Two employee unions sued San Luis Obispo County on July 14. The SLO Deputy County Counsel Association and the SLO Government Attorneys’ Union (which represents the district attorneys) claim the county has unilaterally increased their members’ pension contributions in violation of the terms of the county’s employee benefit plan. The lawsuit also contends the county’s use of a formula based on a prevailing wage ordinance has incorrectly deprived the lawyers of money that should have been theirs.
Ann Duggan of the Deputy County Counsel Association has long argued before the Pension Board of Trustees that union members should only be responsible for costs related to the actual operation of the county’s pension. She has claimed union members have been held responsible for costs coming from long-term under-funding of the trust.
The lawsuit is the result of years of conflict, said Stephen Silver, the lawyer for the disgruntled lawyers.
“We tried to work this out with the county for two years,” Silver said. “We were very reluctant to sue.”