Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

San Diego Union Wins Pension Appeal at CA Supreme Court

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 09, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There's no doubt about it, the public employment retirement system throughout the state of California is not doing well.

To remedy the retirement problem, the City of San Diego's voters passed a measure in 2012 to make new public employees get a 401(k) instead of a pension. However, the city's union reps were not consulted by the mayor who pushed the initiative onto the ballot, and that failure to meet and confer with the union has been the center of much litigation, both before and after the measure passed. Now, the Supreme Court of California has even chimed in.

Meet and Confer Required, Measured Backlash

In short, because the mayor of San Diego is involved in negotiating with the government/public employee unions, his involvement with pushing forward the new retirement measure onto the ballot conflicts with the duty owed to negotiate fairly.

Initially, this matter was handled administratively before the PERB. However, when the PERB returned a result in favor of the unions, the city appealed. On appeal, the court reviewed the PERB's decision de novo, and overturned the decision after finding certain statutory readings erroneous. However, the California Supreme Court had a little different view, and didn't hold back. It plainly explained that the "PERB's reading is not clearly erroneous. To the contrary, it is clearly correct."

The state Supreme Court further explained that:

"Allowing public officials to purposefully evade the meet-and confer requirements ... seriously undermine[s] the policies served by the statute: fostering full communication between public employers and employees, as well as improving personnel management and employer-employee relations."

The matter was ultimately remanded back to the appellate court so that it could render a decision as instructed by PERB. PERB referred the matter to the state court system because it recognized that it lacked the authority to fashion an appropriate remedy. As such, the state supreme court ordered the appellate court to figure it out.

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard