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San Francisco Labor, Business Lobby Unite On Pension Reform

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - The heads of the San Francisco Labor Council and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce have agreed to co-chair the campaign for Mayor Ed Lee's pension reform ballot measure.

The mayor crafted Proposition C after careful negotiation with San Francisco's public employee unions after the failure of Public Defender Jeff Adachi's pension reform measure in the last election.

"Every single union in the city sat down with the city and came up with over a billion dollars in order to save city services and jobs," said Tim Paulson, director of the labor council.

"We put our differences aside" with the business community, Paulson said, because the unions recognized the city could not afford to leave its pension system unchanged.

KCBS' Barbara Taylor Reports:

The public defender, now a rival of Lee's in the mayor's race, landed the competing Proposition D on the November ballot. It would create even greater savings by increasing how much workers' contribute to their retirement.

Adachi's previous measure failed in large part because unions campaigned against a provision that would have made health insurance more expensive for public employees.

So the new Adachi-backed measure sidesteps health plan costs entirely to focus only on pensions.

The Prop C campaign spearheaded by the San Francisco Labor Council and Chamber of Commerce director Steve Falk will also be a campaign against Measure D.

"It's a consensus measure that gets us on the road of reform. That's the important point," Falk said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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