"But Jeff Adachi is throwing a big roll of the legal dice," Elsbernd said. He noted that city employees have long paid 7.5 percent toward their pensions. "But now, along come two pension reform plans that both challenge that notion.
"And every case in California shows you have to provide a commensurate benefit to change that kind of right," he continued, arguing that Lee's proposal is more legally sound because it lowers employees' contributions during boom years. "So the $60 million that our plan would save is a hell of a lot more secure than the $90 million Jeff claims his plan would save."
Sup. David Campos has yet to take a position on Lee's plan, but hopes there is a way to address legitimate concerns about lower-income workers. "There's no question that we have to do something about pension reform," he said. "I don't know if there's a perfect proposal. But I'm especially intrigued by Mayor Lee's plan. It recognizes that low-wage workers should not be expected to contribute at a higher rate than higher-wage workers. But we have to put the mayor's proposal in the context of what else is happening, which is why SEIU's de-skilling concerns are legitimate." Campos credited Adachi for highlighting pension reform. "My hope is that we can come up with something that we can all be supportive of, where the mayor and Jeff's proposals are combined. And while we have to be careful that the balance that has been constructed is maintained, this allows for a dialogue at the board, and for Jeff to be involved, so we can come up with a unified proposal. Because if we are going to address pension reform, we need to do so with a united front."