City of San Jose’s Capitulation to Public Safety Unions is Complete
April 19, 2016
If someone told you that they were going to invest their money, but if that money didn’t earn enough interest, they were going to take your money to make up the difference, would you think that was fair? When it comes to pensions for local government workers, that’s what’s happening all over California. San Jose’s…

San Jose City Council Capitulates to Police Union Power
August 18, 2015
“He told the class to take advantage of the academy, and then find jobs elsewhere. The police union tries to get us to leave the department.” – Anonymous source to NBC Bay Area, television report “Another San Jose Police Recruit Says Union Tried to Get Cadets to ‘Find Jobs Elsewhere’,” Oct. 28, 2014…

California City Pension Burdens
February 17, 2015
This study estimates the burden of pension costs on 459 California municipalities. The primary measure we consider is the ratio of required pension contributions to estimated total revenue for each city. We also look at contribution rates per employee and at pension funding levels. We find a wide variation in the impact of pension costs on city finances. While several cities spend more than one-eighth of their revenues on pension contributions, many spend far lower proportions and ten municipalities have no defined benefit pension plans at all. The most heavily burdened cities are San Rafael, Costa Mesa and San Jose, which have pension cost / revenue ratios estimated at 17.58%, 14.36% and 13.88% respectively.

San Jose Court’s Flawed Decision Strikes Down Heart of Measure B Pension Reform
May 2, 2014
In November of 2013, the San Jose voters approved a Charter Amendment that made measured changes and reductions in the cost of the City pension plan. The changes did in fact require greater contributions by the employees and reduced the value of the existing plan to current employees. The employee unions and others sued the…

San Jose’s Public Safety Pensions – Reduce Now or Slash Later
April 15, 2014
“Once people get the facts, they do not support slashing people’s pensions.” – Dave Low, chairman, Californians for Retirement Security (Washington Post, February 25, 2014) Really? Making sure “people get the facts” is difficult when most “facts” the public sees are promulgated to the media by pension fund PR departments eager to preserve…

San Jose, Other Cities Can Look Toward “Service Insolvency”
March 3, 2014
San Jose is only 117 miles from Sacramento, yet the ongoing plight of this beacon of Silicon Valley falls on deaf ears at the state Capitol. The city’s Democratic mayor certainly isn’t getting any aid from legislators. Fortunately, a recent article in the Washington Post shows that the message might be getting out any…

Pension Battle Shifts to San Jose, San Bernardino, Stockton
December 5, 2013
Now that a federal judge in Michigan has properly ruled pension obligations are not sacrosanct (see Lesson for Union Dinosaurs) the spotlight is once again on union dinosaurs in California. Bankrupt San Bernardino foolishly did not attempt to shed pension obligations in bankruptcy, but perhaps it can now reconsider. What about Stockton and Vallejo?…

Average Total Compensation for San Jose City Worker is $175,000 Per Year
August 14, 2012
Does this seem incredible? Well it isn’t. It is based on actual payroll records obtained from the city of San Jose for 2011, with just one assumption added – that pension funds will no longer earn 7.5% per year, but instead earn a more realistic 4.5% per year. If you want to stick with 7.5%…

San Jose, California – City Employee Total Compensation Analysis
August 10, 2012
On June 5, 2012 the City of San Jose thrust itself into the forefront of the national debate over public sector pensions with its passage of Measure B, a landmark measure that dramatically restructured the pension and retirement benefits of the city’s current employees. Though the internal pressure that led to this measure had been building for some time, the passage of this measure was still quite noteworthy in itself. For one, this measure forced city employees to either now contribute much more towards their pension plan or be placed in a pension scheme that offered far fewer benefits than is typically enjoyed by public sector employees in California.