2018 Municipal Finance InstituteThe Municipal Finance Institute is a two-day educational and networking conference in San Francisco which brings together roughly 200 leaders in the California city finance community, designed for finance officers, city treasurers, city managers and all city staff who assist these professionals in their stewardship of public resources. During the conference, Renne Public Law Group (RPLG) Partner Jon Holtzman will moderate a general session on public sector bargaining from a financial perspective on Thursday, December 13 at 9-10:15 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. He will be joined by Former Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay, and City of Brisbane’s Finance Administrative Services Director Stuart Schillinger.

As local governments grapple with runaway personnel costs driven by pension and medical, the “economics” behind labor negotiations have become critical to the financial health of cities. At the same time, a booming private sector economy and tensions set off by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus are leading to increased militancy on the part of employees and some unions.

This session will provide an update on the status of labor negotiations from a financial viewpoint, discuss options for the future, and describe the tools available to assist cities in reaching a financially sustainable result in negotiations. Along the way, the panel will discuss total compensation surveys, pension issues, benefits cost pressures, economic forecasts and consumer prices.

“We are reaching a critical turning point for cities,” stated Holtzman. “Fewer and fewer cities can meet labor expectations without loss of public services. The annual Institute is a key opportunity for local finance and budget professionals to learn about and discuss how to more effectively influence labor policy decisions. Our panel looks forward to adding to this discussion and bringing a financial perspective to the bargaining table.”

RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.