Prop. B Victory for SD City Workers

We won an enormous legal victory over the City of San Diego some days ago related to the City-sponsored local ballot measure, Proposition B. Prop. B stripped many of us of hard-earned retirement security by replacing guaranteed pensions with 401(k)-style retirement plans for all newly hired city employees except police officers. Prop. B also froze wage increases for five years.

Our victory in the California Supreme Court case Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board, was in all the news headlines over the past week or so because of the importance of this case for the pension security and union rights of all public employees across the state.

We told the City all along that Prop. B was an illegal attempt to weaken our pensions and our power. The City was required to negotiate any proposed changes in our pensions directly with us because as a union, we must be brought to the bargaining table on every issue that affects our wages, hours, and working conditions.

Instead, the City arrogantly ignored us, trying to push us around. We won the case at the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), but the City won at the Court of Appeals, so we took the case to the State Supreme Court. With this decision, the Supreme Court vindicates us and in a bit of irony, remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals to come up with a remedy.

Perhaps the biggest lesson of the Prop. B victory is that by standing together with our labor partners, AFSCME District Council 36 and the Municipal Employees Association, the union has a powerful voice. It has been a long, tough battle.  But like the 3.3% raise we negotiated into last month's paycheck, it proves our determination and unity will deliver victory!

We’ve been working on next steps. Last week, President Rodney Fowler met with Mayor Kevin Faulconer to discuss how to repair the damage of Prop. B among other important issues. Earlier this week, Local 127 leaders met with fellow San Diego labor leaders to identify common concerns about Prop. B and the urgent need to remain unified in this fight.

If you have any questions about how this affects you, please attend our next membership meeting scheduled for September 12 at 5:00 pm at your Union Hall located at 3737 Camino del Rio South, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92108.