Cities: repeal landmark pension legislation

CARSON — A League of California Cities representative yesterday urged a legislative committee to repeal two decade-old bills allowing local governments to negotiate higher pensions, saying the benefits are “too rich” and “unsustainable.”

The legislation backed by CalPERS created a range of more generous formulas said to have ratcheted up pensions during labor negotiations as employers “chased the richest contract” to remain competitive.

“We think it’s important to repeal SB 400 and AB 616 because we think they have generated pensions that are unsustainable and very difficult to explain to the larger public that we serve,” Rod Gould, Santa Monica city manager, told the committee yesterday.

He said the cities would like to see CalPERS and other large retirement systems “offering additional formula choices that maybe aren’t quite as lucrative as those that are currently available but provide more choices to be bargained locally.”

The two-house committee held the first of three hearings on pension reform planned before the Legislature reconvenes in January. A plan is expected to emerge from bills pending in the Legislature and a long-awaited proposal from Gov. Brown today.

The Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times reported yesterday, based on a briefing given labor leaders, that the governor’s proposal gives new hires a “hybrid” that combines a less generous pension and a 401(k)-style investment plan.

The governor’s proposal reportedly is similar to a 12-point plan he issued in March: extend full retirement ages for new hires to 67, curb boosting or “spiking” pensions, and end the purchase of service credits or “air time” to increase pensions.

Voter approval would be required for a proposal to reshape the labor-friendly boards of the California Public Employees Retirement System and California State Teachers Retirement System by adding financial experts.

Public pension costs have soared and become a political issue since massive investment losses in a recession and stock market crash. To cut costs, many unions are agreeing to raise worker pension contributions and give new hires lower pensions.

(Current workers are widely believed to have “vested rights” to the pensions promised at their date of hire that are protected by court decisions. So pension rollbacks are limited to new hires, usually taking decades to produce significant government savings.)

For employers in CalPERS, what’s being rolled back for new hires are the major pension increases in the two bills enacted a decade ago.

A key provision in SB 400 in 1999 gave the Highway Patrol a negotiated 50 percent pension increase. The formula was changed from 2 percent of final pay for each year served at age 50 to “3 at 50.”

SB 400 was a sweeping pension increase for most state workers, even retirees. But the legislation also created a “3 at 50” formula for local law enforcement, triggering widespread bargaining for the new benchmark.

“What the state does does matter,” John Mirisch, a Beverly Hills councilman, reminded the committee. “There is a tremendous trickle-down effect to cities as we see in the aftermath of SB 400.”

Pension hearing in Carson City Council chambers.

CalPERS sponsored SB 400 and has been criticized for telling the Legislature the measure would not increase state costs. Although not a sponsor of AB 616 in 2001, CalPERS offered local governments an incentive for boosting pensions to the new formulas.

CalPERS said it would reward higher benefits by inflating the value of the local government’s pension investment fund, making it easier for the employer to pay for the more generous pensions.

Legislative analyses said AB 616 could boost pensions by a third. Part of the argument for the bill was that while SB 400 gave police (and firefighters added later) a potential 50 percent pension increase, miscellaneous workers received nothing.

Before signing AB 616, former Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a similar bill the previous year saying: “I am not aware of a business or policy need to provide a new, higher level of retirement benefits for non-safety public employees.”

Local government employers in CalPERS and the 20 county systems operating under a 1937 act had formulas of “2 at 55” and “2 at 60.” AB 616 added “2.5 at 55,” “2.7 at 55” and “3 at 60.”

At the committee hearing, Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, questioned Gould about why local government, which usually advocates local control, is advocating state control through lower pension formulas to resist bargaining pressure.

If the benefits are too rich, asked Simitian, why can’t local government officials negotiate fair, sustainable pensions?

“You may decide that’s where you want to be,” replied Gould. “What I’m telling you, based on conversations with our colleagues and other elected officials throughout the state, there is a feeling that in some cities the lure is just too great, and we think these benefits are just too rich and unsustainable.

“We think it would be helpful, and send a message to the taxpayers of California that those options are taken off the table.”

Gould mentioned a number of other points in a pension reform policy adopted by the League of Cities last summer. One he did not mention is a “detailed legal review” of whether pensions promised current workers can be reduced.

The Little Hoover Commission and others suggest that the courts look at whether the pensions of current workers can be cut for years worked in the future, while protecting pensions earned for service in the past.

One of the committee members, Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, introduced legislation earlier this year that would switch new hires from pensions to a 401(k)-style individual investment plan.

Walters said yesterday she is seeking a clearer picture of total pension liability. Unions say pension opponents exaggerate the “unfunded liability” to scare the public into supporting a switch to 401(k)-style plans now common in the private sector.

“Many of my questions will be focused on finding that number,” said Walters, “and as we meet in the coming weeks or months, we can find solutions that provide the greatest protection to our state workers and taxpayers.”

The co-chairman of the committee, Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena, whose district includes Carson, had said earlier this year that he wanted a pension-reform package. He warned that there might be an initiative if the Legislature did not act.

But as in recent years, pension initiatives have not attracted funding. Republicans and other potential backers are putting their money into a referendum on new state Senate districts and a “paycheck protection” initiative on using public employee union dues for political campaigns.

As he opened the new hearings on pension reform, Furutani said, “Hopefully, this all converges around a plan that is bipartisan” and that serves both the workers and the public.

Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at http://calpensions.com/ Posted 27 Oct 11

102 Responses to “Cities: repeal landmark pension legislation”

  1. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting …”The Little Hoover Commission and others suggest that the courts look at whether the pensions of current workers can be cut for years worked in the future, while protecting pensions earned for service in the past.”

    The above is the MINIMUM first step to stop digging the hole even deeper.

