CalPERS role in preventing Vallejo pension cuts

Were Vallejo officials pushed away from trying to cut pensions during bankruptcy by fear of a long and costly legal battle with deep-pocketed CalPERS, promised by attorneys representing the giant pension fund?

The bankruptcy of Vallejo, an old port city of 118,000 on San Francisco Bay, was widely watched as a possible way for struggling local governments to cut soaring pension costs.

But when Vallejo emerged from a 31/2-year bankruptcy last November, pensions were untouched. The city actually increased annual payments to CalPERS, reducing pension debt sooner.

Public employee unions, alarmed by Vallejo’s rare move in May 2008, sponsored several versions of legislation making it more difficult for local governments in California to declare bankruptcy under federal law.

Now before declaring bankruptcy, a bill signed by Gov. Brown last fall, AB 506, requires local governments to go through a neutral evaluation process or to declare a fiscal emergency due to public health and safety jeopardy and bills that can’t be paid.

CalPERS responded to the Vallejo bankruptcy by hiring the Sacramento law firm of Steven Felderstein, which was paid $451,000 through last November. The CalPERS board received regular closed-door briefings on the bankruptcy.

In December 2008, CalPERS filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court arguing that if Vallejo labor contracts were overturned, separate city contracts with CalPERS for pensions and retiree health care would remain in force.

Vallejo cut retiree health benefits, some bond payments and made other savings during bankruptcy. Big reductions in police and firefighter staffs and cuts in street and building maintenance could have been made without bankruptcy.

New labor contracts increased worker payments toward their pensions and gave new hires lower pensions, a step taken by many local governments. On a split vote during bankruptcy, the Vallejo city council gave police a 7 percent pay raise in July 2010.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael McManus in Sacramento overturned a Vallejo contract with an electrical workers union in August 2009, a first-of-its-kind ruling some experts said.

But by last year a Bank of America report quoted by CNBC, which said Vallejo had paid roughly $10 million in legal fees during a lengthy bankruptcy with little to show for it, reflected the view that the city had become a cautionary tale.

National media attention shifted to Rhode Island last August when Central Falls, a city of 18,000, went into bankruptcy. A number of public retirement systems in the labor-friendly state are seriously underfunded.

The Rhode Island state treasurer, Gina Raimondo, was the force behind legislation in November that switched current workers in the state retirement system into a cost-cutting “hybrid” plan combining a smaller pension with a 401(k)-style investment plan.

The legislation also raised the retirement age for current workers and suspended cost-of-living adjustments for the pensions of current retirees. In California, many believe the state courts have ruled that pensions promised current workers can’t be cut.

Retired police and firefighters in Central Falls agreed last month to a pension cut, a step a New York Times story said is “thought to be unprecedented in municipal bankruptcy and one that could prompt similar attempts by other distressed governments.”

The Times story on Dec. 19 by Mary Williams Walsh said the last city to go through Chapter 9 bankruptcy, Vallejo, planned to cut the pensions of current workers and retirees, but decided not to when CalPERS “threatened” a costly legal battle.

“Vallejo instead cut pay, health care and other benefits, as well as city services and payments to its bondholders, and left the pensions intact,” said the Times story. “Even though the bondholders faced a loss, all parties eventually agreed they had been treated equitably, and the state passed a law making it easier for Vallejo to continue borrowing.

“The episode strengthened the perception that public retirement plans were unalterable, even in bankruptcy.”

Asked for a comment on the Times story, a CalPERS spokeswoman, Amy Norris, e-mailed this reply:

“The CalPERS lawyer that worked on the City of Vallejo bankruptcy case confirmed with our outside counsel on the case, and the City of Vallejo’s bankruptcy lawyer that CalPERS did not make any threat to the City.

“We did inform the City that any attempt to reduce pension benefits in the bankruptcy case would go to the core of CalPERS mission and that CalPERS would respond accordingly. However, City of Vallejo never seriously contemplated cutting benefits and it quickly affirmed its contract with CalPERS. The NYT article was inaccurate or an exaggeration of the facts.”

Vallejo Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes, a pension reform advocate, e-mailed this reply when asked for a comment on the Times story:

“In bankruptcy, the City considered a number of options regarding reductions in existing employee compensation, current retiree health care and current retiree pension benefits. According to our lawyers, CalPERS’ outside bankruptcy lawyers told them that they would challenge any attempt by the City to reduce current retiree pensions.

“So while the City considered pursuing reductions of current pensions of existing retirees, we had to make our decision in light of the legal issues (primarily California constitutional and statutory protections), equity/fairness issues, and cost issues (CalPERS would likely have devoted significant resources to challenge the ability of the City to modify current retiree pension benefits).

“The 1,000-pound gorilla in the room when making our decisions was always CalPERS — they had a lot more time and money to fight us in court than we had available in the middle of bankruptcy.

“So we chose to avoid expensive litigation and to pursue critical budget reductions within the existing rules and regulations — we reduced compensation/health care benefits for most of our existing employees, reduced current retiree health care benefits, increased pension contributions from existing employees and created second tier pensions for new employees (not all groups got a second tier pension in bankruptcy — I hope we equalize this in this year’s contract negotiations). None of these were easy changes.

“Personally, I believe we need serious changes in how CalPERS is governed (i.e. adding an equal number of people who aren’t vested in a CalPERS pension to the Board to represent taxpayers, more strict rules on lobbying and gifts, and much more transparency and accountability); and their de facto control over municipal and county budgets via rules and regulations that constrain our budgeting options.”

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 9 Jan 12

149 Responses to “CalPERS role in preventing Vallejo pension cuts”

  1. The Ted System Says:

    Valejo was very wise.

  2. Kris Hunt Says:

    It is just wrong that CalPERS got involved in bankruptcy: Per Vallejo City Council member Stephanie Gomes “According to our lawyers, CalPERS’ outside bankruptcy lawyers told them that they would challenge any attempt by the City to reduce current retiree pensions.”

    “The 1,000-pound gorilla in the room when making our decisions was always CalPERS — they had a lot more time and money to fight us in court than we had available in the middle of bankruptcy.”

  3. Captain Says:

    Why did CalPERS spend $451,000 of taxpayer money on anything other then pension payments or costs directly related to achieving investment gains? How much more money is CalPERS misdirecting from its’ intended purpose? Is it 10’s of millions, 100’s of millions, billions?

    That’s a STORY I would like to see written.

  4. SeeSaw Says:

    “According to a statement released to the press Tuesday, Vallejo will begin repaying its creditors beginning Tuesday. The city has established a $6 million creditor repayment fund, Whittom said, to draw from in damages due to past and present city employees and other major creditors. The city had spent nearly $12 million in bankruptcy court-related fees, as of August, according to the city Finance Department.”
    (Vallejo Times Herald, 11/02/11)
    Title: Vallejo ExitsChapter 9 Bankruptcy

    All parties to this situation did what they had to do. The bankruptcy is over, and life goes on.

  5. ace Says:

    CalPERS did this because it’s their job to protect retirees…good for them.

  6. Ted Steele, Beet Farmer Says:

    Well said Ace— and to be sure— If you have not read the briefs in the OC case— (state and fed law and availible on line) while it certainly was not a bk case, many of the legal pricnciples of vested rights and contracts also have/had thier counterpart in the bk law which the court was obligated to follow. A sober and reasoned judgement by the city saved them millions— sadly the OC did not have the maturity and wisdom to do likewise costing taxpayers about 5 mil to satisfy the schoolyard fight ego of some b- politicians and pile drive a total loser case into the dirt.

