City's Biggest Union Snubs Pension Plan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Francisco's SEIU 1021, the city's biggest labor union, is not on board with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's "consensus" pension reform measure.

    The "consensus" pension reform measure unveiled Tuesday by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. At a press conference flanked by union members, business leaders and other politicians -- Lee claimed it would save some $800 million to $1 billion in city spending on public employee benefits.

    The plan has a big problem.

    Service Employees International Union 1021, the purple-shirted union members who represent nurses, teachers and other lower-income public employees, is not supporting the measure, which would increase employee contribution to health and retirement benefits, raise the retirement age, and put a cap on pensions for new employees, the SF Bay Guardian reported.

    SEIU is stuck on "one issue," according to union Vice President Larry Bradshaw. Workers making $50,000 are scheduled to take a big pay cut on July 1, 2012, the same date at which they'd be required to start paying an extra $2,000 out of pocket for benefits.

    "For someone who's making $50,000 a year, to ask them to take $2,000 or $3,000 on top of $12,000 ina pay cut, is impossible," Bradshaw told the newspaper.

    SEIU 1021 has been trying to meet with the mayor for three weeks to compromise on the impact to lowest-income workers, but have not been able to schedule a meeting, Bradshaw said. "The mayor's been a no show," he added.