EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hayward City Employees Prepare For Three-Day Strike

Striking Hayward city employees set to picket
in front of Hayward City Hall starting Tuesday.
HAYWARD//STRIKE | In Hayward, the confluence of an uncompromising city manager, a complacent City Council and city employees hoping for relief following three years of concession have led to a three-day strike set to begin Tuesday morning.

Two hundred eight members of the Service Employees International Union, Local 1021 have been without a new contract since April. Union street maintenance crews, water treatment and animal control workers, along with library assistants approved a strike last June. Last week, negotiations with the city hit an impasse leading the union to make good on its threat to strike, starting 6 a.m., Tuesday. The union says it will hold solidarity rallies each day in front of Hayward City Hall at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.

On Monday, the city filed a complaint with the California Public Employees Relations Board against the union alleging it negotiated in bad faith. “We have continuously negotiated in good faith with SEIU Local 1021 since September of 2012; and are frustrated by the tactics utilized by Regional SEIU leadership that appear to be to the detriment of our Hayward employees,” said Hayward City Manager Fran David in a statement.

Hayward’s city leadership has maintained the union should follow other bargaining units in the city who, like firefighters, previously agreed to no wage increases through 2015 and paying up to 17 percent towards the cost of their pensions. SEIU Local 1021 last received a wage increase in 2010.

The city says it has replacement workers ready to take over union member’s shifts if the strike proceeds as planned.

In each of the past four budget years, Hayward has closed substantial budget deficits on the back of concessions from workers. In 2011, it closed a $20 million shortfall with city employees help. Again, in 2012, city employees help slash the expected deficit significant through concessions. The city, however, claimed last June, a slowly recovering economy still hasn’t closed its budget uncertainty.

As far back as 2011, Hayward’s city manager has stated a discernible hard stance against city employees. In a blog, hosted on the city’s Web site, David routinely railed against workers and urged greater changes to its structural deficit. David alluded to the refrain in Monday’s statement. “This is not a problem to be solved by more revenue:” she said, “it is a paradigm shift that must be addressed for the long-term health of our community and the security of our employees.”

SEIU Local 1021 says the city has avoided any tangible negotiations with the union since February. Gary Jimenez, vice president of Local 1012, says workers merely want to recoup some of the lost wages its gave back to the city over the past few years. “After losing more than 12 percent of their wages, these workers are expected to simply take what the city put on the table—amounting to another 5 percent loss–without substantive bargaining and with numerous [unfair labor practice] violations by the city,” he said .

Few members of the Hayward’s City Council have taken strong stances either for union membership or the city manager’s position. However, it has unanimously approved specific city goals to tamp down employee costs. The union chided Hayward Mayor Michael Sweeney for being on vacation through the end of the month while the city faces an impending labor crisis, along with other council members taking off for the annual August recess.

57 comments :

I don't get it. The Hayward budget is already balanced and property taxes and sales tax revenue are up. If employees help out when times are bad, they deserve a break when the Economy comes back. The Mayor and Council need to step up and solve this problem.

I totally agree. The entire city doesn't seem to know what a raise is. I work for a Hayward entity - no raise for 6 years, (not even a cost of living raise) and it doesn't seem like one is coming anytime soon. I'd be curious to know how the salaries of city officials have changed in 6 years. I'm pretty sure they haven't stagnated. People who work very hard at their jobs deserve more.

Not surprised Sweeney is on vacation. He like to stay above the fray, but he's the mayor. Stand up to the firing line and take the criticism.

The only way this group of union workers are going to win this fight is to get very public support from the police, fire, and the professional,and technical union members. Then the politicos will respond in their favor.

Not just elected, but Sweeney and Salinas city funded non-profits have done very well. Do elected only support police and fire? Sweeney never vacations. This is the result of lack of tax generating economic development and to much focus on stopping everything. Where is Quirk on this issue?

Will someone here explain where the extra money will come from for higher wages?

From homeowner? From business owners?
From parking meter fines?
(one more nail in bringing folks to the center of town)

You want more pay? OK, tell me who pays for it?

They're asking to have their pay RESTORED, 4:29. These workers have taken a 12% pay CUT. No one is talking about a raise. A little restoration isn't an unreasonable request.

From the 1%! Dude, have you not been following the not so (subtle) subtext of Steven's posts? City workers (part of the 99%) are good, hardworking people, who are the fabric of our society, and the 1%/Corporations are evil, good-for-nothing lazy people who only take, and give nothing in return.

As long as rich people want to live in California, and companies want to do business in California, you can raise taxes on them to pay for all our public union salaries, their pensions, healthcare, and whatever else they demand. Yes, eventually companies will leave, and the middle class workers will leave with them, and all of that tax revenue, but the ultra-wealthy (from all over the world) will still want to live in California, and you can tax them, and the new middle class will be cemented by the public unions and retirees.

Hayward instituted a "Living Wage"policy for employers who do business in Hayward. Making it appear as though The City is concerned about people who work in the City of Hayward. I guess it's too much to ask for them to offer a fair contract & salaries their own City employees (excluding management, Police & Fire). COH should practice what it preaches.

The city.! They have the money, they are lieing about their budget.

A raise as apparently defined by the city, is giving employees a 3% raise and then following that up with a 5% cut in the form of furlough... so although the employees got a "raise," they really came out 2% behind. Hmmm.

Yes, employees are not asking for a raise. They are being presented with a "financial plan" which essentially will cost employees $400 out of pocket every month. The financial plan is not open for negotiation. The city wants the employees to think they have control over the situation by changing the wording of the plan but keeping it the same and hoping the employees won't catch on. Another $400/month on top of what has already been given up, will have dire consequences for many who just want to be able to provide a home and the basics for their families. In the past, this city treated its employees very well. I am not the first generation in my family to work for this city. I took the job thinking I could provide my family with the same high quality of life I had as a child, having had a parent who worked for this city. i was proud to work here for a time, but apparently times have changed.

The pay "increase" would come from the city rearranging their priorities. The city has the money but they do not want to pay their employees with it. They would rather squander it on meaningless and superficial things. Having seen how things work from the inside, they spend money on unnecessary things like it is going out of style. They do not use much discretion.

I don't know, I see this woman on the TV virtually in tears, telling viewers that she is nearly going to be out on the street if the city "cuts" her pay any more.
I mean she really put on a display.

So I look up her salary and such

She is a "storekeeper" for Hayward. Works in the PW-Utilities & Env Services.

Her base salary is $61,000 a year.
She gets $20,920 for medical, dental, vison
The city contributes $11,582 to her pension plus another $2,400 for her share is paid by them.
She gets another $2,000 in deferred comp and misc.

