California court gives school districts, local governments limited win in ruling on pensions

The California Supreme Court gave revenue-strapped school districts and other public employers a narrowly tailored win but not the big decision they wanted on Thursday.

The court unanimously ruled that the Legislature could eliminate pension “spiking,” in which employees “artificially inflated” their earnings in their last year of work by cashing in the value of accumulated leave and working extra shifts at higher rates. Padding income in turn increased a worker’s pension.

The court’s ruling was the second in two years in which it rejected a challenge by organized labor to the public employee pension reform law that former Gov. Jerry Brown shepherded through the Legislature. For advocates of further changes, the decision at least was not a defeat; it meant they could hold the ground they had gained. Click here to read more: