The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, speaking on behalf of its members and also “representing over 400,000 chamber members' employees,” has thrown its support behind the Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative, according to a http://220.127.116.11/news-and-publications/news-releases/news-releases-details/new-release-archives-2011/chamber-endorses-comprehensive-pension-reform-initiative.html">news release issued yesterday.
“If the initiative qualifies for the ballot and is approved by the voters next year, it will provide significant reform for the City of San Diego, and save taxpayer dollars for important city services. To sustain economic growth, the city must establish policies that recognize the importance of responsible spending,” said Ruben Barrales, the Chamber’s President and CEO.
“This is strong evidence of the support for pension reform from the business community,” added Chamber Chairman Vincent Mudd.
The measure has yet to gather enough signatures to make next year’s ballot, despite deployment of paid petitioners and a http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=9ef6dfedcd3342ceccdb7f3f3&id=7f9b2230c7">“drive-through signature gathering effort” last month supported by Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer.
The initiative's authors say that reforms have the potential to save the city between $1.2 billion and $2.1 billion through the year 2040.
If placed on the ballot and passed, it would deny access to pensions for any new city employee hires except police officers, with others having access instead to 401(k) plans. Base pay used to calculate pension benefits would be frozen for five years, bonuses and other compensation aside from base pay would no longer be considered in determining an employee’s overall compensation for pension purposes, and payments to retirees would be posted on a public website (with names, but not positions, redacted). Unions would also lose the right to reject any future provisions imposed by the city council.