Menlo Park reforms pensions

But the city had to rebuff an employee court challenge to do it.

Menlo Park residents approved — with 71 percent of the vote — a law that reduces pension benefits for new city employees. Though this action was necessary and democratic, two employee unions sued to undo it.

The unions argued that the initiative violated state laws by letting voters decide workers’ compensation issues. Only the city council has that authority, they contended.

A judge disagreed.

The unions’s second argument was beyond preposterous. They claimed that the initiative prevented the council from negotiating in good faith during collective bargaining — a violation of state labor law.

In other words, if the people imposed prudent budgets on public employees — if the council wasn’t authorized to give the store away — the city was bargaining in bad faith!


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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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