    Then ….. once that’s done, we need to determine the “excess pensions” … how much SMALLER pensions WOULD HAVE BEEN in the absence of the collusion between Public Sector Unions and the elected representatives who approved these rich pensions in exchange for campaign contributions and election support …. and THEN eliminate the “excess pensions” and reduce the pensions associated with PAST (yes PAST) service down to the smaller amount that would have been approved in the absence of that collusion.

    Now that being said …. do I believe any of these VERY needed and just reforms will happen ?

    No, I believe the fools working for this nutty state will ride their giant but imaginary pensions right off the financial cliff and in the end game, be lucky to get 50% of what has been promised.

  2. SkippingDog Says:

    Once again, TL, you start with what seems to be a reasonable premise and then careen off the rails later in your post.

    Whether pension benefit formulae for current employees can be legally reduced for future years of service has yet to be determined. It may or may not be possible, so we’ll just have to let the political and legal processes play out.

    You depart the realm of reality when you take up the cause of reducing existing pensions for past service. California law is very clear about the fact that a pension is vested, deferred compensation for past service. It is also very clear, under both the California and U.S. Constitutions, that attempting to impair a contract with mature debt would be legally indefensible.

    There will clearly be pension reforms enacted, in California and elsewhere. What won’t happen is a punitive slap at the people who have completed their service and the terms of their contract with the government and taxpayers. That would be a greater wrong than any about which you continue to complain.

  3. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    Sorry TL— Your ideas violate long settled Constitutional frameworks— note— that is Constitution with a big C.

  4. Tough Love Says:

    Skippy, You should read up on the situation in Rhode Island. That’s the future for CA, IL, MI, NJ, and a few others.

  5. Tough Love Says:

    Skippy, Re my suggestion to reduce accrued pensions by the portion that would not have been approved in the absence of the collusion between the Public Sector Union and CA’s elected representatives …… I’m ignoring CA’s constitution, statutes, and case law, BECAUSE, when there’s no money none of that will matter.

    And “no money” doesn’t mean zero. That point will come when EXISTING workers (particularly the ones with less service) finally realize that THEY are being ripped off and all THEIR contributions are simply going to unfairly subsidize excessive payments to current retirees and the soon to be retired.

    The impetus for change will as likely as not come from this group as well as from frd-up Taxpayers.

  6. SeeSaw Says:

    SB400 did not automatically give any respective, public employee group anything. Each had to separately negotiate within its own entity to adopt those new benefits. To say that SB400 did nothing for miscellaneous employees, is untrue. I was the beneficiary of a 3% at 60 retirement formula, an outgrowth of SB400. Many public entities, like my former one, have scrapped the 3% formulas for miscellaneous new hires, and amended the still existing ones, for public safety. In view of all this ongoing reform, all over the state, there is no reason to repeal SB400 and AB616. They can’t take away the benefits that have already been awarded, as a result of those two measures. (In the final analysis, the retirement yield does not amount to 50% more–mine is 20% more, than what I would have received prior to SB400.)

  7. SeeSaw Says:

    If you think CA is such a nutty state, TL, why not just concentrate on your issues in NJ, and pay no attention to CA. As a CA resident, myself, I don’t have time to mind the business of NJ.

  8. Tough Love Says:

    See Saw,

    You certainly have enough time justifying your pension (and to hell with Taxpayers 80-90% of whom are NOT Civil Servants and are simply harmed by unnecessarily rich pensions and benefits).

    By-the-way, what incremental service did you perform, or what extra products did you make (or what’s legally called “consideration” .. did you provide) in exchange for the (in-the-pocket-of-the Unions) Legislator approval (via SB400) to simply TAKE taxpayer money to pay you that extra 20% you admit to ?

  9. SeeSaw Says:

    I simply did my job, and my employer’s respective employee groups received an enhanced pension formula, that resulted from the collective bargaining process. State legislation paved the way. It was all legal. I am not guilty of anything, and do not feel compelled to justify or explain anything about my job. I’m sorry that the enhancement I received, could not be sustained, for future workers. You might start pointing your finger at the ones who caused the financial collapse of the whole world in 2008. If that had not happened, you would not be griping about my pension!

  10. SeeSaw Says:

    SB400 and AB616, just made it possible for individual public entities, to offer their employees the enhanced pension formulas provided for, in those Bills–if they could afford to do so. No public entity is being forced, to offer its employees any of the formulas, that resulted from that legislation. My former entity no longer offers those new formulas, since discovering they cannot sustain them, in the long run. If I am correct, I believe the State never did offer miscellaneous State workers, the formulas provided for, in those two Bills. The need for repeal does not exist.

  11. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw …”I’m sorry that the enhancement I received, could not be sustained, for future workers.”

    So it’s not enough that YOU received something (an enhanced pension) for which you provided zero “consideration”, but you’re also sorry it …”not be sustained, for future workers”.

    How nice of you to feel Taxpayer money should so foolishly be given to Civil Servants for no incremental service whatsoever.

    You are sooooo clueless and blind as to what is fair to Taxpayers!

  12. SeeSaw Says:

    All you possess is your opinion, TL.

  13. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw,

    And all you possess is your incredulous bias for Civil Servants, regardless of the fairness or cost to Taxpayers who pay for the vast majority of these excessive pensions and benefits.

  14. SeeSaw Says:

    I am a people lover, and I pay my share of taxes, TL.

  15. Tough Love Says:

    Seesaw,

    Based on your extreme bias for Civil Servants, evidently you think they, but not Private Sector taxpayers are are “people” deserving of some consideration (let alone love).

  16. DonWill58 Says:

    SeeSaw, the RAGWUS is digging its own grave my love! ;)

  17. SeeSaw Says:

    You should knock it off TL. You keep attacking me, a person you do not know. My family members, other relatives, and friends are all from the private sector. They know I am not the kind of person, you keep trying to make me out to be. None of them have ever criticized the fact, that I have a public sector pension. I care for all human beings ,and my concern for the citizens of this country is evenly spread.