  7. spension Says:

    It is the american way… without a good lawyer of your own, you get steamrolled by other people’s unscrupulous attorneys.

    Nevertheless, when pension obligations cause real time services like cops on duty, firefighters on duty, and teachers in the classroom to be cut, something is dreadfully wrong. The best solution is for pension stakeholders themselves (vested employees and retirees) to voluntarily concede some benefits in an orderly and most fair way to them.

  8. wendylack Says:

    Good luck to Dan Keen! He’ll need it!

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19684090

  9. Ted Steele, Beet Farmer Says:

    spension— your argument that things are “dreadfully” wrong — is true—- but fails when you claim that it is just pension costs that are causing it……There is plenty wrong with how, what and where we spend our money as a gov. Picking its employees who worked for a promise to be the ones to lose…while alowing

    criminals
    aliens
    welfare
    etc etc

    to not be where you find your “solution” misses the mark legally, morally and in common sense.

    What other obligations that you have do you want to cancel because it has become inconvenient?

  10. SeeSaw Says:

    It would help, immensely, if the Legislature would quickly get, to work on vetting JB’s pension reform plan, and pass something, proper, before the CPR group, gets a foothold. Then, it would also help, immensly, if people would get behind JB’s tax increase iniative–it is a very good proposal. The respective government entities, that employ the PS people and the teachers, are in control of their own destiny’s, at the CB tables–let them get on with it.

  11. Ted Steele, Beet Farmer Says:

    The bargaining units HAVE been getting on with it for the last 2 years solid.

    I support GB’s plann too.

  12. Captain Says:

    “ace Says: CalPERS did this because it’s their job to protect retirees…good for them.”

    Ace, in the case of Vallejo retirees had their medical benefits reduced from lifetime family benefits to a flat $300 per month, reducing the city’s unfunded health care liability from something like 125 million to 22 million.

    Why do you think it’s CalPERS job is to protect retirees anyway? Isn’t their role specifically to administer benefits and provide investment growth sufficient to ensure they can meet their obligations to both the employee’s and their customers: the state, counties, cities, and special districts that fund the bulk of the dollars? How does diverting funds from that purpose benefit anyone in the long run?

    The unions represent the employees and they have their own money and own attorney’s. Tax payer dollars meant for benefits shouldn’t be diverted to a discretionary slush fund for CalPERS to fight those very tax payers, nor should those dollars be used for anything other than their intended purpose – to pay benefits.

    It appears CalPERS is doing whatever they please. That problem probably starts with the make-up of the Board of Directors. Not coincidently, restructuring the CalPERS Board is a part of the Governor’s 12 point plan to reform pensions. It needs to be done!

  13. SeeSaw Says:

    The unions did represent their own, with their own attorney’s. None of those, represented by the unions, were CalPERS annuitants, at the time. CalPERS was a stakeholder, in that, Vallejo was contracted member. I’m glad to know, that CalPERS played a part, in protecting those benefits, for the retirees.

    JB’s proposal is simply to add a couple of people, with exceptional, financial expertise, to the Board. It certainly would not hurt, and could help–it would not be a wholesale restructuring–the current Board would remain in place, also. It would be senseless to throw out the Board, as it stands, and replace it, with people who have no invested interests, in CalPERS.

  14. Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says:

    Cap– whoa– you need a longer look at Calpers structure, governance and charter—– you clearly have not been exposed to the facts—–

  15. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “The unions did represent their own, with their own attorney’s. None of those, represented by the unions, were CalPERS annuitants, at the time. CalPERS was a stakeholder, in that, Vallejo was contracted member. I’m glad to know, that CalPERS played a part, in protecting those benefits, for the retirees. ”

    Why didn’t the unions also represent the retirees? Hadn’t they paid their dues?

    “CalPERS was a stakeholder, in that, Vallejo was contracted member.”

    You’re right; Vallejo was a contracted member/customer. Why did CalPERS decide it was their duty to butt in to a dispute between a bankrupt city and their unions? How is that the role of an organization that manages benefits and investments for the city of Vallejo?

    What gives CalPERS the authority to use money billed/contributed/paid toward benefits by cities/taxpayers, $451,000 in this case, for anything other than paying benefits? Can you answer that?

  16. Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says:

    Cappy—- Amigo! Do a bit of homework— mine down into the calpers website—- thier legislative charter, mission statement and history are there for all to see. There you will find your answer as to why they think its thier job re Valejo—-

  17. SeeSaw Says:

    I guess the retirees can stay in their former unions, if they want to pay dues. I do not know, of any retiree, who belongs to a union. The unions exist, to represent active workers, basically. And, those actives, certainly did need representation, in the bankruptcy.

    I have not asked for, nor have I read, the by-laws, of CalPERS. But, it stands to reason, that CalPERS had a heavy financial interest, in seeing, that Vallejo did not renig, on its pension obligations. I’m sure, that there is an account, on the books, at CalPERS, that is posted, for allocated funding, for legal fees, and I am also sure, that there are laws, regarding what CalPERS can and cannot, “butt” into, regarding its fiduciary duty, to its members.

  18. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “JB’s proposal is simply to add a couple of people, with exceptional, financial expertise, to the Board. It certainly would not hurt, and could help–it would not be a wholesale restructuring–the current Board would remain in place, also. It would be senseless to throw out the Board, as it stands, and replace it, with people who have no invested interests, in CalPERS.”

    Yes, JB did say that adding financial expertise to the CalPERS Board was a part of his 12 point pension reform plan. It was a weak point at that. He acknowledged that it probably didn’t go far enough (and he is absolutely right).

    If the unions want to Control the CalPERS Board of Directors (which controls the hiring of the CEO, her performance reviews, her pay raises, and even her employment) then they are controlling the culture of the organization, and that is a problem. It really isn’t much different than Vallejo unions controlling both the culture of city government and the city council majority that approved raises for employee groups during bankruptcy.

    If the union/CalPERS B.O.D wants to absorb the financial risk for their own bad management that is fine with me – they can have all the Board seats. That way the unions will at least know who to blame for the mismanagement and they can fight amongst themselves. If they want tax payers to continue pay for ALL their mistakes and generosity then the Governor’s plan to restructure the CalPERS Board doesn’t go far enough. If you want taxpayers to take all the risk, as is the case now, then let taxpayers have all the seats on the CalPERS Board.

    Take your pick. Which do you prefer?

  19. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain, the unions do not control CalPERS, and they certainly have no participation, in the performance reviews, of the CalPERS CEO.

    Read the bios of the respective Board Members, Captain. Out of the total, of 13 members, you will see about three who were union members.

  20. SeeSaw Says:

    Where were you in Sept. 2008, Captain? Did you see the documentary film, “Inside Job”, and the fictional movie, “Margin Call”? If not, they would both be, worth your time. Then, you would know why CalPERS lost 100 billion dollars, during the period of Oct.,2007, to March, 2009. Every financial entity, in the world, went down, with that collapse. Are you going to blame, all that, on the management, of CalPERS?

  21. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Captain, the unions do not control CalPERS, and they certainly have no participation, in the performance reviews, of the CalPERS CEO.”

    The union controlled Board of Directors do have control of calPERS and The CEO. Read the B.O.D. mission statement. CalPERS has control. The CalPERS Board also rejected the recommendation of CalPERS and their consultants to lower the discount rate of 7.75%. The recommendation was a discount rate of 73/8 – 7.5%. The Board rejected those numbers which is why we are still using the 7.75% discount rate, which hides the true cost of the unfunded liabilities.

  22. The Ted System Says:

    LOL—- There is no (read zero) evidence of union control of the Calpers bod.

    If you have EVIDENCE—- post it!

  23. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Read the bios of the respective Board Members, Captain. Out of the total, of 13 members, you will see about three who were union members”

    I think you need to re-read the BIOS. BTW, that last person to be elected to the CalPERS Board was Micheal Bilbrey.

    Biography and Background:

    “Michael Bilbrey is the Bookstore Operations Coordinator at Citrus Community College District in Glendora, Calif. Michael also serves as the 1st Vice President of the California School Employees Association (CSEA), which represents more than 220,000 classified employees in California’s public schools and community colleges.”

    It sounds like Michael is an accomplished union rep and Book Store Coordinator. I don’t have a problem with that. That doesn’t make him anything remotely qualified to serving on Board that manages 225 billion worth of assets that represent a funding level of 65%. Mr. Bilbrey’s closing arguments in his bid for election to the CalPERS Board include that he will will fight management efforts to reduce benefits (CalPERS management). Fair enough, I guess, but he is a continuation of the CalPERS B.O.D. culture that is dominated by the unions.

    That is why he was elected by the membership. And that is what I was refering to about union domination of the B.O.D. and the culture of the CalPERS Board.

    His closing arguments are on-line. You can google him.

  24. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting Captain …”What gives CalPERS the authority to use money billed/contributed/paid toward benefits by cities/taxpayers, $451,000 in this case, for anything other than paying benefits? Can you answer that?”

    Of course you are correct …. but also way to naive. All of the powers that be that could (and should) stop CalPERS interference, either are members of these same (or similar) Plans, or indirectly benefit from a continuation of the status quo. It’s going to take an awfully big protest from taxpayers (likely coupled with lawsuits pursued in the FEDERAL Courts) to turn this bloated self-interested boat around.

  25. The Ted System Says:

    Oh my gosh fellas! Please— like rational adults——Exactly what is the evidence of union control of the bod of Calpers???? So far you are showing me nothing.

  26. Captain Says:

    Tough Love Says: Quoting Captain …””What gives CalPERS the authority to use money billed/contributed/paid toward benefits by cities/taxpayers, $451,000 in this case, for anything other than paying benefits? Can you answer that?”

    Of course you are correct””

    TL, you’re arguments are also correct. Have you noticed that nobody has even properly challenged my contention that CalPERS expenditures of $451,000 of tax payer money is beyond the scope of CalPERS reason for being.

    ” …. (Captain is) also way to naive. All of the powers that be that could (and should) stop CalPERS interference, either are members of these same (or similar) Plans, or indirectly benefit from a continuation of the status quo. It’s going to take an awfully big protest from taxpayers (likely coupled with lawsuits pursued in the FEDERAL Courts) to turn this bloated self-interested boat around.”

    How does that make me NAIVE? I get it – there is a ton of work to be done. And I’m not about to quit. What is happening is WRONG and I will continue to do my best to expose CalPERS for the problem they are. It isn’t just CalPERS and I understand that, TL. I’m just getting started. Calpers has told so many half-truths I’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to their misinformation and lies.

    The wave of resentment towards bloated pensions and the unions that deny a problem exists is growing, and rightfully so. People are making the connection between public sector unions claim of representing the working class and how their exorbitant pensions and rising compensation are affecting city infrastructure, city payroll & pension cost, education funding, and how that all relates to increased taxes, the need for parcel taxes, school bond funding, and the general squeeze of the true middle class.

    I’m just one person that is fed-up and trying to do my part. Feel free to join me.

  27. The Ted System Says:

    wow– long post Cap— I just skim em– sorry—- hey—–no one challenges your notion about the proper expenditure of CP because its obvious that given CP’s legislatively created mission– it is very appropriate. You’ve read the MS and history and controlling statutes right?

  28. The Ted System Says:

    i guess you guys have backed off the notion that you can prove that unions control the bod? Good!

  29. Captain Says:

    I just want to repeat this question: Why did CalPERS spend $451,000 of taxpayer money on anything other then pension benefit payments, management costs, or costs directly related to achieving investment gains? How much more money is CalPERS misdirecting from its’ intended purpose? Is it 10’s of millions, 100’s of millions, billions?

    That’s a STORY I would like to see written.

  30. SeeSaw Says:

    Isn’t it evident why CalPERS spent that money on legal fees. That’s what all large agencies, both public and private do. They are so susceptible to litigation, coming from everywhere, that they must have errors and omissions insurance, and a large pot of money for the fees, and a large group of legal minds. They had an invested interest ,in seeing that Vallejo, did not renig, on its pension obligations. Its that simple. I don’t know what story you are looking for–so go out and write it–it will make interesting reading.

  31. SeeSaw Says:

    Captaion I said that you will find about three union people, on the CalPERS Board, of thirteen. So, I suppose Milchael Bilbrey is one of the three. Each Board member, is not required, to know everything. They should have an impressive resume, and they all do. The Board is there to act on the information and reports they receive, from the many actuaries, investment officers, lawyers, staff, etc. Evidently, JB wants to make sure that there are expert financial minds, on the Board, too. So bring on two more expert financial Board Members–their presence could not hurt, and would probably help. Your repeated claim that the, Board of CalPERS is controlled by unions, is an outright lie! If you disagree, bring along documented proof, of what you say. The rate of return has absolutely nothing to do, with union control. The Plan does not want, to stick the member entities, with any more than they must; so they chose to look, at the big picture, positively. They could be right–they could be wrong. If they are wrong, you can point the finger, at the Board–not any union!

  32. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Isn’t it evident why CalPERS spent that money on legal fees. ”

    I think it is, but not for the same reasons you think. It isn’t CalPERS money to spend. Every dollar they spend on issues like this adds to the unfunded liability, which is charged to cities/taxpayers. Again, it isn’t their money to spend!

  33. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Captaion I said that you will find about three union people, on the CalPERS Board, of thirteen. So, I suppose Milchael Bilbrey is one of the three.”

    Seesaw, with all due respect, I want a recount.

  34. SeeSaw Says:

    Why don’t you go to a CalPERS Board meeting and ask them why they spent that money?

  35. SeeSaw Says:

    When I get time, I will go to CalPERS website and re-read the bios of the members. Anyone else can do the same, and refute me, if they want.

  36. The Ted System Says:

    Cap– you may ask yourself also– why did the County of Orange spend2.5 mil(well…in the end 5mil) in legal fees/costs to try to attempt to roll back the cops and firefighters pensions when they were told by 3 law firms they hired, a trial court, and an appeals court it was a loser?

    YOU would probably say– its their job, I guess?

    Given Calpers mission why is 400k in costs a mystery to you?

  37. SeeSaw Says:

    If OC had won that lawsuit, it would not have been, just the OC Sheriffs and FF’s, who would have been affected. His stratedgy was, to have the retroactivity clauses of SB400 and AB616, declared unconstitutional. If that had happened, it, would have affected the pensions, of 900,000+, CalPERS members, and members of other Pension Plans, as well.

