Two moves to block San Diego’s comprehensive pension-reform initiative from going to the voters were rejected this week by Superior Court judges, according to city attorney Jan Goldsmith.
The judges rejected two requests for injunctions to block the ballot measure, ruling that a legal challenge should follow the results of the city’s June 5 primary election.
In a court filing, the California Public Employee Relations Board sought a preliminary injunction saying the city violated state labor laws while moving the pension measure to the ballot.
But Judge William Dato said there is no established case law that allows him to block an initiative from going to the voters on the basis of the state PERB’s findings, San Diego’s NBC7 reported.
Judge Steven Denton made a similar ruling in another challenge Wednesday.
“Access to the ballot by initiative is a constitutional right in California,” Goldsmith said in a statement. “In this case, 116,000 signatures were obtained and the city must place this on the ballot.”
The pension measure would replace traditional pensions with 401(k)-style retirement plans for all future city employees except police officers and implement a five-year city salary freeze.
San Diego’s largest labor union, the Municipal Employees Association, complained that the mayor and city officials were improperly involved in crafting and promoting the measure as a means of circumventing required collective bargaining procedures.
Mayor Jerry Sanders told the National Press Club last week that he canvassed for the measure as a private citizen to avoid such requirements.