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PERB Dismisses Its Lawsuit Against San Diego Over Prop B

The state Public Employment Relations Board dismissed its lawsuit against the city of San Diego over voter-passed Proposition B, according to court documents made available today.

PERB sued the city in Superior Court earlier this year to get the pension reform initiative removed from the June ballot and, after it was approved by two-thirds of the voters, tried to stop its implementation.

The agency has, separately, commenced administrative proceedings that have not been resolved.

According to the documents, a lawyer for the board filed for the dismissal on Monday.

"The Superior Court lawsuit was a wasteful effort by this politically charged agency to deter pension reform initiatives in California," San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. "PERB lost its motions because we demonstrated it had no legal justification."

Opponents of Proposition B -- primarily labor unions that represent municipal workers -- contended that the city erred by placing the measure on the ballot without consulting them. Goldsmith maintained that the meet-and-confer process with unions was not required until the city began to implement its provisions.

The implementation process is taking place now.

The City Council recently instituted an interim 401(k)-type plan to offer most new employees, who will not be enrolled in the debt-ridden pension system. The plan was developed in consultation with union officials.

Negotiations are under way on a permanent retirement benefit.

Other provisions of Proposition B will be negotiated with the unions later.

Hearings have already taken place in the PERB's administrative proceedings, and city officials are awaiting a ruling from an administrative law judge.

Goldsmith said the issue will wind up in court again after the judge makes a decision.

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