  18. SeeSaw Says:

    Nice to see you Donk. I’ve missed you. You are still throwing that acronym around, though. You’re just like TL–you have your opinions, and that’s all.

  19. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    (Current workers are widely believed to have “vested rights” to the pensions promised at their date of hire that are protected by court decisions. So pension rollbacks are limited to new hires, usually taking decades to produce significant government savings.)

    ==

    OK, how many times do I need to shoot this public employee whopper DOWN?

    There is no statute or case law that says pensions of existing employees cannot be changed to a LOWER formula in a new contract.

  20. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    I am a people lover, and I pay my share of taxes, TL.

    ==

    LOL..seesaw you are definitley NOT a }people lover” :)

  21. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw, the RAGWUS is digging its own grave my love!
    ==
    DONKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We need to run the RAWGUS clowns on of town, but not until we tar and feather them first.

    Donk, Jerry Clown came out with a “12 point” plan today for pension reform, and 10 of the points should have been there from the start ( like stopping purchases of “air time” and stopping retroactive pension raises).

    I must say, it is a start, but it MUST be appied to future years of CURRENT employees, like TL says.

    The ONLY way pensions of CA retirees can be cut is if the state cannot pay its bills-and that is a real possibility.

    It will be similar Central Falls RI-where the big buck pensioners took 50%-55% pension cuts.

  22. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, you can join TL and Donk with your opinion. That’s all you got, too. Where do you come off, so arrogant, in judging me! You have never met me, in person. There is a difference between opinions and facts. I already told you that, many times.

  23. SeeSaw Says:

    I wonder, Rex–did you give GAS a phone call, and tell him he was a liar, when he stated, in his 2010 State of the State address, that it would be both, illegal and immoral, to take pension benefits away, from current workers?

  24. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    “Where do you come off, so arrogant, in judging me!”

    LOL…seesaw, you’re no people person. And your comment proved it :)

    “I wonder, Rex–did you give GAS a phone call, and tell him he was a liar, when he stated, in his 2010 State of the State address, that it would be both, illegal and immoral, to take pension benefits away, from current workers?”

    You cannot take away pension benefits for years already worked (unless we get as bad as Centrsl Falls, RI then that IS going to happen here), but you CAN change pension plans for FUTURE years not yet worked.

    Seesaw, do you even read through my comments, or are you like Skippy and just post comments that have no relationship to what I posted???

    You’re the FIRST one me, Donk & TL are going to tar and feather. Ted Steal is the second. Skippy is going to be third in line :) :P ;)

  25. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SkippingDog Says:

    There will clearly be pension reforms enacted, in California and elsewhere. What won’t happen is a punitive slap at the people who have completed their service and the terms of their contract with the government and taxpayers.

    I would have NO problem cutting pensions of retirees who goosed their pensions retroactively by 50% under SB400 (and similar retroactive pension increases), pension increases of 50% which were not worked for or earned. No problem whatsoever. That is not a “punitive slap”, it is payback. Karma. And it is coming.

  26. SeeSaw Says:

    Just try it, Rex. I do not subscribe to violence, and I would see to it, that you get what you deserve.

    You have made the statement many times, that the pensions of current workers could be cut, going forward. You did not address my question, regarding your reaction to the statement of GAS, that they cannot be cut, either legally or morally–you have the nerve, only to pick on people like me–right, Rex?

    The CA Appeals Court and the CA Supreme Ct., both, settled the question of retroactive pensions, Rex. Let it go. There surely must be ways, that you can redeem yourself, as a human being–unless you want to keep being a dumb animal.

  27. SkippingDog Says:

    My, my… I see Rex and Donkey have been having a family reunion this evening and rekindling their old romantic notions of cutting pension obligations to existing retirees and workers.

    Once you two get all of your hugs out of the way and catch up with the latest gossip, it would be good to remember that your side lost in the last attempt you made to reverse the legal and constitutional pension obligations made by Orange County. The case law, statutes, California Constitution and U.S. Constitution stand in your way to prevent your application of “karma” or “payback” or whatever punitive urge you might have toward those of us who’ve given you our service for many years.

    Gov. Brown’s proposals today are as far as anything will possibly go, and even they will be pruned back from his opening gambit when the reality of legal negotiation and litigation take their course.

    Enjoy your tearful reunion and give our regards to ocobserver when you next encounter her.

  28. Tough Love Says:

    Skippy, We both know that (by being applicable ONLY to new employees) Brown’s proposals are are a financial do-nothing joke.

    As I’ve said many times, the MINIMUM first step is a significant reduction in the pension accrual rate for FUTURE service. Even with a 50% reduction, the accrual rate would still exceed all but a few Private Sector Plans.

    Reductions for PAST service of actives and (especially for retirees), while arguably justifiable (i.e., the collusion issue) are not really a good thing and will only come about if the money realistically available CLEARLY becomes insufficient to fairly meet obligations to the various groups of actives and retirees….. notwithstanding laws, regs., case law, the Constitution, to the contrary.

  29. SeeSaw Says:

    Its called, “Collective Bargaining”, TL. Its perfectly legal, so your collusion argument is DOA.l

  30. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw,

    Collective bargaining between the Public Sector Unions and Elected Representatives that gladly accept (and solicit) campaign contributions and election support in exchange for favorable votes on pay, pensions, and benefits,.

    We both know that nobody at the “bargaining table” was appropriately representing TAXPAYER interests.

  31. SkippingDog Says:

    “…notwithstanding laws, regs., case law, the Constitution, to the contrary.”

    TL – That’s really nothing more than a faith-based argument, dearly held by the believer, but clearly unsupported by relevant evidence and U.S. history. What you’re position really presupposes is a complete abandonment of not only our legal system, but all legitimate regulation and the Constitution itself.