Her total package comes to about $100,000
Hayward HR says the following required
"Education:
Equivalent to completion of the twelfth grade."

Hardly someone being forced out into the street.

If she works from age 25 to age 55 in that position she gets a 75% pension.
If she works from age 25 to 65 like the rest of us must do, she gets a 100% pension for life.

So tell me, where is she losing $400 a month?

Pencil it out for us.


What the class traitor at 9:42, and all those who think likewise, fail to deal with is this: public money to recruit and retain decently compensated public servants were sustainable until powerful rich people and financial institutions took a number of specific risky actions and got a number of horrible laws passed which crashed the economy.

The storekeeper in Hayward, and all her brother and sister public servants, didn't screw up the economy and destroy public budgets to the tune of trillions of dollars. They didn't waste billions and billions of dollars in a pair of misguided wars. The big corporations, Wall Street institutions and mega-rich people have seen their yearly incomes go up by 10%, 20%, 30% EVEN DURING THIS RECESSION, and you're busily seeking out information in order to try to make yourself feel OK about screwing over YOUR NEIGHBOR.

Why not dig into the compensation details of Californians who make more per year than ALL the Hayward City workers COMBINED. There's lots of stinking wealthy Californians in that club, you know. Where's your anger at them? You're subsidizing their obscene, unspendable wealth just as much as the Hayward workers, and those rich people do NOTHING for you.

Something is broken in you. Your confused, misinformed bitterness is shameful.

Thank you for spelling out where this worker is losing the $400 per month.

No, instead you just shout out about all the rich folks, as though they are all sitting on their millions in Hayward mansions.

BTW, I see you don't mention the 25% hike in pension rates that 95% of the city workers got a few years back. (and which they will keep for life).

But enough of that.
I was asking how the worker I mentioned (whose name I deliberately left out for privacy reasons) is losing $400 per month.

Please explain that in detail.

Or you can just keep on calling everyone who questions you a "class traitor".
Kind of like calling that 80 year old befuddled van driver a "replacement worker" after he bumped a individual on the picket line.
The old geezer was only there to get a building permit.

What you claim to be looking at is the current compensation for a Hayward City worker. Nowhere in your statistics do you summarize the pension and health care takeaways that City management is attempting to force upon the workers.

Perhaps there is where you would find the the $400 a month loss about which you say "she really put on a display". Really sincere reaction on your part. Have you lost your ability to empathize with another human being?

Here, I'll help your search for the $400. Try reading the article just a few inches higher on this page. The SEIU 1021 leader summarizes: “After losing more than 12 percent of their wages, these workers are expected to simply take what the city put on the table—amounting to another 5 percent loss–without substantive bargaining and with numerous [unfair labor practice] violations by the city.”

How's that? Perhaps that answers your question?

12:45, I see, you refuse to spell it out.

No where do I see specifics. Just some repeated $400 a month loss.

Spell it out.

How is the health care or pension compensation being changes. Specifics.

You seem to be satisfied with vague $400 figures tossed out by the SEIU 1021 leader.
Please give the readers more specifics so we can determine what they mean to the average worker

What contributions are being raised and by how much?

All I see is $400, $400, $400 without any explanation of the precise detail.

Lots of us out here don't simply take what either the unions or the city says as being the whole truth. Especially when no specifics are included.d

The SEIU leader is telling us that management's proposals represent a net 5% decrease in compensation, on top of previous 12% compensation reductions in recent contracts. City of Hayward management representatives do not deny this. In fact, their statements claiming that employee costs need to be brought back into line lend much credence to the workers' representations.

So, you are even more aggressively anti-worker than City management. You heard a very upset public worker for the City of Hayward, and for some reason you wish to believe she is acting or lying somehow. I do not know why you wish to do that.

I did not say the woman was lying. All I was saying that her crying about being out on the street due to the cuts seemed overblown.

After looking at her compensation level, of over $61,000 base pay, plus $21,000 in medical, dental and vision, plus all the pension and other items.
Lots of folks would die for such compensation.
If they had to cut back a bit here or there, they would do so without claiming they'd be out on the street next year.

Now, to be more specific.
She got $61,000 in base pay in 2012.

I have been asking for facts.
Under the city proposal, what would that $61,000 in base pay be reduced to?
What would her $21,000 in medical, dental, and vision be reduced to?
What would the pension contributions for her by the city be reduced to?

I want a real example instead of the vague cuts you keep referring to.

Explain exactly where and how she will be cut 5%?

Why is it that when anyone requests specific facts about these cuts, that YOU instantly label them as anti-worker, anti-labor, wanting to crush the middle class.

I suppose you have the same attitude about anyone who thinks the BART workers should pay something into their own pension instead of zero contribution.

OK, you can answer my questions or you can just supply no answers and call me a "class traitor".

Readers will see which choice you make.

Look, I am a member of the public, just like you are. I don't have every detail of these negotiations. Unlike you, I see why it is a good idea that I not know every nitty-gritty detail. I am in no position to analyze competing health care insurance and pension plans, and neither are you. Those areas where the cuts are at. THE CITY OF HAYWARD ADMITS THEY ARE TRYING TO CUT THESE BENEFITS YET AGAIN. THEY DO NOT DISPUTE THE UNION'S ESTIMATES. There is no alternative narrative which disputes the worker's fears, yet you want to invent one.

Here's what a worker with a shrinking middle-class compensation might mean when they say they're fearful of being out in the street. People usually take on a mortgage that anticipates their continued employment at a predictable compensation level. In a good-faith way, just put yourself in these workers' places: you've lost 12% of your compensation in recent years. That may have burned through savings you had managed to accumulate in addition to the deferred compensation of your negotiated pension. If you're cut another 5%, might that mean you can no longer afford your mortgage payment? Perhaps this explains the dilemma of this worker that could have them worried about losing their home.

That is one of dozens of scenarios we could imagine. Here's more: there are multiple public servants in the same household, and their compensation cuts are multiplied as a result. The worker's spouse has lost their job, and they are the sole or major breadwinner. The worker's parents have lost their retirement security because of the financial crash created by the same people who have been enriched in its wake, and the worker is supporting their parents, and/or caring for their parent's deteriorating health, and are just getting by.

You are disinclined to support these neighbors of yours, who work in service to you or other neighbors. I do not understand why you wish for them to lose this fight. They do not wish for you to be paid much more poorly than you are. Why do you wish that on them?

Well perhaps someone will break down the 12% "loss" in recent years and the 5% "loss" in this negotiation.

I wonder what if any of it is lost increases rather than actual cuts. I also wonder what part of 12% and 5% are increased contributions to cover pension and/or medical increased costs.

I don't know those facts, that is what a reporter like EBCitizen might be expected to bring forth.

If pension and medical costs are leaping upward, you can't expect the city to pay all the increases without extra contributions from employees.

To question union claims is not to be anti-worker.
Lots of claims by the unions are often misleading.
Same can be the case with the city.
Citizens need to know the true facts, not just the shouting and slogans.

Let me respond to this part:

"I also wonder what part of 12% and 5% are increased contributions to cover pension and/or medical increased costs."

I don't know all the details, but I have a general understanding that the City is not proposing to cut wages deeply, so the general answer to your question is nearly all the City's proposed cuts are in health care benefits and increased pension contributions. Perhaps there are cuts in hours or other areas as well, but you've named the center of the cuts.

However, this part I find completely bizarre:

"If pension and medical costs are leaping upward, you can't expect the city to pay all the increases without extra contributions from employees."

WHY NOT? Employers, both public and private, covered increased benefit costs for DECADES. There's this thing called "inflation"; you may have heard of it. Costs for things almost always go up in dollar terms; worker demands are not the only driver of those yearly cost-of-living increases. Only in recent years do people act like they don't understand that.

The big theme from state, city and county managements in recent years is that "OMG PENSION COSTS HAVE BECOME COMPLETELY UNSUSTAINABLE AND WILL KILL OUR GRANDMAS IN THEIR SLEEPS." The Daily Review, Oakland Tribune and other regional papers have been attempting to create public panic about this for many years, with much success.

To misinform the public, they typically take the recent years of reduced income from pension investments and project these temporary investment margin reductions out for 20, 50, 75, 100 years, and arrive at outrageous debt levels and projections of unsustainable budgets. In future years, pension investments will experience good years as well as bad, and it is completely impossible to project pension fund levels 50 years out with indisputable accuracy; there are WAY too many variables. But accepting that concept in pension projections would not serve, say, the Hayward City Manager or the San Leandro Mayor. So, they take dire projections and make them the gospel truth.

Now, is it possible for pension investment projections to be painted with an unreasonably rosy brush? Of course. Have the Hayward City workers already accepted sharp cuts in recent years in recognition of things like this? YES.

People who were making $10 million in 2008 are making $12 million in 2012; as a class, those megawealthy have increased their income by about that much. I am interested in seeing to it that people of more modest incomes are not cut while wealthy people are enriched. To allow that to continue is a sign of a very sick society, and will lead to a continual mediocre-to-poor economy. If forced upon workers for much longer, these cuts WILL cause major social unrest.

Regarding pensions you state-

"Have the Hayward City workers already accepted sharp cuts in recent years in recognition of things like this? YES"

Really, the Hayward City workers have already accepted sharp cuts?

Tell me about the "cuts" in pensions that 97% of Hayward City workers have accepted?

Tell me what a workers pension accrual rate was in the the year 2000. Now, 13 years later, tell me what that SAME Hayward worker's pension accrual rate is. (Accrual rate means the percent they will get for each year of service as a city employee)

So the guy is a public works employee, say a painter. In 2000 he had one rate. Now, that "very same" employee, still with the city, has a accrual rate he is getting in 2013 and will continue to get until he retires. So give me his year 2000 rate and the 2013 rate.

Show me the "sharp cuts".

Secondly, you do realize that the city is having to pay a growing percentage of salary to CalPERS that can change every year and only increases.
I'm talking about percentage contribution by the city for its part of the contribution.

Where is your evidence that Hayward City workers have not suffered a 12% cut in compensation in the last few contracts, and has been told they must take another 5% cut? That is the Union's statement here; the City has not disputed that to my knowledge. If they have, feel free to show us.

Again, you're even more hostile to the workers than the City management. You must be proud.

11:22, I see, first you suggest that current workers have been given and will be given more sharp cuts in pensions.

So I ask you to take the example of a 10 or 20 year worker for the city.

Show me any sharp cuts to their pension.
What was their rate accrual 12 years ago, what was it 5 years ago, what is it today, what is the proposal to cut it at all.

You apparently have nothing to back up your proclamations.
There have been no cuts in city pension.
In fact most city employees got and retain large increases in their accrual rates.

Is the city proposing a large increase in the employee contribution? If so, is it even half of the increase that the city is being required to make (required by CalPERS)

You seem to be happy just taking vague figures of 12% and 5% while not understanding them or how they are arrived at.
Then when I question them, you suggest that is being anti-worker and I suppose pro-city management.
Who just happen to be managing the city for the residents. Its not like all the "profits" go into their own bank accounts.
There are no "profits".

This isn't GM or Bank of America hogging the profits while workers starve.

The figures of 12% past cuts and the City's current demand of 5% more in cuts are specific enough for me to derive an opinion. You claim to be searching for exquisite details of exactly WHAT and WHERE the cuts are. That's a distraction. Again, the City is proudly proclaiming that they are seeking further cuts in the workers' health insurance and pension compensations.

You actually concede this in your latest attack on the workers. You have to read carefully to recognize your admission of awareness, at a rather high level of specificity, of the pension compensation cuts the City is demanding of the workers. That level of specific knowledge is unverifiable by us, but if it is accurate it still exists as a demanded cut. By the way, we notice that you avoid rather desperately naming the amount in dollars that the workers would lose if they accepted the City's pension proposal.

In the end, your claim that you want to know the minute details acts as a pretense of good faith, but these claims are actually in bad faith. You support the City's attack on the compensation of their workforce; we get it. The rest is just dishonest rhetoric.

What is missing from the above string of argument is the fact that it is tax payers money that pays the wages and benefits. And, that pot of tax payers money has quickly shrunk. Can anyone tell me if there is any money left for raises? I believe that after this game between the city and it's employees is over some money will be found and a smaller increase will be granted. All the public grandstanding will be over and the tax payer will take it in the rear once again.

12:07 says the following

"You have to read carefully to recognize your admission of awareness, at a rather high level of specificity, of the pension compensation cuts the City is demanding of the workers"

Let me highlight that one sentence,

"the pension compensation cuts the City is demanding of the workers"

Lets get one thing clear. 99% of all the workers are getting NO cuts to their pensions.

If they were suppose to get a 75% pension after 30 years, they will still get a 75% pension.

Take a worker who has 20 years of service.
The issue at debate is how much he must contribute from his monthly salary.
This is where its is difficult to pin down who is asking for what.
Examples in the news regarding other public employees are situations like BART where the workers currently pay nothing into their pensions.
Others, like teachers pay 8.0% into their pensions.
Most cities are at, or trending towards that 8.0 figure. Oakland firefighters pay 13%.

