Pensions for city workers can’t be cut, but pay can, judge rules in major San Jose case – San Jose Mercury News

The fate of San Jose’s pension reforms remains unclear after a recent court decision.

SAN JOSE — In a landmark ruling that could help shape city budgets around the state, a judge invalidated key parts of San Jose’s voter-approved pension cuts but upheld other elements that could still save huge taxpayer costs.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas’ tentative decision released Monday prohibits the city from forcing current employees to contribute significantly more toward their pensions, as called for in last year’s Measure B. But the ruling allows the city to cut employees’ salaries to offset its increasing pension costs.

City leaders may find it difficult to go through with the pay cuts, however. The City Council earlier this month approved 10 percent pay raises for cops, after police officers began fleeing the department for better-paying cities. The cop exodus has coincided with a huge increase in crime, above the California and national averages, while arrests have dropped in half in recent years.

Read: Pensions for city workers can’t be cut, but pay can, judge rules in major San Jose case – San Jose Mercury News.