    Apocalyptic predictions are the staple of our fringe groups, right or left, who were so accurately described in the famous essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.”

    You should read it, TL. I suspect you’ll learn something about yourself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paranoid_Style_in_American_Politics

  32. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting Skippy …”What you’re position really presupposes is a complete abandonment of not only our legal system, but all legitimate regulation and the Constitution itself.”

    Not at all. What it presupposes is that the short and medium service actives wake-up and realize that they gravy train is ending and that THEIR OWN money is just going to unfairly subsidize unjustly rich pensions for those already retired and those nearing retirement….. which will leave little for them.

    Once they wake-up … which will happen with the transparency of new the GAAP standards (which will finally show the enormous shortfall in the funding of their Plans) … they will quickly realize that the’re much better off throwing you under the bus.

  33. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    TL– you just proved Skipper’s point ! LOL Oh my.

  34. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, the people on the other side of the bargaining table were my managers–taxpayers, if you will. There were never any elected officials or other politicians in the room. I was a municipal employee, who paid union dues of less than $15/mo. Things are pretty small potatoes at that level–no collusion going on–just people trying to make a living.

  35. SeeSaw Says:

    Oh, that TL is such a nice person–loves to debate the issues, and never levels verbal attacks, at the integrity, of the other commenters–especially those he does not know. He makes good bedfellows, with that poor dog.

  36. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw,

    So, …”the people on the other side of the bargaining table were my managers–taxpayers”…

    Since these “managers” are also Civil Servants in DB Plans such as yours (but quite likely with better provisions) it’s in their best interests to keep your benefits generous … as theirs will go up in step.

    Proper representation (on the OTHER side of the table) would be looking out for the 85% of taxpayers who are not Civil Servants. Now that doesn’t mean giving you lees than a fair shake, but it certainly means giving you no greater “total compensation” (pay + pensions + benefits) than a comparably situated Private Sector worker.

    With cash pay quite close in the Public & Private Sectors, there is zero justification for a continuation of the MUCH MUCH MUCH richer Public Sector pensions….. since the result (wen added to equal cash pay) is much greater “total compensation” …. which is unnecessary to attract and retain a qualified workforce, is unsustainable, and grossly unfair to taxpayers.

    Oh …. I know you’ll never agree with me. Logic is certainly not your strong point.

  37. Reilleyfam Says:

    Basically boils down to employers are too incompetent at negotiating and too cowardly to stand up to employee negotiators. Why reward failure? If the employer cant stand their ground and demand a sustainable deal they deserve what they get.

  38. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    Just try it, Rex. I do not subscribe to violence, and I would see to it, that you get what you deserve.

    LOL….seesaw, I uess you have only a GED and you are forcing me to post this;

    Definition of SARCASM
    1: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
    2a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual

    You have made the statement many times, that the pensions of current workers could be cut, going forward. You did not address my question, regarding your reaction to the statement of GAS, that they cannot be cut, either legally or morally–you have the nerve, only to pick on people like me–right, Rex?

    seesaw, I have answered your silly uneducated public unions talking point question millions of times here, future years not worked can be changed at the next contract.

  39. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    TL– you just proved Skipper’s point ! LOL Oh my.

    Teddy Steal, when we are through tarr and feathering you, you will not be saying “oh my” you are going to be “clucking” like a chicken, because that is what you are going to look like. :) :P ;) Chicken is a good animal for you, since you run at the first sign of trouble :)

    Who knows, maybe you wil lay a few golden eggs after that T&F!

  40. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, you never answered my question as to whether or not you called GAS out when he publicly stated that, it is both immoral and illegal, to change the pension benefits, of current workers.

    Your statements are all opinion, and nothing else. You have no facts, to back up your claim that, future years of pension accrual may be changed, for current workers. If you do, put them up.

    A GED is equivalent to a high school diploma, which is plenty good enough for one to be able to use common sense, and be competent at writing, work at certain vocations, and living. I have never put on any airs about my education level, one way or the other–since I had to answer that question a few times on the OCR, I’m sure you are aware that my total amount of education includes two years’ college.

    You seem to be getting restless. Hopefully someone will come to walk you soon.

  41. SeeSaw Says:

    I know what your strong point is, TL. Its the art of lobbing the personal insult, because you have nothing else to go on, to make yourself feel superior.

  42. SeeSaw Says:

    Reilly, the employer-negotiators are accompanied by high-priced lawyers. There is always give and take on both sides, and if you think the employers get the short end of the stick, you are quite mistaken.

  43. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    TL– Are you ok? Does your Mom know you are on her computer? LOL oh Myyyyyyyyyyy this is too easy !

  44. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw…”it is both immoral and illegal, to change the pension benefits, of current workers”

    The jury is still out on the legality of FUTURE service changes for current workers.

    As to immoral …. nonsense. It’s moral, necessary, appropriate, and eminently just.

  45. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw …”…the employer-negotiators are accompanied by high-priced lawyers. There is always give and take on both sides, and if you think the employers get the short end of the stick, you are quite mistaken.”

    Oh really ? Do you think those high powered lawyers would be engaged next year if they asked some hard (and appropriate) questions ….. like WHY are we compensating these workers more than someone with the SAME job in the Private Sector … and demanded significant reductions?

  46. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    A GED is equivalent to a high school diploma, which is plenty good enough for one to be able to use common sense, and be competent at writing, work at certain vocations, and living.

    Yes, they are competent and may- OR MAY NOT- have common sense (many do not have common sense, especially in government), so WHY are we compensating STOOPID cops and firewhiners $200K-$350K when they are GED JOBS???????

  47. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    Reilly, the employer-negotiators are accompanied by high-priced lawyers. There is always give and take on both sides, and if you think the employers get the short end of the stick, you are quite mistaken.

