SLO binding arbitration debate
July 27, 2011
A debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters gave the public a chance to hear both sides of the arguments on two San Luis Obispo contentious ballot measures on Tuesday. [KSBY]
If passed, Measure-A would give the San Luis Obispo City Council the ability to change retirement agreements with all city employees. At this time, changes require a majority vote of the people.
Measure-B would undo binding arbitration, a measure passed by the voters in 2000 that allows a third party to decide on safety worker contract disputes.
Lauren Brown, co-chair of San Luis Obispo Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, and San Luis Obispo City Councilmember Andrew Carter argued that the current pension system is getting far too expensive and binding arbitration takes away voter control. They urged voters to vote yes on Measure-A and Measure-B.
“Within five years we’ll be spending $10.5 million. That would be twenty percent of our general fund just for pensions,” Carter said.
President of the Police Officers Association Matt Blackstone and San Luis Obispo firefighter Devin Reiss said that the current system protects safety workers while allowing the public to vote on pension reform. Both are urging the public to vote no on Measure-A and Measure-B.
“We support pension reform, we know that there are changes that need to be made in the pension system and we have been willing participants in discussions with the city about those changes that need to be made,” Blackstone said.