Supervisor Chris Daly's legislative aide, April Veneracion, for example, would only tell us that "We will be introducing some charter amendments. Stay tuned." What the amendments pertain to is apparently classified, but, extended wheedling did induce her to reveal that by "some" she means "two."
No news on why Daly's playing it so close to the vest. Meanwhile, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi -- who actually does wear a vest -- didn't return our calls. Nor did any of his colleagues.
Except Sean Elsbernd. Elsbernd is as close to the anti-Daly as you can find on the board, and he proved it again by patiently explaining exactly what his charter amendments are all about. Since he took the time to explain, we can at least summarize. "The first one has four parts," Elsbernd said. And so it did:
I. Rather than contribute 7.5 percent to the employee pension fund, new hires in the police, fire, and sheriff's department will be required to give 9 percent -- because their benefits are higher than other workers'.That'll be easy to explain to voters. Also, Elsbernd is leaning toward introducing an amendment he's kicked around before that would do away with Muni drivers' enshrined right to always be paid at least as much as the second-highest paid transit drivers in the nation.
II. The city would be forbidden from proposing it pick up some or all of that 7.5 percent contribution during union negotiations as an alternative to pay raises.
III. To combat "pension spiking," workers' pensions wouldn't be based on their highest salary over the course of 12 months but the average salary over a 36-month period.
IV. When investment income is enough to make up for all or some of the city's mandatory 9 percent payment toward employees' pension fund, the surplus money must be used to pay for the looming multi-billion dollar costs of retiree's health care the city currently hasn't allotted a dime for.