    Seesaw!! You missed your calling, you should have been a STAND UP COMIC. The ONES WHO MAKE THE DECISIONS, are the elected officiasl, no one else. And they do NOT drive a hard bargain, not even close.

    A first semester law student could drive a bargain 1,000,000 times BETTER than elected officials who are bought off, that is why collective bargaining is going to end, through legislation or bankruptcy One way or the other it will end. Ask Central Falls RI

  48. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    TL– Are you ok? Does your Mom know you are on her computer? LOL oh Myyyyyyyyyyy this is too easy !

    Teddy Steal! You are going to look so good covered in tar & feathers :) :P ;)

    Are you still babysitting pot smokers in the “SHU” big bad GED prison guard????? Bwhahahahhahahahahahhhaha, this is too easy!

    I sure hope OCO makes an appearance here, he would love to get in on some of this Teddy Steal smackdown!

  49. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    OK back over to http://www.CalWatchDog.com where we have more intelligent comments from more intelligent PRIVATE SECTOR employees :)

  50. Tough Love Says:

    So Dr. Steele, If my advocacy for significant reductions in pension accruals for future service is so illegal and wrong-headed, how come California’s Little Hover Commission recommends pursuing exactly what I’m suggesting?

    And try respond like someone with a Doctorate rather than a fool.

  51. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    T L— “a fool”? That hurts……it just…well…..hurts. That’s all. But it is so hard to take you clowns seriously when all you EVER do is spout the same old dull-normal talking points all of which have been debunked in trial and appellate courts, out here, on many other sites, and in the land of common sense…there is nothing left to do but to spin you up little buddy! Sorry it’s just too easy. Come at me with something Constitutional, lawful and novel and MAYBE I will bother giving you something worthy. Til then…well…ah…er…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  52. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    Snicker Doodle boi— “We” don’t go to the Watchdoggy site— too lame over there…Are you Steve Greenhut? You write as badly as he does? Well? Whaaaaaat? Ouuuuuuuuuuuch

  53. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, I was quoting GAS, and asked Rex if he called him a liar (like he does me, when I say something he doesn’t like). He never answered the question. In my own opinion, such action would be immoral–and, we have seen enough case law, to believe, that it would be illegal. The great OC Supervisor, John Moorlach, was going to bring us all down. Remember?

    I have never sat in a negotiating session, myself. I know enough about the process, from talking with my former colleagues, who do it. No group goes into CB without professional representation. They focus on the public sector–not comparisons, with the private sector.

    Rex, you are the one who claimed my education, level is GED. Why are we even discussing it? As far as safety workers are concerned, I don’t believe you, regarding their respective levels of education. The bar is as low as it is, because there are qualified applicants, who would be at that level. Otherwise, most such personnel have completed, at least, community college courses in fire and police science, and many have full college and graduate degrees. A new police dispatcher, who was just hired at my former municipality, possesses a Master’s Degree–and that pay is not even in the safety classification.

    I don’t believe what you say about the salaries of safety personnel either, because you look at the recruitment sheet, and add in every little amount, that is listed. Most do not get all of those little amounts. The gross salary for each individual, is what counts, and its not what you claim.

    Rex, in my entity, management takes its high-priced lawyer, with them, to the bargaining table; the rank and file takes their own reps, and the union rep. Any decision that results from agreements reached in the CB process, is passed on, to the rank and file membership, for a vote, either, “Yea”, or, “Nay”. Then, it goes to the Council for ratification. Fortunately, my CC is not composed of wannabe, micro-managers.

    Your caretaker should be arriving soon, Rex. You are probably pacing around and barking, like crazy. You need to be walked, watered, and fed. And, your caretaker needs to clean up, after you. Then, you can lay down, in your little basket, for a restful night.

  54. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    Hey— On another note—- the OCR site is refreshing these days with true ID’s and much less hate speech like the Duncey, OCODDball and Poodle boi !

  55. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, the LHC is loaded with Republicans. GAS gave five patronage appointments to that Commission, just before he left office. Nobody but the conservatives, who want to take benefits away from people, have embraced their recommendations. The CA Treasurer, Bill Lockyer, stated publicly that, most of the LHC’s recommendations, are probabaly unconstitutional.

  56. SeeSaw Says:

    I agree that its much more mellow now, Ted, but it is also much more boring. I wish I could get in there sometimes, but that was the decision they made, and I do get to make a choice.

  57. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw If I recall correctly, the Moorlach action was in trying to reverse the retroactively applied pension increases (als SB400), not a reduction in the pension accrual rate for future service.

    While I believe the former was blatantly outrageous, changing anything associated with Past service is VERY difficult.
    Although it will be an incredibly tough fight, I believe the latter has a better chance of ultimately getting the court’s approval.

    As difficult as it may be for some in the judiciary to swallow, if (and I believe we will) we reach the point where all pension promises clearly cannot be met, logic would suggest a reduction in future service accruals is the least painful prescriptive medicine.

  58. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    SS– I don’t think it’s boring. The comments are brighter and less hyperbole from the sleepy zealots in my view. There are way less comments but frankly most of the former comments where a few clowns spouting off from their respective bunkers. I got tired of the cut n paste etc………

  59. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    Snicker Doodle boi— “We” don’t go to the Watchdoggy site— too lame over there…Are you Steve Greenhut? You write as badly as he does? Well? Whaaaaaat? Ouuuuuuuuuuuch

    Rex writes “badly”???….. vs what- “goodly”??? Teddy, don’t throw rocks when you live n a glass outhouse!

    Nurse Steal, did you happen to hear about a little federal BK case named Central Falls RI??? Where CURRENT retirees took 55% pension cuts????????

    BAM!!!!!!! Nurse steal is OUT, for the 10 count.

    Sorry little buddy, but that hurt me more than it did you :) ;) :P

  60. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    I agree that its much more mellow now, Ted, but it is also much more boring.

