The ongoing battle between the City of San Jose and the San Jose Police Officers’ Union has taken another chapter to the courts, as the union filed two lawsuits against the city on Friday.
The suits allege that the city failed to meet the requirements of “meet-and-confer” before pushing its agenda for a ballot measure to reform pensions. They also made claims that their counter proposal to reform pension and improve city finances changed the fiscal outlook of the city and therefore nullified the declaration of an impasse by changing the city’s outlook.
The other suit claims that the City willingly and knowingly disseminated misleading information to union members during negotiations – thereby not negotiating in good faith.
The union has asked that the courts prohibit the pension reform measure, and compel the city to return to arbitration over its pension formulas. They say that arbitration, unlike the ballot measure, is the legal way to reform pensions.
The city as denied these claims.
From the Mercury News:
Attorneys for the San Jose Police Officers’ Association on Monday elaborated on two lawsuits they filed against the city of San Jose, including one that seeks to force the city back to the bargaining table and another that alleges the city violated the union’s contract by trying to change retirement benefits through an election rather than arbitration.
Filed late Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the first lawsuit says the city failed to adequately “meet-and-confer” before the City Council voted to push a pension reform ballot measure forward, first on Dec. 6 and then when finalizing it on March 6. It also says that the impasse declared by the city last fall was broken by new proposals from both the police and firefighter unions and the city, and by the city’s changing financial situation. In particular, the unions cite the improved projections given in early December, and the more recent news that there will be no budget deficit in the upcoming fiscal year. The union says that should have prompted renewed discussions.
Read the full article here.