I believe the new Hayward agreement for firefighters will lead them to pay 15% but as they ramp up to that level, the city will contribute a portion of that "employee contribution" in the following way.
Fiscal Yr 2014, the city will pay 4.5% of that 15%
Fiscal Yr 2015, the city will pay 3.5% of that 15%
Fiscal Yr 2016, the city will pay 2.0% of that 15%
After that the city will pay 0% of the "employee contribution"
However the city always pays the much much larger "employer" share as they currently do.
I don't know that exact percentage as it changes each year, but for firefighter and police, it is something like 28%. Huge...

So narrowing the discussion down to the pension portion, the city is trying to get workers to pay a larger portion of the "employee contribution" because CalPERS is raising the required contributions of the city.
Pensions costs are going up and the city is asking that employees share a portion of that rising cost.

However, the amount a employee gets in his pension is not being cut.

In fact, over the past 10 years, the percentage of salary that the employee eventually gets has gone up by 25% for almost all Hayward regular city employees.
In other words, a city public works employee who was going to with a 60% pension under the 2001 pension rules, now gets to retire with a 75% pension even though he has the same number of years service.
If you do the math, that worker gets a pension that is 25% larger (75% is 125% of 60% if you follow the math)

That pension rate, boosted in past years, will not be lowered under any of the city proposals,

In short, pensions are not being "cut".

12:07 should stop suggesting such.

Please supply your facts to say other wise.

Ahhh, 11:38, so you were fibbing all along. You provide information about the pension compensation cuts proposed by Hayward management which you claim is accurate (it is a fact that the accuracy of this is unverifiable by your readers). You appear to have had this information all along, so in reality there was a lot of information you weren't seeking in a good-faith way.

I do admire your hubris, though. By your own summary here, Hayward workers are being asked to contribute more money in order to maintain the deferred compensation of their pension plans; again, we are forced to read your summary very carefully in order to find that admission, but your admission is there. So, the workers would be forced to make those extra payments now, but you wish to play semantical games and claim that the workers would not lose money, aka COMPENSATION, if they accepted the City's pension proposal.

There's just something in your detailed summary that's missing, though...it's on the tip of my tongue, what is it?...oh, yeah, you are unwilling or unable to provide a calculation of the extra amount in dollars the workers would be forced to fork over to maintain their pensions, money they would be forced to pay out NOW and with every subsequent paycheck during the terms of the contract.

Your unwillingness to deal with this real-world effect is one of the things which allows you to feign ignorance and an arrogant lack of empathy when the Hayward storekeeper expresses fear for her immediate future. You see a worker "virtually in tears", and your reaction is to sniff that her terror seems unwarranted based on your very erudite analysis of the pension plan, analysis you ADMIT is incomplete.

Now, if you want to have a debate over the short-term effects of the City's level of contribution to the pension plan and its relative fairness and sustainability, that's another discussion. Me, I think the City's attempt to use increased contributions in 2013 and use them to help model a 10-year projection, something I discovered today in my search for information in this situation, is deceptive and unreasonable. We can have those discussions, but don't try to pretend that the City's pension proposal would not cut the workers' compensation right away.

And we haven't even dealt with the increased health care insurance costs the City is trying to force the workers to shoulder.

7:27, says "You appear to have had this information all along, so in reality there was a lot of information you weren't seeking in a good-faith way."

Unlike you, I have been looking into the information. I had nice talk with the Daily Review reporter who is covering this issue.
Everything is not clear, in part, because the city's position is not precise and detailed and the union is just saying no to everything that might entail any extra contributions to cover the ever rising and mandated CalPERS contributions as well as the mandated rise in medical, dental, and vision, if one intends to keep the same level of coverage as the union members now have.

In other words, the costs are rising. It would seem the union position is that the city pay every single cent of the added costs, even when the city does not get added revenues.

You seem to think you've "caught" someone when there is even the slightest discussion that the union members might need to contribute to the growing costs.

AS though all the rest of society, the residents of Hayward, in their own lives, aren't paying these same growing costs. AS though city workers should be entirely protected from these very real costs.
It appears from the document I found, that the fire fighters union recognized this reality and agreed to take up their share of the rising costs.

You seem to think that any similar suggestion that the SEIU workers do the same is a affront to their rights or something. That instead the costs should all be borne by the residents of the city, most of whom have only a fraction of the benefits and pension that the city workers have.

I can assure you that most residents don't have the medical, dental, and vision coverage that the city worker's plans include.
Many have large deductible costs to pay before their policy begins to pick up costs.
Hopefully Obamacare will allow some of then to get the gold plated health plan coverage enjoyed by city workers, although dental and vision coverage will still be a dream for most of us.

(continued)

(continued)

You object to the city using 10 year projections and yet the city is mandated to pay the extra contributions demanded by CalPERS in order to meet CalPERS 10, 20, and 30 year projections.

Have you ever seen the anticipated extra contributions projected by CalPERS?
Do you think the city should ignore those?

Do you really think the city shouldn't plan for medical costs to exceed inflation over the next 10 years as they have for the past decade.

You act like the city shouldn't look beyond the tip of their nose in projecting future costs.

Just as they didn't look into the future when they granted Hayward city workers a gigantic 25% boost I pensions a few years back.

I keep mentioning that 25% boost and pensions and you keep acting like it never took placed and never needs to be paid for.
That action is a great part of the reason for the ever increasing pension contributions.

I didn't hear the unions worrying about future contributions when they were handed that 25% boost in pensions. What, did they think it was going to be free forever.
Especially when it was retroactively granted to included ALL prior years of service.
A worker with 29 years and 11 months, only need to stay on the job for 30 days after passage of that boost, to have his entire 30 years of service boosted up 25%.
Oh sure, that kind of Golden Parachute giveaway was never going to cost more in the future contributions. Sure.

So now some of the costs come due and you are complaining at how unfair it all is.
I suppose you expect city residents to pass extra taxes to pay for those ballooned pensions and that workers shouldn't pay their fair share.

Firefighters realized that they needed to chip in.
You find that objectionable.

You don't want to face reality.
You want the goodies, but you don't want to pay for your share of the costs.

Look at this letter from CalPERS about projected employer contribution rates.
This letter is the latest projections.
See the date April 26, 2013

http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/employer/cir-ltrs/2013/200-019-13.pdf

Hayward's AVR is in the 6 category.
Look at those projections for 2015 through 2020.

Those are not some made up numbers the city is fiddling with. That is from CalPERS.

I'm sure your facts don't come from similar data.
If the city already pays 18.9% employer contribution, that could go to 27.4% by 2020.

Yet you want the city to keep paying most of the employee share as well.

So these are why 10 year projections are needed.
Because CalPERS is telling cities that the wave of new boosted contributions is coming down the road,.

Yet you seem to want the city to stick its head in the sand and act like CalPERS is lying.

Whose head is in the sand? Hayward's or yours?

It causes me rueful but hearty laughs to read you repeating over and over again that the SEIU workers just say no to everything and arrogantly refuse to consider any increased contributions at all. WAKE UP: THEY'VE TAKEN A 12% COMPENSATION CUT IN RECENT YEARS. As a result of the layoffs and cuts they've taken, I understand that the City of Hayward's 2013-2014 budget is in decent shape. That is why the SEIU workers do not want to be forced to take even more deep cuts.

You mention concessions made by the Hayward firefighters. Did they take a 12% cut in previous contracts? I don't believe they did. More SEIU-represented jobs were eliminated in recent contracts, and their members sacrificed more pay and hours than other Unions did, yet you want them to take the same cuts as you claim Hayward firefighters did in their recent agreement. At a certain point, it becomes impossible to maintain morale and personnel when you're slashing away. I'd suggest that a 17% cut would reach that point and pass it.

This bit from you is also interesting: "It would seem the union position is that the city pay every single cent of the added costs, even when the city does not get added revenues." So, you do realize that the City HAS added revenue in the last two years? Also, do you take into account that cutting workers' pay reduces revenue as well as expenses? When workers make less, they pay less taxes, and they also spend less at local businesses, which hurts sales tax revenues. Of course, this also undermines Hayward businesses, something we should all care about.

You're seeing out information from the Daily Review; that explains a lot. The Daily Review, part of the Bay Area News Group empire. If you're truly interested in gaining relevant information to help you sort out this situation, try this: See if you can find a single circumstance in recent years where a BANG newspaper has supported the workers in a labor dispute.

Then, line up the BANG papers' long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long list of editorials and reportings which have not only attacked workers in labor disputes, but have also attacked elected officials when they agree to settle contracts with their workforces without forcing a strike. The primary owner of the Daily Review and all other BANG papers is billionaire Dean Singleton; it is no coincidence that his papers serve his personal interests perfectly.

I presume you are not a billionaire. I also presume no one has called on your bosses to cut your compensation by 17%. Why would they? That would make no sense at all. Similarly, it makes no sense for you to want the people who serve you to lose pay. Yet, this is exactly what you are doing, and much of your reasoning hangs on this: "AS though all the rest of society, the residents of Hayward, in their own lives, aren't paying these same growing costs. AS though city workers should be entirely protected from these very real costs."

The Singletons of the world have manufactured a knife and ordered their henchmen to plunge it in your back. Then, in your fear and confusion, you're dutifully following Singleton's orders: "Take that knife out of your back and stab your neighbors in the gut with it, then slash your own neck." Perhaps it would be better to ask your neighbors to take the knife out of your back and help repair your wound, then tell the Singleton class to pound sand. You can turn from your current, self-defeating path tomorrow if you want.

The Singleton class has made out like bandits all the way through the recession/depression, while your class, BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION, is suffering. Why do you wish to spread and deepen their suffering? Why do you want to stuff more cash in the billionaires' overflowing pockets? Since the 2001 Bush tax cuts, the rich have been paying some of the lowest actual tax rates than they've paid in our lifetimes. That has much to do with the crash in public budgets. You want to repair the budgets by screwing over the workers. There are alternatives.

Anonymous 1:12 pm,

So I read the CalPERS document you linked. I'd suggest to you that it undermines the City's position somewhat.

From the document: "These changes (in increased employer pension contributions for the next 5 years) are expected to increase employer contribution rates in the near term but result in lower contribution rates in the long term." So, after the year 2020, CalPERS is telling public agency employers like Hayward that their contribution rates will be sharply reduced.

In addition, annual health care cost increases in the United States have reduced recently; the last two years have seen those health cost hikes reduced to around 4.5% per year, not much higher than the rate of inflation. How do these facts square with City management's dire budget projections through 2023 due to increased benefit costs? This is particularly important, given that I understand Hayward's 2013-14 budget is not deeply in the red and the City is saying they need to force cuts now to prepare for huge increased cost projections by the end of the 10-year window.

Hayward management's 10-year projection also appears to presume that revenues will remain at their relatively low levels. Let's be clear: in the modern era, much of Hayward's revenue has always come from Federal and State governments. Federal tax cuts on rich people and businesses have hurt Hayward's budget badly. The State's tax cuts for those same powerful interests also hurt Hayward.

So, Hayward leaders could join other American cities in lobbying for increased revenues from increased taxes on those who can EASILY afford it, or they can continue to head in their current hostile and misguided direction. The City has a choice. Don't let them fool you into believing they have no short- or long-term alternatives.

I see you once again avoid talking about the 25% increase in pension accrual rates that workers got a few years ago. As though that gigantic boost didn't affect the skyrocketing pension contribution rates the city will be making as CalPERS only now begins to address the realistic math of the future.

Instead over and over spend your time talking about class differences and Dean Singleton.
I'm sure your counter parts in Vallejo, Stockton, and San Bernardino are also making the same case.
http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20130605/san-bernardino-bankruptcy-process-accelerates

Hayward is trying to head off their fate from becoming Hayward's. The accelerating pension rates are part of that planning.
CalPERS is going to demand that higher rates be paid so as to avoid dozens of other San Bernardino situations.

We see the city's already huge share of the pension contributions growing another 8.5%
Leaving the city with 18.9% + 8.5% + 4% (the employee portion they pay) for a grand total of 31.4% of payroll for regular workers.

And that "good" outcome is all contingent on CalPERS projections of future returns being 7.50% over the coming decades.

LOOK at this. Calpers Chief Actuary Alan Milligan, their head guy in projections for the future, told the CalPERS board that the 7.5% projection was too high!
That is their own top man. Telling the board to NOT rely on a 7.5% future return. He told them to expect a lower return,.

But knowing that a lower return would force CalPERS to demand higher contributions, the board ignored their own best advice and made believe that some how, some way, higher returns will happen. How dangerous that is and how easily it could make future contribution rates go through the roof.

Not only does CalPERS own chief actuary say that lower future returns are to be expected, but almost every single financial expert says the same.
Only for political reasons did the CalPERS board not lower the assumed rate below 7.5% because it would have meant greatly higher mandated contributions from the cities.

That future 8.5% on top of the 18.9% and the 4.0% would have gone up with a extra 5% added on.
Those truths would mean there would be absolutely no financial space to avoid having employees contribute more.
Either that or asking the public to raise their sales tax by 0.5% on all purchases.