    Seesaw, I will tell you what I told Teri on OC Watchdog, and Martin on Total Buzz, those places are DEADSVILLE without the Wonder Dog bringing the excitment.

    After I left, it all went downhill, and that was back in February. It is SUPER dullsville now, and no one is posting at all. I posted a few times, but no one repsonded to my smackdown.

  61. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex, you are the one who claimed my education, level is GED. Why are we even discussing it?

    I never said you had a GED, please go back and read my comments seesaw. You’re as stoopid as Skippy, always claiming I say or comment on things that are false. What I did say was cop and firewhiner are GED jobs (same with prison guard/babysitter-hi Ted Steal :) )

    That is the education to get hired, a GED. Not a PhD, not an MA, not a BA, not an AA, not a HS diploma, just a GED. There are THPOUSANDS of applicants for each opening ( prison guard had 125K applicants in 2010 for 920 jobs). No need to pay doctor wages for Walmart type jobs

    As far as safety workers are concerned, I don’t believe you, regarding their respective levels of education. The bar is as low as it is, because there are qualified applicants, who would be at that level.

    Yes, and if there are qualified applicants, because these are GED jobs, they should pay according to market, market wages for a GED is about minimum wage.

    Otherwise, most such personnel have completed, at least, community college courses in fire and police science, and many have full college and graduate degrees. A new police dispatcher, who was just hired at my former municipality, possesses a Master’s Degree–and that pay is not even in the safety classification.

    I don’t care WHAT one person was hired with-they are STILL GED jobs. 80% of ALL hires in major PD’s have ONLY a HS diploma or GED at hire, that includes LAPD, Oakland PD, most county sheriff dept’s.

  62. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    I don’t believe what you say about the salaries of safety personnel either, because you look at the recruitment sheet, and add in every little amount, that is listed. Most do not get all of those little amounts. The gross salary for each individual, is what counts, and its not what you claim.

    Public saftey benefits cost MORE than their salary. So once again you’re 100% wrong and I am 100% correct. When we stop giving GED cops $10 million pensions, 3 months of paid vacation, 3 weeks of paid holidays, 2 weeks of sick leave and $25K per year in free healthcare then we can talk about GED cop “salary”.

  63. SeeSaw Says:

    We’ll just have to continue to agree to disagree, Rex.

    Yes, TL, you are right about the Moorlach’s court case–it was regarding the repeal of retroactive benefits.

    Mr. Mendel might be pulling his hair out, because we strayed so far off topic. I disagree with the League of Cities officials who want to repeal SB400 and AB616. Most cities will never be able to offer those benefits again–if the rich cities, like Beverly Hills, can afford to enact either of the two measures, in the future, why not.

  64. The World Wide Dr. ted Steele System Says:

    Poodle boi— Yes– as I suspected, You didn’t even understand the Greenhut comment! You must be Greenhut! Classic. And I won’t help you with this Poodle but even you probably know why Cent. Falls is way different than Calpers…………riiiight? Hmmmm….or maybe you still don’t? Hmmm

  65. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Nurse Steal, Central Falls RI is a federal BK case that cut municipal pensions by 55%, it applies across the board/land. I know you are just a GED firewhiner, but even you should be able to figure that one out. It will aplly everywhere under precedent.

    I will be happy to school you personally in this matter Ms. Steal, but you must first pay the Wonder Dog tuition!

  66. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    I disagree with the League of Cities officials who want to repeal SB400 and AB616.

    This is a verbatim quote right out of the column;

    A League of California Cities representative yesterday urged a legislative committee to repeal two decade-old bills allowing local governments to negotiate higher pensions, saying the benefits are “too rich” and “unsustainable.”

    You may disagree, but the League WANTS to 86 these scams pensions becuase they are not sustainable. Not only that, but these rip off artists on a 3%@50 will eventually cause YOUR (and every other small fry) smaller pension to be cut along with theirs when the house of cards caves in.

  67. SeeSaw Says:

    I agree that they are too rich and unsustainable, due to the financial catastrophy, that has been suffered, all over the world. The stock market was soaring, and the officials who adopted the new formulas, did not know what was lurking, around the corner. Those two Bills, were passed, in 1999 and 2001, respectively. The housing bubble was just getting underway in 2001, and expanding, toward its total collapse, in 2008. The principals involved, in the liar-loan debacle, did know what was coming, and they purposely split, with the spoils, while they could–(that was the difference between those people, and our local and state pension officials). Repealing the two Bills is not paramount at this time, in view of the other problems, at hand.

    Rex, I am not going to be losing any sleep over your threats, that my pension could be in danger. I have CalPERS to depend on, in that respect. You would be a much happier dog, if you would stop worrying about taking down those, of whom, you are so envious.

  68. Ted Steele RN Says:

    Poodle boy— It will “aplly”?— What does that mean? Hmmmm….LOL– judging from your last answer, as I thought, you do not know the dif. between the RI case and Calpers—- my God you are predictable! Have a nice day !

  69. SkippingDog Says:

    You’re clearly getting confused by the news again, Rex. Central Falls filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in August, after the existing trustee could not just convince everyone that they had to take a 50% cut.

    There has been no work-out plan yet presented to the bankruptcy court and the court has not ruled on the bankruptcy at all, other than the automatic stay on creditors imposed by all bankruptcy filings.

    It will take several years for Central Falls to construct its work-out plan and obtain court approval for same. In the meantime, the state trustee is running the city and his efforts may or may not be legal. That part will have to wait for a court decision that may be years in coming.

  70. Ted Steele RN Says:

    Skipper— Sadly, even with your help the old poodle girl probably won’t get it….watch this.

  71. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Ted Steele RN Says:

    Skipper— Sadly, even with your help the old poodle girl probably won’t get it….watch this.