  38. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “When I get time, I will go to CalPERS website and re-read the bios of the members”

    Thank you.

    On a seperate note CalPERS continues to claim that “airtime” is a cost neutral employee perk. You do understand that is also a lie?

  39. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain, I know that the employee who buys “airtime”, is putting out a huge chunk of money, that they are not going to see for years, and which will take years, after retirement, to recoup. I don’t see it as much of a perk. It looks like CalPERS would be the winner, to me. But, I’m not an actuary, so I cannot analyse it, like an actuary would. Only an actuary could substantiate your claim, that “airtime” is not cost neutral. Have you seen any professional actuarial analyses of, CalPERS “airtime”? My former entity offered one year, of “airtime”, to match one year of “airtime”, purchased, by employees, who were going out the door, within the year, in 2010. And, I do know that a CalPERS actuary was required, to determine the cost, for each employee, who participated. Such program was declared as less costly, to the entity, than the standard, “Golden Handshake”.

  40. spension Says:

    Well Ted, the title of this blog is Calpensions, not Calcriminals, Calaliens, Calwelfare….

    Sure, there are horrible problems with the prisons in California… we pay $50,000/criminal/year in our grossly inefficient prison system. That includes a bunch of undocumented folks. Nice. We spend about $10K/year on our own K12 students and about $15K/year on our university level students, but $50K/year on criminals with undocumented immigration status. And as the costs have spiraled up in the corrections part of the budget, recidivism has spiraled up too.

    So I’d definitely limit per-prisoner costs to now more than K12 per student costs.

    Calaliens? What a can of worms. Hard to distinguish contributions to the economy from costs. I’m not an expert.

    Calwelfare? Well, the point is not to screw children. Even Pete Wilson agreed that money spent for good conditions for young children save money in the long run. But the truth is, I’m not an expert.

    Now I must say that exploitation of the taxpayer to support unsustainable pension benefits like 3% at 50 is bad and wrong independent of all those other things.

  41. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain, here are some thumb nails. I see two currently active union members of the 13. If you want to call the PhD professor a union member, that would be three. Others may have been union members in their early careers, but they are all, in management positions now:

    Rob Feckner – School employee and union rep. Has completed special certificate programs in pension administration. Yes, active in union.

    George Diehr – CA U Professor, belongs to faculty union. Has BA, MBA, and PhD degrees. I don’t think you would call him, a union activist.

    Michael Bilbrey – Operates bookstore at Citrus Community College. Has BA and MBA in Business Administration. Yes, active in union.

    John Chiang – CA State Controller. Has degrees in Finance and Law. Has been staff member to Gov. officials. Not union.

    Richard Costigan – Management–State Personnel Board. Is an Attorney. Not union.

    Dan Dumoyer- Insurance Industry Rep. Has BA in Political Science, and Masters in Public Administration. Not union.

    J. J. Jelincic – CalPERS Investment Officer, past president of CSEA. Not active now. Has BA in Economics, and MBA in Finance.

    Henry Jones – CFO for LAUSD. Pension fund Administrator for 7,000 teachers. Adjunct professor at Cal State U. BA in Business Administration and Finance. Not Union

    Bill Lockyer – CA State Treasurer, former AG. Law Degree and Teaching Credential form CA State U, Hayward. Not union.

    Priya Sara Mathur – Analyst, Bay Area Rapid Transit District. BA in Economics and Literature from Connecticut College. BA and Masters Degrees from UC Berkely. Probably not union.

    Ronald Yank – Director of CA State Personnel Board. Retired labor attorney. BA from U CAL, Berkely, Law Degree from Harvard. Not union.

    Governor Brown – Past Secy of State, past Mayor of Oakland, past AG of CA, current Governor of CA. Not union.

    Legislative Representative – Don’t know who it is. Could be a union sympathizer, or not. For purposes of representation on this Board – not union.

    There you have it. Pretty outstanding group, in my book.

  42. SeeSaw Says:

    I do not bring the costs of other programs like welfare, prisons, and social services into my posts. I consider all such programs necessary, as well as funding, and reforming the pension systems. I do not support hybrid plans–I think they should fight, to the death, to keep the DB pension system. Everyone who cares about CA, should support the Governor’s tax-increase initiative.

  43. SeeSaw Says:

    Spension the OC Lawsuit established precedent, that the 3% at 50 plans are legal, so the question of reforming them, outside of the Collective Bargaining process, is moot. Over 200 city and county entities in the State of CA, have been in the process of reforming their, respective, pension benefits, the past year. It makes no sense, to keep harping on what will not be changed. We should go forward, on solving the problems, not retroactive.

  44. SeeSaw Says:

    The saddesy thing in all of this: Some of you are actually angry, that the pensions, of the Vallejo retirees and current employees, were saved. Shame on, all of you!

  45. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: ” Captain, I know that the employee who buys “airtime”, is putting out a huge chunk of money, that they are not going to see for years, and which will take years, after retirement, to recoup. I don’t see it as much of a perk. It looks like CalPERS would be the winner, to me.”

    No. Taxpayers are the big loser in the wierd world of employees buying years of service. CalPERs doesn’t seem to agree with me. They say “The California Public Employees’ Retirement System says air-time purchases have been cost-neutral because CALPERS’ investments have earned strong returns, averaging 8.4% a year over the past 20 years”.

    Again with the last 20 year nonsense. Seems to me CalPERS is relying on this one misleading statistic to justify everything. It is a lie.

  46. SeeSaw Says:

    All you are posting about, “airtime”, so far, is an opinion, Captain. You need an official document to prove what you say. You need facts.

  47. SeeSaw Says:

    You’re welcome, Cap. Don’t mention it.

  48. The Ted System Says:

    Well then Cap—I can see that you’e bright enough to see the issues with other budget problems but you can’t seem to see it in the context of meeting your obligations. You are obligated to pay what you promised your employes but not obligated to pay criminals and aliens—- yet your energy is directed about worming out of what you owe to who you promised it to…..interesting.

  49. The Ted System Says:

    Seesaw said-“if OC had won that lawsuit, it would not have been, just the OC Sheriffs and FF’s, who would have been affected. His stratedgy was, to have the retroactivity clauses of SB400 and AB616, declared unconstitutional. If that had happened, it, would have affected the pensions, of 900,000+, CalPERS members, and members of other Pension Plans, as well.”

    Ya think?????? I wonder why Cap can’t grasp this notion about Calpers? Hmmmmmmmm

  50. Tough Love Says:

    Hi, You guys seemed to be looking for a substantive discussion about whether “airtime” is sold to workers at below true actuarial cost. Below is a quote from a recent commentary written by Mary Pat Campbell (an actuary). It can be found here:

    http://www.conservativecommune.com/2012/01/public-pension-term-airtime/:

    “You want a calculation? If you go to this immediate annuities quote page, put in the info that the guy is in California and age 55, and put in $1000/month income, you’ll see that the cheapest lifetime annuity option is about $212,000. One can argue about discount rates, yadda yadda, but I was being nice here by low-balling the benefit — no joint life (which can make it worth a lot more, depending on the age of the spouse), and not making it the almost $13K/year extra). Yes, there’s a lot of simplifications here, but …
    Let’s start with that $75K in 2004, growing to $212K in 2015. That’s a compound growth rate of 9.9% per year. For 11 years. Not too shabby in this economic environment.”