Try selling that to the public when employees aren't even paying their own portion of the "employee contribution".

You want to make believe that reality isn't true.
That future returns of CalPERS will stay at 7.5% or more.
That the Chief Actuary of CalPERS is wrong and that the CalPERS political board is right.

(continued)

(continued)

You want to play a dangerous game based on a wish.
And you want to do all this, putting taxpayers on the hook, to continue funding your pensions which were boosted a huge 25% and which need to be funded to prevent future hikes in taxes for Hayward city residents.

Everyone in the financial world tells you that it is foolhardy, but in the very very short term you want to ignore it.

Thank goodness the city leaders aren't so blind.

Finally, you rely on the most optimistic interpretation of the following quote.

--- "These changes (in increased employer pension contributions for the next 5 years) are expected to increase employer contribution rates in the near term but result in lower contribution rates in the long term."---

You seem to think that "lower contribution rates in the long term" mean lower rates.
NO, what that means is that instead of the increases shooting higher and higher in a upward bending curve, that the rate climb would happen in a more moderate but still upward trend.

The math does not change. I just means the shockwave increases will not arc upwards suddenly IF we take measures now to "smooth" out the increases.

That you take that to mean "lower" contribution rates in the future is the height of naïve understanding of the overall math trends that mandate higher and higher contributions.

City leader cannot live in the same Fairland financial world.
But for the political pressures, the CalPERS board would have taken the advice of their own top expert and put future projected returns even lower.

When that eventually happens even the huge contribution rates you now see will be much higher.

The federal government assumes its pension fund will have a 6.2 percent rate of return, and most private employers that still have pension plans use a rate of 5 percent.
Contrast that with CalPERS at 7.50%
Nothing but a dream.

A dream which used to be reality, until the 2008 financial crash which is still making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Your unwillingness to deal with that reality has us talking past each other. Too bad; I'm not playing on your field.

This is an interesting statement: "Those truths would mean there would be absolutely no financial space to avoid having employees contribute more. Either that or asking the public to raise their sales tax by 0.5% on all purchases."

Well, that shows a blinded vision, doesn't it? The wealthiest among us are paying some of the lowest real Federal tax rates in the history of our Nation, and California's revenues through property tax assessments on businesses and the wealthy are artificially low due to some of the corrosive aspects of Proposition 13. These are among the revenues which could be restored to levels which were associated with a better economy and easier budgetary times for Hayward. Instead, you immediately run to the most regressive tax we have, the sales tax. Nice sophistry there.

My understanding is that in past years some local jurisdictions like Hayward negotiated with its employees increased pension incomes in lieu of up-front cost-of-living and wage increases. In other words, many public sector workers agreed to accept wages inferior to what would have been available to them in the private sector in exchange for increased retirement security. That represented the workers prudently preparing for their retirements and clearing the way for the next generation of workers. That is the sort of discipline and perspective which should be respected.

Instead, you, Hayward management, and many other jurisdictions want to eat away at the basic tenets of that deal. With double-digit compensation cuts, most workers will have to stay in their jobs much longer and they will have less purchasing power. So you see, these policies increase unemployment and hurt the overall economy. This is as true for you in the private sector as it is for these workers in the public sector, by the way.

One of the astonishing tricks the plutocrats have gotten people like you to swallow is the concept that "Government workers are getting paid more than me with MY TAX DOLLARS AAAARGHHHH!!!" There is this bizarre idea that sticks like gum to the bottom of your brains that Hayward workers are the only expense the City has, and they make no contribution to Hayward revenues or their resident's quality of life. These perceptions are dead wrong.

Let's talk expenses, using Stockton as an example. If you drive in downtown Stockton, you can see the evidence of extensive downtown investments. (promenades along the waterways, a new ballpark, etc.). That all cost a TON of money. Creating expenses like these are often good ideas, if the investments are wise and prudent, if they improve the business climate and quality of life for the residents, and the final result is an increased revenue stream.

Unfortunately, a horrible financial crisis enveloped the U.S. at the same time Stockton had its investment money in the pipeline. The increased revenues that Stockton may have enjoyed if their investments were good ones were wiped away by the crisis. They also suffered tremendous losses in property tax revenues as the foreclosure wave hit Stockton particularly hard, and deep losses in sales taxes as Stockton residents lost their disposable income. Businesses were lost, depressing the economy and tax base even more.

But, in the predigested story handed to us by a well-financed propaganda campaign, Stockton's budget crisis and eventual bankruptcy declaration was caused by the City workers and their retirement incomes. Pure baloney. A question: why were U.S pension plans in decent, sustainable shape until Wall Street, the banks, the investment firms, and other powerful people and institutions wrecked the economy and stole billions of dollars? Where's your actuarial analyses about what they did?

You're playing around with narrow numbers on a pension balance sheet, while the Richie Riches among us have hauled, and are still hauling, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS out of government funds, and out of the economy. Corporations have never been sitting on more cash, yet they're not hiring and paying enough to keep the economy humming. Billionaires cannot spend all the money they make. That money, hidden away in savings, offshore tax havens, and extremely aggressive high-return investment strategies, is not circulating in the economy. This is a bad way to run a capitalist economy, and no way to maintain the commons.

Fortunately, enough Californians get it that they voted to tax themselves in November with Proposition 30. A sales tax increase, a premise you presume local residents would reject, was approved by voters statewide. People don't want more unwise government cuts. Those cuts hurt residents, hurt citizens, hurt the vulnerable, hurt the economy.

I'll say this, the wealthy class have fooled you thoroughly. You want to take the misery of the middle- and lower-class private sector worker and spread it around even more deeply to the public sector worker. They've already given, and given plenty. And besides, I also oppose the cuts to benefits which have happened to private sector workers. Two wrongs just make a bigger wrong. I oppose that; you support it. Why?

Sorry, I can't lead this pile of offal of yours without responding:

"--- "These changes (in increased employer pension contributions for the next 5 years) are expected to increase employer contribution rates in the near term but result in lower contribution rates in the long term."---

You seem to think that "lower contribution rates in the long term" mean lower rates.
NO, what that means is that instead of the increases shooting higher and higher in a upward bending curve, that the rate climb would happen in a more moderate but still upward trend."

No, that is not what those words mean. I am familiar with the concept of weasel words, but the sentence from the CalPERS statement cannot be accurately interpreted in the way you do here. Good faith interpretations here would conclude that lower means lower. Feel free to parse away, though- should be fun!