    Nurse Steal, that crushed the Wonder Dog :) :P ;)

  72. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SkippingDog Says:

    You’re clearly getting confused by the news again, Rex. Central Falls filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in August, after the existing trustee could not just convince everyone that they had to take a 50% cut.

    There has been no work-out plan yet presented to the bankruptcy court and the court has not ruled on the bankruptcy at all, other than the automatic stay on creditors imposed by all bankruptcy filings.

    It will take several years for Central Falls to construct its work-out plan and obtain court approval for same. In the meantime, the state trustee is running the city and his efforts may or may not be legal. That part will have to wait for a court decision that may be years in coming.

    LOL..I love it when GED cops think they can play lawyer.

    The pension cuts have already been given.

    They HAVE BEEN CUT. There has indeed been a plan submitted to the BK judge. Educate yourself GED Wonder, so you don’t look so foolish next time around;

    “Central Falls slashed one in three of its retirees’ pension checks by more than half this month, with the majority of the city’s former public-safety workers set to lose tens of thousands of dollars a year.

    Receiver Robert Flanders reduced 48 of the city’s 141 police and fire pensions by 50% or more, with all but three of those cut 55% from their original amount, according to financial records obtained by WPRI.com

    The case will be in BK court for 5-6 months. An appeal in the First Circuit Court of Appeal will be over in 6-12 months, and the SCOTUS will not take any appeal from the First Circuit-3 months for a denial. Total litigation time frame 15 months max.

  73. Ted Steele RN Says:

    LOL— Poodle boy— Skipper owns you here like he does on the watchdog site and in fact did on this very issue in August! LOL sorry little guy. Like I said! Watch how the little poodle has no concept of the differences between a tiny RI fund, no legal scheme, Calpers, bk law etc etc etc…….type now slave troll !!

  74. Ted Steele RN Says:

    oh….and……lol…..the poodle thinks that what the receiver does and what the judge approves is the same thing! Poodle: maybe you should do a little homework before you post nonsense? Or maybe homework shouldn’t “aplly” to a smart toy poodle like you? Hmmmmm……ouccccch.

  75. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Nurse Steal, I have not posted on the Watchdog since February-well, until they allowed me to use my FB page. So no one has owned Rex, in fact it has always been the other way around, Rex would spank you into submission on a regular basius. Remember when I BUSTED you for using all those sock puppet accounts and you said you knew I was “employed by the OCR” because you had a friend who “worked there” and this “friend” of yours told you that! Bwhahahaha…that was classic Teddy Steal. Busted so bad you thought I worked at OCR!

    BTW Perry Mason Jr., Central Falls RI is a FEDERAL BK case. It will apply across the land. I know your limited 10th grade education may not be able to wrap your pea sized brain around that concept, but trust me, that is how federal law works-OK lil nursie. :) :P ;)

  76. SeeSaw Says:

    I think that the Receiver had no business cutting pensions, of the current workers and the retirees, until such issues were settled, through the bankruptcy court proceedings. I sincerely hope that those people eventually get some, or all, of their money back. (Don’t come back and call me, “stupid”, Rex. This is debate about meaningful issues–not about personal attack.)

  77. Ted Steele RN Says:

    Poodle— Whoa— that whole “memory” of yours about a mythical conversation you and I had is fiction. Prove it. You are a strange one little buddy.

  78. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    I think that the Receiver had no business cutting pensions, of the current workers and the retirees, until such issues were settled, through the bankruptcy court proceedings.

    And what were they supposed to pay these people with seesaw-monopoly money?

    THERE WAS NO MONEY. The treasury was empty, they had NO CHOICE but to make partial payments.

  79. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Poodle— Whoa— that whole “memory” of yours about a mythical conversation you and I had is fiction. Prove it. You are a strange one little buddy.

    Nurse Steal, I owned you so bad it was not even funny! Claiming I was an OCR employee b/c I could spot your gimmick accounts a mile away.

    I am glad you are sticking with your Ted Steal sock puppet, makes you slightly less pathetic, lil buddy :)

  80. Ted Steele RN Says:

    Poodle boi— LOL– still waiting for you to prove it…..lol—- or is this like another one of your predictions?? LOL OOOOOuch—–God Bless ya little fella !

    W a i t i n g…..

  81. Ted Steele RN Says:

    Poodleboi— and still waiting for you to tell us the 3 big things (hint) that distinguish Calpers from the RI case…..hmmmm

    w a i t i n g…

  82. Cryptic Says:

    As a side note… Colorado over union objections, recently cancelled a year or two of inflationary increases due to current state pension beneficiaries.

    Though the benefit modified was a tertiary benefit, the modification lends more support to the core concept that past pension promises are not set in stone.

  83. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Though the benefit modified was a tertiary benefit, the modification lends more support to the core concept that past pension promises are not set in stone.

    Very true-and if it the cuts come in a BK case they can certainly be lowered with the approval of the BK court, as Central Falls, RI has proven.

    IN CA I won’t shed a single tear for the 3%@50 pensioners who will take a haircut because all of those people who have reitred under it are receiving money they never worked for nor earned.

  84. SeeSaw Says:

    It has to do with the formula, Rex. Formulas were enhanced a few times over the course, of the 97 year tenure, of the DB pensions. They were enacted retroactively, by the State Legislature. The OC case settled the issue of retroactivity–so you should just step down from that soap box, and find another issue, to yelp about.

  85. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    LOL as if the poodle could understand you seesaw!

  86. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    Cryptic– The Colo. case actually is no help to governments that want to roll back promised contracted pensions– the colas were agred to be adjustable by employees in writing when they retired. The courts specifically pointed out how this was not at all the same as the actual pension—— not even close….

  87. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Candy Striper Teddy Steals Says:

    Cryptic– The Colo. case actually is no help to governments that want to roll back promised contracted pensions– the colas were agred to be adjustable by employees in writing when they retired. The courts specifically pointed out how this was not at all the same as the actual pension—— not even close….

