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The eight-member San Diego City Council was split evenly on Proposition C, the mayor’s outsourcing initiative, when it went in front of the city’s voters last month.

Councilmembers Scott Peters, Kevin Faulconer, Brian Maienschein and Jim Madaffer endorsed the measure, while Toni Atkins, Tony Young, Donna Frye and Ben Hueso opposed it.

But the support of four council members won’t be enough to approve the legislation that outlines how the new law will be implemented.

After five months of negotiations with the workforce that will be affected by Propositions B and C, Mayor Jerry Sanders must garner the five votes he needs to enact the specifics of the concepts approved by voters.

Proposition B, which requires voter-approval for new pension benefits for city employees, and Proposition C, which permits private companies to compete with municipal workers for city jobs, were overwhelmingly approved at the ballot box Nov. 7.

The city’s labor unions – which opposed Proposition C during the election – and Sanders’ staff have been negotiating the details of the two laws, but have apparently fallen short of agreeing on how they will be carried out.

Primarily at issue is the unions’ desire to require employers of the private businesses that win outsourced contracts to pay wages and benefits to their employees that are on par with what the city workers make. Sanders has refused to accept this proposal.

According the mayor, he and the unions also disagree on Sanders’ desire to have voters sign off on any increases in employees’ retire health coverage. The unions also want to require that any outsourced work be performed only by local companies and also to bypass the voters to reinstate any benefits that are lost as a result of City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s ongoing legal challenge.

The two sides did agree to exclude public safety jobs from being eligible for outsourcing, set qualifications that are needed for any competing company, to bar individuals who are financially interested in a competing company from sitting on the panel that chooses the winning bidders, and to force the city to shoulder the cost of any election over benefits.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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