Health

What’s next, per the lawyer who won San Diego’s huge Proposition B pension case

What’s next, per the lawyer who won San Diego’s huge Proposition B pension case

The California Supreme Court concluded (7-0) that the city of San Diego violated state law when it put Proposition B on the June 2012 ballot. The high court didn’t make — or need to make — new law in the process. Instead, the court found that the city violated the central duty of the state’s collective bargaining law based on “settled law and the relevant statutory language.”

Related: What’s next, per the lawyer whose pension reform tactic the Supreme Court rejected

Referring to then-Mayor Jerry Sanders’ course of conduct — and citing its own 1984 precedent — the high court held that “allowing public officials to purposefully evade the meet-and-confer requirements of the (state law) by officially sponsoring a citizens’ initiative would seriously undermine the policies served by the statute.” The court held that the city’s “private citizen” theory “does not withstand objective scrutiny.”

It was this settled law that fueled each of multiple written bargaining requests I made to the city in 2011 on behalf of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association. All were rebuffed by then-City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who was both an outspoken supporter of Proposition B and the legal architect of the city’s refusal-to-bargain strategy.