Let me intervene in the dialogue here. Hayward taxpayers don't just provide money to City employee payroll. Among the payments we have been forced to subsidize are the billions in tax cuts and loopholes which are enjoyed almost entirely by the wealthy. They call many of these loopholes "tax expenditures" for a reason. Even those which aren't labeled expenditures are still tax cuts which usually widen our budget deficits. Hayward taxpayers shouldn't be burdened to make up for the tax cuts we give to General Electric, Chevron, and other powers, but we are.

I ask about Hayward city workers overnight instant 25% boost in pensions and here is what you say.

"My understanding is that in past years some local jurisdictions like Hayward negotiated with its employees increased pension incomes in lieu of up-front cost-of-living and wage increases. In other words, many public sector workers agreed to accept wages inferior to what would have been available to them in the private sector in exchange for increased retirement security"

No one believes that. NO ONE.
When Hayward workers got that boost they were already well compensated compared to the private sector.
Your ideas on that subject are from the 60's and 70's when public employees did in fact make less than private sector workers.
That situation was long gone when these huge increases in pensions were passed.

Why do you think nearly every city in the state has had to drop their pension rates back to pre-jack-up levels.
New hires to Hayward since January 1st are now back at the old levels that were accepted as more than generous for decades.
New hires got thrown overboard in order for the 98% of existing employees keeping the jacked-up rates.
Now when asked to bear part of the burden of the foolish pension hikes, the existing employees don't want any of the burden.

About comparable wages. Look at the jobs.
Check out simple secretaries in any city department.
$60,000 to $63,000 base pay.
Added to that up to $24,000 in medical dental and vision.
Plus the huge pension payments where they don't even contribute the full employee share.

Show me other private business where all the secretaries are above %59,000 a year.

You can't be that out of touch with reality.

Heck, show me a city that hasn't had to retrench their pension accrual rates.

Wait, I can show you one. For their regular non-safety employees, Alameda California.

Why is that? Well because Alameda was about the only city that didn't jack up the pension accrual rates in the mad dash that took place between 2000 and 2007. The kept in place the generous 2.0% for each service year.

You would have Hayward residents shell out more taxes and assessments to pay for pension rates and benefits that local residents can't themselves afford.
And you'd have them do that while city workers aren't even willing to pay their own "employee" share.

I don't see how we move this dialogue forward. We're trenched into our positions; we each believe in our viewpoints.

You think that ALL workers should suffer losses, and I don't. You think public sector workers are overpaid, I think those private sector workers who make less in their positions are underpaid. And you are wrong, some private sector workers make more than comparable positions in government. I have known public sector workers who have moved to the private sector for this reason. Claiming that "No one believes that. NO ONE" suggests that you have to get out more.

You use the pejorative title "simple secretaries" while knowing that those positions can range from requiring a multi-skilled person with strong interpersonal abilities (these attributes do not always require an advanced degree) to an entry-level, relatively unskilled one. A skilled secretary in the Bay Area would deserve the compensation you quote, and more. But why deal with that when there's workers to demagogue?

You toss a flurry of numbers out about a narrow portion of the budget, pensions. Then you paint the dark picture of "IF WE DON'T SCREW HAYWARD WORKERS WE'LL GO BANKRUPT OMG JUST LIKE VALLEJO" without putting your numbers flurry in context. I don't know the numbers definitively, but I'd guess that pension payments actually take up a relatively small portion of the City's expenditures. I'd ask you what are the numbers in dollar terms for pensions and total budget expenditures to increase our collective understanding, but I've become unwilling to trust your numbers now.

I ask you why these pensions plans were not in crisis before the financial crash, and why the fixes to them have to be the City's fixes or nothing. I ask you why the multi-billions of dollars collectively stolen from Hayward and all other government jurisdictions do not inspire your anger and detailed financial analysis. I ask you to consider the subsidies you, me, and Hayward residents are providing to very rich people and big businesses.

Finally, I ask you to consider why you want to take away from your neighbors when the result would be stuffing more money in the obscenely overflowing pockets of the richest among us. I ask you to reconsider the economic and governmental outcomes of this "race to the bottom" business, which is showing itself to be VERY bad for the middle class, and for prospects for a stable society.

Crickets, crickets in response to all of these. We're talking past each other.

I agree, we are not making progress. Time better spent doing something useful.

I would say however that Hayward is on its own.
You are not going to extract money from the Koch brothers and get it transferred to Hayward.

I realize that pensions aren't the largest item in Hayward's budget, but it is one of the items that is growing at a alarming rate, as are medical costs.

Those are the two issues the city is trying to address as they look to the future.
The city cannot be expected to entirely pay for those costs that are breaking local governments, becoming a larger and larger percentage of the budget as other services are cut to pay for the rising pension and medical costs.

If paying a fair share of that growth forces overall compensation to stall out, or even dip a percent or two for a year, then guess what, that is fair.
If the city's costs continue to rise while the employee's cost goes up as well, that is what sharing the burden is all about.

The alternative is to put it all onto the residents, the vast majority of whom can't afford similar medical and pension programs for their own future.

To have those already struggling residents pay more so that a public employees can be exempt from paying their share, the employee share, is downright unfair to those many Hayward residents.

Hayward does not have a lot of "obscenely overflowing pockets of the richest among us".
Who are you going to extract the needed money from?

Labor costs are NOT breaking local government. Lots of factors are making it more difficult for local governments to maintain balanced budgets and decent services, and the workers are NOT one of them.

But as long as you maintain frames like that, and want to subsidize billionnaires like the Kochs with your tax dollars while self-destructively wanting to screw over your neighbors, it's understandable that there is little common ground between us.

I'll leave you with the quote from City Manager David listed above: "Revenue is not the answer." You see, Fran David does not want to grow Hayward's revenues! Instead, she wants to use their temporarily lower levels to drive her agenda. I would hope everyone can see the many problems in having a City Manager who does not want to grow and improve the City.

By the way, "growing revenues" does not automatically mean raising local taxes. It can mean getting more in State and Federal revenues. It can also mean improving the business climate. Depressing the labor market by cutting worker compensation by 17% hurts the business climate.

The guy doesn't get it. He should take his interest in crunching numbers and statistics and use them to crunch how much of Hayward's budget has historically come from Sacramento and Washington D.C. Might be a lesson for him and others that the "obscenely overflowing pockets of the richest among us" used to fund Hayward and all other localities. That worked better because they could afford it and those funds supported the cities, counties and states that enriched them, but the rich have bought off enough politicians to see to it that they aren't having to do that right now. He might see that the decision by the Kochs in our country that they didn't want to pay their fair share anymore, along with the financial crisis that their class caused, are the biggest causes of local budget challenges.

Fat chance, though. He's picked his side.