    ************************************************************
    Background…. a worker bought “airtime” in 2004 for $75K for which the incremental pension (to begin payout in 2015) has a “value” in 2015 of $212K. One way to answer the question of whether the airtime was purchased below a reasonable cost is to determine the compound annual interest rate necessary for the $75k “investment” to grow to it’s $212K “value” by 2015 (11 years later). The result of that calculation is (as Mary’s quote states) 9.9% followed by her essentially concluding that this is an unreasonably high rate of return over this period and hence the “airtime” was indeed sold at a price below it’s true “cost”.

    Taking this a bid further than Mary, we can estimate just how big a bargain the worker got (at taxpayers’ expense) by re-doing Mary’s calc at other interest rates. Doing so shows that using 4%, 6%, and 8%, the $75K investment would grow over the 11 years to $115K, $142k, and $175K respectively. Subtracting these figures from the True Value of the incremental pension (the $212) gives $97K, 70K, and $37K respectively. Assuming the 4%-8% borders a reasonable range of interest rates, we can reasonably conclude that (in Mary’s example) the taxpayers (no doubt w/o their knowledge or consent) provided a “gift” to this worker with a value somewhere in the range from $37K to 97K.

  51. SeeSaw Says:

    The benefits of air-time or not, is no issue, with me. I would not waste two minutes, trying to decypher it, because there are actuaries at CalPERS, who are doing that, for the employees who have purchased it. The more time you people spend on airtime, the more time, you will stay away from my issue, which is protecting the DB pension systems, in CA. If they were to wipe airtime, off the map, tomorrow, I doubt you would see public employees distressed, over it.

  52. spension Says:

    Sure, SeeSaw, if public retirees and employees insist keeping there 3% at 50 benefits etc, look forward to 3 weeks less of school for our children, and eventual sovereign default of the State of California, after a period of terribly debased public services.

  53. SeeSaw Says:

    The ones that have those benefits will be keeping them, of course. Whatever is given up, will be done, at the Table. Those formulas have been amended for new hires in an ongoing process all over CA. My former employer amended its, 3% at 50, in 2005.

    We will pass the Governor’s tax-increase initiative, and the children will stay in school. The theory is simple. If you want services, you pay taxes.

    The citizens of CA, who love CA, will never allow a sovereign default. You are living in the past–we don’t want it, and we won’t allow it. I doubt you even live in CA. No self-respecting citizen of CA, would ever propose, such a thing.

  54. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: The ones that have those benefits will be keeping them, of course. Whatever is given up, will be done, at the Table.

    That doesn’t work.

  55. SeeSaw Says:

    Its the legal process, Captain. And, it does work. There have been a lot of concessions given, by current employees, throughout the State of CA, using that process.

  56. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “its the legal process, Captain. And, it does work. There have been a lot of concessions given, by current employees, throughout the State of CA, using that process.”

    Other than current employees conceding benefits for future employees, and maybe paying a portion of the cost of their own pension contribution, which most likely doesn’t even cover the increased cost, what concessions have they made?

    Because we are talking in very general terms I would like you to be specific, with links. And I would also like that when you provide opinion regarding cost concessions that you are capable of providing that info in the context of net “NET” cost reductions (since we are still in a recessionary mode). What I mean by that is, my city rolled out a budget that claimed over 1 million in employee cost savings. It wasn’t until a city council meeting, and a discussion on the topic of employee cost savings from outraged citizens that were paying attention to the bottom line, that the city admitted that the stated cost savings were line item only, and that actual employee costs were continuing to rise despite the line item savings.

    The majority of concessions consisted of eliminating place-holder positions; unfilled jobs that were budgeted. This is the kind of language and result that comes from a collective bargaining process when only one side is represented at the table. As my grandma likes to say when two parties are conspiring against a third for their own benefit – they’re in cahoots!

  57. The Ted System Says:

    What gives you folks the right to say that school cuts from any other particular expenditure in a net zero budget come from pensions? Who says any future, maybe, cut in education didn’t come from welfare, unlawful immigration or spiraling health care?

  58. The Ted System Says:

    Cap– If they are in cahoots—- I am curious…what do you think your remedy is in the good old USA?

    I can list 2 or 3….what do you see as remedies to this “in cahoots” bargaining?

  59. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain, when employees, who have been getting their employee-portion of the pension obligations funded by the employer, for 20 years or more, agree to pay their own 8% portion, that is in affect an 8% pay cut. There were also unpaid furloughs the past two years, and those lost wages, will never be recovered. Employees have not been getting step raises, or cost of living raises–in affect, their wages are frozen. Is that enough sacrifice, for you? I don’t really know what else can be done, because, the current work forces are going to hang on, to everything, that they, legally, have attained, through Collective Bargaining, over the years. If you would expect more, you are dreaming. I am a people person, and I have a lot of sympathy, for all the small business owners, especially those, in the Sacramento area, who have lost business, and even had to close down their businesses, as a result, of the furloughs, mainly those imposed, by GAS. There are a lot of ways to affect cost savings, and one is attrition–I know that people like you, get mad, because such policy doesn’t actually result, in the suffering of any flesh and blood victims. If I were a Vallejo resident, I would be celebrating, with the residents and employees, at the fact, commons sense prevailed, in the end.

    Its very interesting, how you just leave a discussion, when you have no comeback, Captain. I took my time last night to scan the bios of the CalPERS BOD, to show you, that it is not union-controlled, and then gave you their, respective, thumb-nail sketches. You did not even offer your thanks, let alone admit that you were wrong.

  60. Captain Says:

    The Ted System Says: “What gives you folks the right to say that school cuts from any other particular expenditure in a net zero budget come from pensions?”

    Ted, it isn’t me or “you folks” that are saying that the pension costs are eating into education funding. The budget structure and rising pension costs are what is doing that.

  61. Captain Says:

    Tough Love Says: “Hi, You guys seemed to be looking for a substantive discussion about whether “airtime” is sold to workers at below true actuarial cost. Below is a quote from a recent commentary written by Mary Pat Campbell (an actuary). It can be found here:

    http://www.conservativecommune.com/2012/01/public-pension-term-airtime/:”

    Nice link TL. I’ll save it for future reference.

    What I was really getting at was the disinformation and lies that continue to come from CalPERS. I want people like SeeSaw and Ted (probably a lost cause) to understand where I’m coming from and have the ability to challenge the disingenuous claims that continue to come from this rogue organization. To do that I need to prove my points. My point regarding “air time”, and I agree with SeeSaw that this is a minor issue in the big scheme of things – but a major issue in terms of CalPERS lack of credibility, is that CalPERS has lied and left people like SeeSaw & Ted to defend the CalPERS position.

    The following quote is from a December 2011 article in USA today, “States try to fix miscalculations over ‘air time’. The article was about how states have miscalculated the cost of “air time” and how that is costing tax payers and impacting the bottom line of pension plans. By this time it was well known that CalPERS had underestimated the cost of this perk by as much as 30%, if my recollection is correct. That is a significant number. But in the USA Today article, even though CalPERS was fully aware they had significantly undercharged for the benefit, which ultimately costs taxpayers a lot of money. The CalPERS spokesperson, Amy Norris, was quoted in this excerpt:

    ““The California Public Employees’ Retirement System says air-time purchases have been cost-neutral because CALPERS’ investments have earned strong returns, averaging 8.4% a year over the past 20 years, spokeswoman Amy Norris says.” The California Legislature allowed air-time purchases starting in 2004 after being pressed by legislative aides who wanted to get work credit for time spent on legislators’ political campaigns.”

