The changes will cap the maximum amount that a future city worker can earn towards his or her benefits and raise the retirement age for a full pension. It also eliminates pension "spiking," which is when employees pile up overtime, deferred vacation and sick time in order to increase their pensions. This is a step in the right direction, and the fact that it received a 14-0 vote suggests some sort of awareness of the city's financial troubles. (I liked Council President Herb Wesson's description of union members being around when his father died in the early 70s.) Thing is, the changes being enacted are low-hanging fruit. As budget head Miguel Santana points out, the shortfalls will be huge for years on out. That's because the changes only apply to future employees. A final vote will be taken in 30 days.
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