City's Biggest Union Snubs Pension Plan

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, May 25, 2011  |  Updated 4:23 PM PDT
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City's Biggest Union Snubs Pension Plan

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.

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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.

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