    Not only does this statement NOT acknowledge previous confirmation that the air time was sold to CalPERS members at a steep discount, and that’s based on average 7.75% returns which haven’t been achieved since the inception of the plan, but the plan didn’t begin until 2004.

    Why is this official CalPERS spokesperson claiming “air-time purchases have been cost-neutral because CALPERS’ investments have earned strong returns, averaging 8.4% a year over the past 20 years“. What does a 20 year horizon have to do with a tax payer abusive plan that only began 8 years ago?

    Just one more reason not to believe anything that comes from an official CalPERS spokesperson.

  62. The Ted System Says:

    I disagree with you seesaw—- while people will want to hang on to what they have…..I have rep’d labor in the past at col bargaining and can think of a time or two in the past when we HAVE given things up. In state gov. labor approaches the table in good faith, meaning– it’s all on the table and the process dictates. While I don’t see anyone giving up unreasonable points, I could see a process where maybe, not now, but in the future, compromises are reached. This is the essence of collective bargaining for current employees and current management.

    On your second point, why they leave after you have defeated them…..of course they do.It is easy to hurl the bomb that “unions control the bod”, when I asked them for proof, when you ask them for proof, of course, there is none forthcoming. Most of the anti gov employee argument is ad hom attacks and incredible propoganda…..pretty sleepy stuff!

  63. The Ted System Says:

    Cap– wrong— the budget does no more say that pension costs are causing cuts then any other wild line item.

  64. SeeSaw Says:

    Yes, Cap, I can see where you come from. You get all your information from the op-ed columnists. To heck, with the spokespeople from CalPERS.

    The issue of air-time, is a non-issue with me, and I feel no need to defend, or praise, the practice.

  65. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Captain, when employees, who have been getting their employee-portion of the pension obligations funded by the employer, for 20 years or more, agree to pay their own 8% portion, that is in affect an 8% pay cut.”

    I understand the claim you’re making but I don’t see a concrete example that any employees have agreed to pay the 8%. Most examples I’ve seen of employees agreeing to pay “THEIR” portion of “their” pension contribution has been offset by increased compensation. That doesn’t benefit taxpayers.

    Actually, when employees increase their pension contribution by one percent (or whatever percent you wantto use) and that number is offset by a corresponding increase in salary, the net is an increase in employee cost.

    SeeSaw, you need to show a concrete example of savings. Otherwise, it is nothing more then the same old BS I described in my previous post.

  66. SeeSaw Says:

    Cap, if your chagrine, is about the fact, that the line item amount fell, but the people-sacrifices were really not, what you thought, they would be, why should you care? The line item amount, is the one that counts.

  67. SeeSaw Says:

    Well Captain, since you didn’t even look at the work ,I did for you, on the CalPERS BOD, you may expect, no more concrete, anything. I will just be posting mostly opinions, which are based on facts. You will have to take my word, or not. Who cares, anyway. The examples I cited, come from my former workplace, and I do not post, those identities. Happy pouting, Cap.

  68. SeeSaw Says:

    Ted, you were actually at the Table. I never was. So what you say is more credible. Fortunately, I never had to go through any of this, while an active employee. I think it would have been very hard, going to work, day after day, in this atmosphere. Amen.

  69. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Well Captain, since you didn’t even look at the work ,I did for you, on the CalPERS BOD, you may expect, no more concrete, anything.”

    I understand your frustration. I appreciate your comments and research but I’ll have to continue that discussion in a day or so. Today was a busy day and by the time I got to this discussion there were easier issues to address.

    Thank you. I appreciate your response and will do my best to respond in a constructive manner.

  70. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw …”Captain, when employees, who have been getting their employee-portion of the pension obligations funded by the employer, for 20 years or more, agree to pay their own 8% portion, that is in affect an 8% pay cut. There were also unpaid furloughs the past two years, and those lost wages, will never be recovered. Employees have not been getting step raises, or cost of living raises–in affect, their wages are frozen. Is that enough sacrifice, for you?”

    No, Public Sector Total Compensation (pay + pension accruals + benefits accruals) must not exceed that of comparable Private Sector workers . While Cash Pay is now close, Pension and Benefits accruals in the Public Sector still FAR FAR exceed those of the Private Sector . A 50+% drop in accrual rates for future service would be needed to get us even close (more for safety workers).

    Note … relatively modest givebacks from a starting point FAR FAR greater does NOT get us there.

  71. The Ted System Says:

    Love—Most of the pay pvt v public have been roundly debunked….and….when the econ gets cranking again—–pvt pay will once again be even better like it has been for a century. Save that tired old argument.

  72. spension Says:

    Everybody must suffer through healthcare cost increases. Nobody wants truly indigent people screwed.

    But it is a very small portion of the California population who gets 3% at 50, 2.5 % at 55, etc, and who are in pension systems that did not save sufficient money to support those benefits, and consequently need taxpayer bailouts.

    Yes those benefits were legally promised and are contractually required, and unless the beneficiaries voluntarily give them up, the State of California will end up with 3 weeks less of school for kids, even more rotten streets and even further diminished public services.

    As long as those taxpayer bailouts are needed and not severely curtailed, those payouts will be perceived as the primary purpose of a tax increase. Simply because every taxpayer benefits from a good education system, from a health care system that stops epidemics of dangerous diseases, from the truly indigent turning to crime, but only a select few get $150,000 payouts for unused vacation upon retirement and 3% @ 50 pensions.

  73. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting spension ….”Yes those benefits were legally promised and are contractually required, and unless the beneficiaries voluntarily give them up, the State of California will end up with 3 weeks less of school for kids, even more rotten streets and even further diminished public services.”

    Not going to happen (the money will never be there). Pensions will ultimately be reduced by the “Police Powers” (important public purpose) provisions in the Constitution.

  74. SeeSaw Says:

    Spension, the state’s liability to CalPERS, is only 3% of the total budget, and there are very few workers, on 3% at 50, when you put it, in the context, of the total state workforce. I don’t think that state, rank and file ever got a 3% formula, after AB616 was enacted. The whole PS contingent of the state of CA, could voluntarilly give up a portion of that formula, and it would be such a minute amount, that the shcools, etc. would not be affected. You place way too much blame on current and future pensionsers, where the ills of CA, are concerned. All of the current retirees, could agree to give up some, of their current benefits, and it would not have any affect ,on the Budget of the State, of CA. The two, the State and CalPERS, are completely, separate entities, and their budgets don’t interact.

  75. spension Says:

    Maybe, Tough Love. My own prediction is eventual Sovereign Default, not martial law. Not sure we’ve ever seen martial law over a financial problem in the US, but we have had States undergo Sovereign Default.

    And my view is the root of the problem is democracy itself. Maybe all democracies are financially unstable in the long run, because the people want promises and don’t want to pay, and no amount of reason and logic will ever change that.

  76. Ted Says:

    man this board is a broken record.

  77. spension Says:

    But the pension problem (as well as prison cost escalation) stands front and center in people’s minds when they consider opening their checkbook to pay more taxes. Nobody wants to pay more to subsidize $150,000 vacation payouts, $260,000 prison guard salaries, or retirees getting $70K/year or even $150K/year at age 50. It may be `only 3%’ but 3% is billions of dollars. Billions of dollars are a big deal.

