure B pension modification will be tied up in lengthy court battle, with little hope of survival. Millions of taxpayer dollars will be wasted on high-priced lawyers.”

    The same people running the “No on B” campaign would be the ones trying to delay implementation. Sound very dishonest to use it as an argument. It’s more like a **threat**.

    “Reality: Measure B does not apply to the Mayor or City Council. Their pensions are untouched by Measure B”

    Solution: push an initiative that does teh same to the mayor & city council. Problem solved!

  • Are “No on B” lawn signs available for residents? I would like one! I’m recently retired from CSJ with 30 years of service. Other friends/retirees want to know where to get signs also.

    • The No on B headquarters are at 1150 North 1st street Suit #110 but beware that the yes on B people that of course are the Mayors friends are removing the signs and putting Tram Trung for city council infront of them. As you know in the past the Mayor has condoned this action on public television when Pierre Luigi Olivera was caught on camera removing signs that were not inline with the Mayors agenda.

  • I finally heard a radio spot a couple days ago for “NO on Measure B.” I’m a proponent!!! Where can we get that succinct statement and help spread the news via FB? I’ll share THIS page in the meantime. Also, friends and retirees are asking where we can get lawn signs to advertise “NO on B”?
    (P.S. I recently retired from CSJ with 30 years of service…got out just in time!)

    • The No on B headquarters are open until 7pm if they are out let us know we have about 20 left with us but they are getting torn down as fast as we can put them up. I saw a yes on measure B sign flipped around and someone wrote no on measure B I guess according to the Mayors rules this person felt this was ok.

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