Baskin: “People will die” if SLO measures pass
July 10, 2011
The president of the San Luis Obispo firefighters union warned Friday that “people will die” if local voters pass two ballot measures in the upcoming August special election.
Erik Baskin made the prediction during a live radio interview Friday afternoon on KVEC 920 AM.
San Luis Obispo voters are being asked to decide two separate issues—Measure A, which calls for pension reform and Measure B, which would do away with the current system of binding arbitration.
Baskin suggested that California cities, like San Jose, who have done away with binding arbitration, ended up laying off police and firefighters. Any reduction in staffing, the union leader argued, threatens response time and community safety.
Andrew Carter, San Luis Obispo city councilman, issued a response to Baskin’s comments, saying “Nothing could be further from the truth . . . City Council has placed Measures A and B, pension reform and the repeal of binding arbitration, on the ballot in an attempt to rein in out-of-control employee pay and benefit costs. It is these increases which could threaten public safety staffing, not the repeal of binding arbitration.”