San Francisco labor deal gains unanimous support from supervisors 

Pension deal:  Public Defender Jeff Adachi says the deal Mayor Ed Lee made with police and firefighters is meant to skirt Proposition D, if it passes. - Examiner file photo - EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Examiner file photo
  • Pension deal: Public Defender Jeff Adachi says the deal Mayor Ed Lee made with police and firefighters is meant to skirt Proposition D, if it passes.Examiner file photo

While politics have raged over a deal Mayor Ed Lee reached with police and firefighters unions, the agreement was approved Tuesday without a peep from members of the Board of Supervisors.

The deal, which lets police and firefighters keep raises they were owed in exchange for them paying more toward their pensions, saves The City $31 million during the current and next fiscal year. But it also includes a provision that protects fire and police employees from Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s  pension measure on the Nov. 8 ballot, Proposition D. If Adachi’s measure prevails over a rival pension measure backed by labor, then police and fire would not be impacted by Prop. D for two years.

Adachi has blasted this provision as a “back-door attempt to circumvent the democratic rights of San Francisco voters.”  

On Monday, politics over the deal reached an intense level as Adachi was battling with Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and labor leaders from the public safety unions. Adachi, who is running for mayor, had circulated political fliers Sept. 9 condemning the “back-door” deal. On Monday, police and fire leaders blasted him for campaigning against them on the same weekend as the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

Elsbernd fired off a lengthy email to Adachi late Monday, accusing Adachi of creating “political fodder” as a “baseless, blatant attack against the mayor in your quest for Room 200.”

Despite the war of words on Monday, the deal sailed through the Board of Supervisors the following day in an 11-0 vote with not a word from board members.

“It’s not surprising, but it’s sad,” Adachi said about the vote. “It shows that when you put a problem in the hands of politicians what you see isn’t what you get.”

Under the deal, police and fire will receive their 3 percent raises owed to them under labor contracts signed in 2007. In exchange, they agreed to increase their pension contribution by 3 percent, which would be replaced by the pension rates under Proposition C, the pension measure crafted by Lee, labor leaders and members of the board.

Lee has dismissed Adachi’s criticism of the deal, and has praised police and fire for stepping up and giving back to help close The City’s budget.

“It not something he needs to defend,” Lee spokesman Christine Falvey said.

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