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Saturday: Labor group invites council members to chat about two-tier pension

 

With government agencies throughout the state feeling the pinch budget-wise, talk of a two-tier pension plan for public employees is in the air, including along the Peninsula.

A discussion of the topic, hosted by the San Mateo County Central Labor Council, is set for the morning of Saturday, May 8, at 1153 Chess Drive in Foster City. The two-hour meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.

The labor group has invited members of city and town councils, and the meeting is also open to the public. To reserve a seat, call 572-8848.

With the prospect of tight budgets on into the future, a two-tier system would institute a benefit program that is less generous for new employees.

City and town managers in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties have agreed in principle on a two-tier program, Portola Valley Town Manager Angie Howard has said. But it would require buy-in by all the communities so as to create a level playing field for recruiting and retaining employees, Woodside Town Manager Susan George has said.

Several cities, including Menlo Park, have already instituted a two-tier system. Menlo Park's City Council voted unanimously to do so at its May 4 meeting.

Bob Brownstein, a spokesman for labor's point of view, will be at the Foster City get-together. "Every working American should have the chance to enjoy retirement security after a lifetime on the job," Mr. Brownstein said in a recent guest opinion for the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.

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