To view the SLO police union’s attempt to block the proposed August ballot on pension reform and binding arbitration (SLO police file suit against SLO City,” May 5) as a legal issue is to miss the point. It’s a political issue. In fact, it’s a question of democracy.
What the police union wants is for the democratic process to be subject to labor negotiations. In fact, the union wants the democratic process to be subject to binding arbitration. In other words, the union doesn’t want to allow the people to vote unless the union or an outside arbitrator says they can. In essence, the union is trying to turn democracy on its head. The union wants the people and City Council to be subject to the union instead of the union and City Council being subject to the people.
Why is that? It’s because the police union is concerned about what the people will decide. In fact, in the lawsuit, the union attorney makes it clear she assumes the ballot measures will pass! I quote, “Plaintiff [the union] ... will have no independent right to challenge the ballot measure after it passes.” The union attorney doesn’t write “if it passes,” she writes “after it passes.”
By proposing an August ballot, the SLO City Council is saying, “Let the people decide.” By suing the city, the police union is saying, “We don’t want them to.”