    Exact same concept Nurse Steal.

    You’re in over your head GED Wonder, leave this conversation to the adults, OK lil buddy :) ;P ;)

  88. Tough Love Says:

    Seesaw, When (not if) the CalPERS Plan fails, I’ll bet that when deciding where/what to haircut, the retroactive increases will be near the top of the list.

    Legal (for now) or not, there was ZERO justification for these “retroactively applied” increases.

    Nothing more than legalized THEFT of taxpayer money.

  89. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    Wow Poodle boi— still can’t answer my question?? LOL– thought so…. I am not surprised that you don’t see the contrast in the Colo. case…not at all….the Colo. retirees signed documents agreeing to the cola changes in the future! LOL— Even we nurses pay better attention than you do…lol— do you HAVE a job?

  90. Dr. Ted Steele Says:

    TL— gosh– since almost everyone knows that Calpers has enough in the fund today to pay out till the late 2040′s even with ZERO further contributions….I wonder who you think is so scared? Man you guys are a dull broken record…..

  91. SeeSaw Says:

    TL has lots of opinions, again–opinions he uses, to threaten other people. You need to read the Amicus Brief TL. It lays out how the retroactive pensions were enacted–all legal, with the blessings of the CA Legislature. The recent Orange County case just adds more, to already existing case law, that will forbid any attempts to take back, any portion, of the retroactively enhanced pensions.

  92. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Nurse Teddy Steals Says:

    Wow Poodle boi— still can’t answer my question?? LOL– thought so…. I am not surprised that you don’t see the contrast in the Colo. case…not at all….the Colo. retirees signed documents agreeing to the cola changes in the future! LOL— Even we nurses pay better attention than you do…lol— do you HAVE a job?

    Nurse Steal, I am sorry you are so dense and only have a GED level education. It pains me to see a moron like you post in such a sorry and pathetic manner.

    BUT, I can tell you I am now working with the state of CA, at Pelican Bay prison, where I work the shu, it is the easiest job I have ever had. By FAR! Even easier than cutting lawns in 5th grade :)

    I cannot believe they comp $200K for this pathetic job! It is actually a super easy job. I think most anyone can do it. Even HS drop outs.

  93. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    You need to read the Amicus Brief TL.

    Seesaw, STOP telling people to read that stoopid amicus brief. It means NOTHING!

    An amicu brief is NOT legal authority. It is not binding. It is not in any way ANYTHING other than a bias legal ARGUMENT. It is no different from any other brief filed by an INTERESTED party.

    So stop referring to it like it is some sort of law treatise or SCOTUS legal opinion.

  94. SeeSaw Says:

    Why not, Rex? The former AG laid out, in the Amicus Brief, the facts behind the enactments of retroactive pension enhancements. Such enhancements did not just occur, in 1999, and 2001, but several times throughout the years, preceding the adoptions of SB400 and AB616. The Brief was presented to the Court of Appeal, for consideration, in the Case. CalPERS members, 947,000 active employees and pensioners, stood to be affected, by the outcome of the Case, brought by Orange County, against the OC Deputy Sheriffs. If you want the truth, then seek out the truth–it will set you free.

  95. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    Why not, Rex? The former AG laid out, in the Amicus Brief, the facts behind the enactments of retroactive pension enhancements. ………… If you want the truth, then seek out the truth–it will set you free.

    The reason to stop making reference to the amicus brief is because the brief is not the law. Only the court makes law. Not Jerry Brown or any other AG. They are interested parties and will submit briefs that only tell one side of the story-that is why you should stop making reference to it. If you want to cite what the COURT DID, that is where the law stands and what IS the law currently, not the Jerry Clown AG brief, which is a one sided biased view.

  96. SeeSaw Says:

    Well, Rex, you keep stating that the retroactive pension enhancements of 1999, and 2001, were illegal. What law can you site, that will declare you are right?

  97. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Well, Rex, you keep stating that the retroactive pension enhancements of 1999, and 2001, were illegal.

    No, what I said was pension cuts in a new contract for FUTURE years not yet worked, going forward is LEGAL.

  98. Ted Steele, Janitor Says:

    LOL– the Poodle revises….lol…yet again !

  99. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Ted, I never “revise”, stop spinning little buddy :)

  100. Ted Steele, Janitor Says:

    Poodle flip flops yet again and of course can’t admit it! LOL—- sorry little guy !

  101. SeeSaw Says:

    Where is the law that states cutting pension benefits, going forward, is legal, Rex? After all now, we cannot have you just spouting your opinion, now, can we.

  102. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Where is the law that states cutting pension benefits, going forward, is legal, Rex? After all now, we cannot have you just spouting your opinion, now, can we.

    OK seesaw, you asked for this public spanking (Nurse Teddy Steals too!);

    The employee does not obtain, prior to retirement, any absolute right to fixed or specific benefits, but only to a “substantial or reasonable pension.” (Wallace v. City of Fresno (1954) 42 Cal.2d 180, 183 [265 P.2d 884].) Moreover, the employee’s eligibility for benefits can, of course, be defeated “upon the occurrence of a condition subsequent.” (Kern, supra, at p. 853.) 864*864 (3) However, there is a strict limitation on the conditions which may modify the pension system in effect during employment. We have described the applicable principles as follows: ( “An employee’s vested contractual pension rights may be modified prior to retirement for the purpose of keeping a pension system flexible to permit adjustments in accord with changing conditions and at the same time maintain the integrity of the system. ( [Citations.] Such modifications must be reasonable, and it is for the courts to determine upon the facts of each case what constitutes a permissible change. To be sustained as reasonable, alterations of employees’ pension rights must bear some material relation to the theory of a pension system and its successful operation, and changes in a pension plan which result in disadvantage to employees should be accompanied by comparable new advantages.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=17080363232227008395&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

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