12:01 "that they didn't want to pay their fair share"

How about Hayward city employees just "pay their fair share" of the "employee contribution" for their own pension.
The city currently pays both the employer share and half of the employee share.

Or do you only like the phrase "pay their fair share" when it comes to others paying?

Hayward teachers "pay their fair share".
Hayward firefighters have agreed to "pay their fair share".

Why not the regular city employees?

Why should the city pick up the "employee" share?

You act as if all other elements of the Hayward teacher, firefighter, police and general worker contracts are entirely alike. Only in that scenario would your demand make sense. But they don't have contracts equal in all other ways, so your demand doesn't make sense.

You also fail to deal with the fact that unlike you or I, most public sector workers do not gain Social Security benefits from their service, so their pensions are particularly important.

Overall, you display a failure to understand the concept of deferred compensation, and you act as if the workers should be grateful to lose money to increased contributions because the City is doing them a favor in "granting" them a pension. That is not the way it works, and our parents and grandparents' pensions were not threatened in the ways you urge Hayward management to do here. You already admitted the Hayward pensions are a small portion of the City's overall expenditures, and their slightly increased rate is a smaller portion yet, so this fight is about ideology more than numbers.

But we understand your position. The Koch brothers and the Hayward rank-and-file worker, each is the same. The Koch brothers want to keep on stealing from you and undermining your future, and you want to open your wallets to them. Feel free; just keep your hands off mine, and off the Hayward workers'.

Ah yes, Social Security.

"You also fail to deal with the fact that unlike you or I, most public sector workers do not gain Social Security benefits from their service, so their pensions are particularly important."

Of course, even the most lowly employee who earns Social Security, contributes 6.2% for benefits that aren't nearly as generous as those Hayward city workers get.

BTW, the majority of Hayward city workers will also get Social Security after retirement, for work they did during the other years of their work life. (with a small deduction because they also get a CalPERS pension. I believe the maximum reduction is about $350)
Unless of course they worked from age 20 to 60, all for the city and never contributed to Social Security.
In which case they'd be getting a 100% pension anyway.

You keep suggesting that pensions are a minor expense. With the increases already in line, they will equal over 32% of regular wages for misc. workers and of course are over 45% for safety workers.
I'd hardly refer to that as inconsequential or small.

Again, lots of this is driven by the huge 25% boost in pensions that were given back a few years.
I don't know the precise year it took place, but it was between 2000 and 2007. Now, the city and CalPERS is trying to fix the problems that that move cost.
Who benefits from that gigantic boost in pension?
The very workers who now are complaining when asked to contribute their employee share of that cost run up.

What did they expect when they got that 25% boost and it was retroactive? That it would be free?
As though the money would magically appear?
Everyone winked and nodded while pushing that unwise boost through the system.

People knew it would create problems. But everyone got on the gravy train. Union members and management. Even city leaders who would get a boost. All the advice given by advisors who also would get the boost.
No one paid attention to the warnings. Certainly the union leaders didn't speak up.
City after city took the bait.
Alameda was a exception. I don't know why they remained sensible.

Meanwhile CalPERS continues to ignore the advice of their own Chief Actuarial. Pushing the pain out farther. Then, the contribution rates will really go up.

Agree with Anon 1:47 and disagree with above anti-public employee post.

Wall Street and corporate america caused the destruction of the pension funds and their surpluses. CalPers and others are now coming back with higher tan average gains!

1:04, I see, boosting pensions by 25% over-night and making the boost retroactive.

No, that wouldn't have any impact on the unfunded liability of the situation.
At least Hayward didn't boost it 35% like Oakland did.
Then again, Alameda didn't boost it at all, so they didn't have to retreat back to the old sensible rates.

Of course your opinion is better informed than CalPERS own Chief Actuarial who urged the board to take a more sensible estimate of future earnings.
Sure, sure, it will all just work out, won't it..
Anyone who suggests otherwise is anti-worker.

You'll have fun blaming the bad guys when the money runs out. Of course Hayward City leaders and the unions will bear no fault at all.

Anon above needs to stop listening to the conservative media. CalPers was doing well till the severe Bush recession hit . As we come out of the recession it is earning double digit percentages again and over the next 10 years will right itself like it has always done. The average CalPers pension is about 30,000 dollars a year.

Agree with the above statement. I worked for the state and my wife worked for the city. Our combined retirement pensions are about 61,000 dollars a year and in the Bay Area with it's high cost of living, we are not living the life of luxury.

Let me intervene in the dialogue here. Hayward taxpayers don't just provide money to City employee payroll. Among the payments we have been forced to subsidize are the billions in tax cuts and loopholes which are enjoyed almost entirely by the wealthy. They call many of these loopholes "tax expenditures" for a reason. Even those which aren't labeled expenditures are still tax cuts which usually widen our budget deficits. Hayward taxpayers shouldn't be burdened to make up for the tax cuts we give to General Electric, Chevron, and other powers, but we are.

Yes yes, we always hear about the "average" CalPERS pension.

Trouble is you leave out most of the facts.

#1. The average person in the private sector works from age 23 or 24 until retirement at age 65 or 66, when they can collect full Social Security.
42 to 43 years of a work.

Compare that to the average CalPERS retiree who has only put in 19.7 year of service to get their "average" pension. (CalPERS facts)

Should you get a full pension for less than half a career?

#2. The CalPERS "average" pension is made up of loads of older retirees who retired when
---(A) pension accrual rate were far lower. 2% or less versus 2.0% or more, including 2.5% and sometimes 2.7% for each year of service for regular employees. Most workers retiring currently are at the higher levels and that will continue for the next 20 years.

---(B) salaries were lower relative to today's workers even when inflation is considered.

#3. The figures you seldom see published are what are the "average" pensions for those who have retired in the past 2 years, who worked a full career of 30 or more years.

Those figures give "average" pensions of more than double the most often cites "average" CalPERS pensions.

You see, you can easily mislead the public with data when you give out low-ball numbers.

BTW, also left out is that those "average" retirees have normally worked half their career in the public sector and another half in the private sector, for which they will also collect their Social Security with a small reduction since they are collecting a government pension.

I believe the maximum reduction in their Social Security check is about $370 a month, still leaving them with a considerable Social Security addition to their CalPERS pension.

So how about giving the readers all the facts.

I know you don't like him, but take read for some true facts about "average" pensions.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_17299237?source=most_emailed

As long as rich people want to live in California, and companies want to do business in California, you can raise taxes on them to pay for public union salaries, pensions, healthcare, and whatever else. The ultra-wealthy (from all over the world) will still want to live in California, and you can tax them, and the middle class will be cemented by the public unions and retirees.

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