    Once pensioners and existing employees give something up voluntarily then the case can be successfully made to raise taxes, maybe even repeal Prop. 13 for commercial property.

  78. SeeSaw Says:

    All the examples you cite, are rare and unusual incidents, Spension. My vacation payout was about $10,000. Why don’t you cite that–it would be a far more usual ocurrence. Furthermore, the vacation payout, you use as an example ,has nothing to do, with being subsidized. It was earned, over the course of 30 years, by that, particular, employee. The one prison guard’s salary, was the result of lots of overtime, and would not be added to the pension calculation. If he wanted to kill himself, working, that was his business. No one is going to give up something voluntarily, unless it is through the CB process, for actives. Stop harping about something, that is not going to occur. I have one vote, and will vote for the tax increase. I doubt that you will be voting on said issue–I doubt you even live, in CA.

  79. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw ….”I have one vote, and will vote for the tax increase.”

    Surprise surprise ….. since for every incremental $1 in taxes YOU pay, you’ll likely benefit by $5 (toward shoring up your underfunded Pension) with the Taxpayers (footing the other $4 in Taxes) getting just about nothing for it.

  80. SeeSaw Says:

    No, TL, any tax increase, or not, will have nothing to do with my pension. My concern is for the whole state of CA. I imagine that is hard to understand, for one who lives in N.J. I leave N.J.’s problems, to N.J.

  81. spension Says:

    People judge the reliability of things by rare occurrences… it is human nature. Traveling by air is way safer than traveling by car, but people remember the rare and horrible plane crashes.

    Same with our government… if some prison guards get $260,000/year salaries, people remember that. If some people get $150,000 vacation payouts, people know that in their jobs they are not allowed to earn that kind of thing *no matter what*, most people either have a `use it or lose it’ vacation policy, or a very modest ability to accumulate vacation payouts.

    The vast majority of voters could never, ever get a $150,000 vacation payout. You can say it was `earned’ and it will only enrage all the hard working voters who worked just as hard but weren’t allowed to accumulate like that… like, say, battle veterans from Afghanistan.

    So these relatively rare but huge benefits given out to public employees wreak havoc on voter confidence. Arguments that they happen 0.0001% of the time don’t help… after all, murder happens 0.00000000001% of the time in anybody’s life, but that doesn’t mean a little murder is OK.

    I completely realize that the average public employee gets benefits that are merely excellent compared with the current private sector, and that the private sector gutted pension funds through guys like Ivan Boesky, etc.

    It is really in the best interest of public employees themselves to control the excess, because unfortunately the average public employee gets smeared with the excesses of the exceptional cases of greed.

    But even the average benefits for public workers got too rich… that is why the pension funds are not now 100% funded. 3% at 50 is not available *anywhere* for usual workers (although private sector execs get even better). 2% at 65 should be the maximum, and in the end current employees and retirees might well save the State and avoid Sovereign Default be retreating to that level of benefits.

  82. SeeSaw Says:

    Well, spension, the shoe does not fit, and I will not put it on. I am not one that dwells, on the rare and horrific–otherwise, I would not be able to fly anywhere, anymore. You just go on, and enjoy trying, to scare the retired people, of CA, with your prognostications, of soverign default.

  83. spension Says:

    But a little murder is just fine with you, SeeSaw?

  84. Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says:

    spension—- pure hyperbole—–and a bad analogy- I, like most people remain unafraid to fly and unconcerned about a default in California. Pinning our debt problem on any one part of our budget is foolish. Why pensions above ANY other catagory as the actual cause?…..you are still unable to justify it.

  85. SeeSaw Says:

    Spension, can you please hold your commenting, to something dignified and useful, instead of accusing me, of approving of murder. You are starting to run out, of reasonable argument, and now you have to lower yourself, to attacking my credibility, as a human being!

  86. Tough Love Says:

    spension, Why do you even bother ?

  87. spension Says:

    It is quite simple, Ted, and SeeSaw…. $260,000 prison guard salaries and $150,000 vacation payouts and 3% at 50 are just fine and dandy with you, because they are infrequent. Murder is infrequent too.

    In my opinion, both are deplorable, but in your opinion, only murder is deplorable.

  88. SeeSaw Says:

    The costs to the employing entities would have been the same regardless of whether, or not, one person did a particular job, or 20 different people did it. I personally would rather see 20 people have a job. However, it looks like somebody else is sore, because some individual got a big payday. And, we can’t have that, can we.

  89. spension Says:

    You resolutely avert your eyes from the issues that will cause Brown’s tax plan to fail, and the issues that steam a majority of voters in California.

    The big payouts are not justifiable when compared to the analogous jobs held by the overwhelming majority of Californians. No mall cop gets $260,000/year or $150,000 vacation payouts or 3% at 50. OK, prison guards and deputies have tougher jobs.

    But still, the prison guards and sheriffs deputies are tightly controlled monopolies… harder to get into prison guard training than it is to get in to Harvard. Need an insider to get you into the prison guard track.

    Training and qualification of prison guards and deputies needs to be way way opened up. Flood the market with capable employable people, and let the compensation come back down to reasonable levels.

    And either current employees and pensioners retreat to 2% at 65 or … Sovereign Default.

  90. SeeSaw Says:

    Blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s all you have left Spension.

    I have lived in CA, for 55 years, and the State is, of much concern, to me. I don’t avert my eyes, from anything. I don’t think you are even, within 3,000 miles, of this state, just like TL. I think that JB’s tax plan is going to pass. Two per-cent at 65, would be no disaster, but its up to the respective legislators, and CB groups.. Its not up to me–I don’t have to retreat to any other formula–mine is all said and done.

  91. spension Says:

    Oh, I’ve lived in California long enough to remember the Old Bale Mill in Napa Valley before the wine industry took over, to have bought gas at Simas, eaten at the Old Poodle Dog, ridden a Key System car across the Bay Bridge, and seen the Seals and Oaks play ball.

    No benefit is immune from restructuring under a Sovereign Default.

  92. Tough Love Says:

    “I don’t have to retreat to any other formula–mine is all said and done.”

    I think someone in RI said that too.

  93. SeeSaw Says:

    Yawn!

  94. The Ted System Says:

    I think you are correct spension— and if we can just get to Oz maybe the Wizard will take us all home!

  95. spension Says:

    Ted, you and SeeSaw live in a fantasy land where cashiers, UPS delivery guys, convenience store owners, etc line up to pay their taxes to give prison guards and deputies $260,000/year salaries, $150,000 vacation payouts, and $70,000/year pensions at age 50.

    Good luck finding a Wizard to make it all good for you.

  96. Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says:

    Maybe you live in a dream world friend? No one I know defends the 260k salary of a rank and file police officer.

    But I know you like to spin that.

  97. spension Says:

    Then how come the labor side of Collective Bargaining didn’t ban $260,000/year prison guard salaries, $150,000 vacation payouts, and $70,000/year pensions at age 50?

    It must be that the consensus on the labor side wanted all those things, or they would not exist.

  98. Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says:

    I can’t answer your question sorry. All I have said is that 260k fir a rank and file cop is too much. I am confident that salary, if true, is an aberation.

