Stockton Bankruptcy Ruling Is a Win for Public Employee Pensions

Article Yvonne R. WalkerPresident

On Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, federal Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Christopher Klein ruled in the City of Stockton case.  One of the issues was whether public employees should be treated like any other creditor in bankruptcy. The good news is that Stockton city employee pensions are safe and the threat this case posed to public employee pensions everywhere has been averted.

Let me remind everyone that state employee pensions were not at issue in the case.  However, we always watch very closely any threat to the benefits that public employees negotiated and earned with their hard work. The Stockton bankruptcy presented a real threat to the sacred promise of a pension from an employer to an employee.  

Ultimately, Judge Klein’s ruling will serve as a warning to Wall Street that it will not be allowed to drive government entities in bankruptcy to serve its self-interest over that of working people.  This ruling confirms that public employees are not simply another creditor in bankruptcy whose benefits can be compromised to benefit the rich.

Local 1000 is committed to ensuring retirement security for all Californians and today’s ruling goes a long way toward protecting the hard-earned benefits that have been promised to working families.