By Alan Barcelona
FOP Lodge 77 President and State Trustee
As was expected, it appears former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is returning with his attack on public pensions. This is a direct attack on all of us in public service and will likely come in the form of a ballot measure in 2016. I have linked a Reuters article by Tim Reid which clearly explains the fight we are likely to face.
Your pension is your retirement security, something you earned as part of your compensation package for serving the State of California. Public pensions have been used to recruit and to retain public employees. You have worked under the promise that this security in retirement would be there for you after going to work day in and day out performing vital law enforcement, public safety and/or consumer protection duties. Promises made should be promises kept.
I am not sure what type of work force public agencies will be able to recruit and retain if this type of ballot measure succeeds. How many retirees will be forced to seek public assistance should their pensions diminish or disappear?
CSLEA, and the coalitions CSLEA is affiliate with, are preparing for what will likely be a huge political and possibly legal battle over attempts at pension reform. We must not sit quietly, we must let our voices be heard.