  99. spension Says:

    Should have rounded down to $250,000… the real number (in 2006) was $252,570

    http://articles.latimes.com/2006/dec/23/local/me-guards23

    But the vacation payout figure was $183,683:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/07/local/la-me-county-pay-20120108

    Don’t accuse me of personal attacks on those people who got those big $, or greed, or whatever. They are working in a system set up by the collective bargaining negotiators, who could have restricted overtime and vacation payouts to values that resemble what rank-and-file Californians get.

    But the negotiators didn’t. Therein lies the blame, not with those individual prison guards or deputies who actually work quite hard.

    I actually know one or two people who took the big $ payouts and donated the money back to religious groups or aid-to-indigent groups. Good for them.

  100. SeeSaw Says:

    I am confident that there is no $260K/yr prison guard salary, as far as the official salary scales, are concerned. Whoever, got that amount, in one year, was forced to work a lot overtime, because they were bound by the furlough days, and short staffing. You don’t see many coming out to comment on any rebuttals to that, “eight- weeks paid vacation”, the first year, for prison guards, do you? When that falsety first came out, the Guard union’s rep corrected it, by reporting that the Guards accumulate 12-days paid vacation the first year. Did you see PT print that story, so your shorts wouldn’t be bunched up–of course not. If you add up all the accumulated leave, that the Guards have for their first year, including holidays, sick leave, etc., it adds up to 8 weeks. As a full time municipal employee, when I started, my first year’s total accumulation, was seven weeks. So, what the Guards accumulate, the first year, is standard to what most public employees get. The removal of the vacation cap was due, to the fact, that the furlough days and short staffing, prevented the Guards, from being able to use vaction leave–so their situation, is an exception, to the rule. Life is full of such exceptions. But that’s okay, Spension, you just go on shouting about how the Guards’ got something, they should not have gotten, from Jerry. (We should see you walking those corridors!) Then, Spension, even though you know that the excess salary won’t be used to calculate the guards’ CalPERS pension, you will go ahead and report it, anyway. I take all reports into consideration–not just the vitriol. I never make a statement about any facts, in my posts, that I know is not true. I am all about the truth. You love your hyperbole.

  101. spension Says:

    I think you are averting your eyes again, SeeSaw. The vast majority of Californians don’t get that kind of overtime pay when they work overtime. Nor are they ever allowed to get that kind of vacation accrual. In some kind of public-employee bubble it might seem reasonable, but when you ask for more tax $ to pay from people who don’t get those kind of deals, you make the people who slave away and now gotta pay more really upset.

    It is incomprehensible that the Prison Guard training is much harder to get admitted to than Harvard. Therein lies the issue… stating that no-one wants this jobs and then severely restricting the applicant pool is inconsistent.

  102. SeeSaw Says:

    Lets hope that the vast majority of Californias are not faced, with that amount of overtime, to be worked. The overtime pay itself is not the issue, its the number of hours. If the workers were available, such overtime would not be necessary. The bottom line here, is that its not costing the taxpayer more to pay the overtime. Its cheaper, in the long run, than paying two full-time workers, with benefits. You just resent the fact, that one person is making out–who is it, that is averting their eyes, again. Get off such accusations toward me. It was explained, in my previous post, why the guards are getting uncapped vacation accrual, so why do insist on harping about it! It is a deviation from the rule, and justly so. Yes, the vast majority of Californian’s do not get that. I play no active part, in the hiring, or not, of prison guards–I leave that up to the people who are.

    I have been here in CA, all along–I suspect that you were here on vacation, a few times.

  103. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw/Ted, you might the following (from a law professor) interesting…

    http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/01/can-california-voters-recoup-excessive-pay-benefits-and-pensions-from-current-public-employees/

  104. spension Says:

    But, SeeSaw, you are averting your eyes to the deeper issue of… why aren’t there many more qualified Prison Guards who work for more standard wages (Say, $50K/year) for high school educated folks who can take the hours? Huh?

    Simply because the prison guard supply is clamped down by the Union, and in a corrupt way. Cannot and should not be harder to get that training than Harvard.

    I don’t care why the Guards got their sweet deal. It is wrong and bad, and should be voluntarily given back. Lots of people I know work backbreaking hours and don’t get that kind of overtime.

    BS, I’ve lived here in California my whole life, I remember Goody Knight, Thomas Kuchel, Sharon Tate and People’s Park, the first term of Jerry Brown, the shooting of Marcus Foster, the Chowchilla kidnapping, Lawrence Singleton `The Catch’, my Raiders bugging out to LA, Brown Losing to Wilson Loma Prieta, Rodney King and riots, oh and on and on. I’m a Californian back to my grandfather and great-great uncles, who homesteaded in Kings County.

    But where you grew up and reside doesn’t change right and wrong, and accruing $183,000 in vacation is just wrong.

  105. SeeSaw Says:

    Are you on the inside of those CB sessions, Spension? I am not, and I cannot put forth argument, in response, to your accusations. In the case of the guards, they are accruing more vacation, than others, but I stated the reasons why, that is happening. Those who don’t like it should go be prison guards. I don’t know what clamp-downs have been committed by the union, or not, and I think it is wrong, to speculate on things, that we don’t know about. I never had such type of accrued vacation, and neither do the majority of CA’s public workers. One point that you seem to fail to consider, is that the employee’s who do get that type of accumulation, must work, for it. It was not welfare, that was just handed to them.

    I guess I will have to acknowledge that, you live in CA. Too bad. We need citizens who are going to care and support what we have to do, to get this state, back on track. We don’t need citizens, who keep calling for sovereign default.

  106. SeeSaw Says:

    I’ve already seen it, TL. Its just another op-ed, from a conservative professor, in a conservative college, in right-wing, Orange County. I saw a post somewhere else, recently, that described Orange County as, the red pimple, on the State, of blue CA. I had a chuckle at that.

  107. Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says:

    T love— LOL— John Eastman!!! He is Dean at Chapman– a two bit law school down in the OC….He is a died in the wool Faux News talking point clown– no offense to you though– I have read volumes of his drivel— and remember his bluster and predictions about the LAW re the Cops lawsuit down there…and the appeals court ruling, and the supreme court denial!!! PLEASE

  108. Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says:

    I bet “Dean” Eastman wishes he had corrected all of the typos in that piece before it was published!

  109. spension Says:

    Well, if retirees and existing employees voluntarily give back benefits to 2% @ 65, and give back accrued vacation over $25,000, and if we trained enough prison guards, cops, and firefighters to keep those salaries within reason, we’d not need to contemplate a Sovereign Default.

    In part because all those concessions would turn the tide on voter sympathy to the public sector.

    Argentina’s been through Sovereign Default, what, 20 times in the last 100 years? Even Germany has, if I remember correctly. It is not the end of the world, but might be the inevitable consequence of politicians spending to please voters and voters not wanting to pay it all off.

  110. SeeSaw Says:

    Spension, you are making the public employees responsible for the economic problems of CA, when they are not the cause. The accrued vacations, are earned income, that is legally protected. To even suggest, asking them to give it back, is nuts. I am not a judge, as to what is within reason, as far as salaries are concerned–you are just pointing fingers at improper scapegoats. Retirees and existing employees are not going to give back anything, that they have attained legally. With 32% of my own pension going, to Medical Insurance Premiums, asking me to give back part of it, is outrageous. The public sector is not going to give up any of its legally obtained rights, for voter sympathy.

  111. spension Says:

    `Earned’ 3% at 50, when sufficient funds to cover that were never saved by the employees or the State of California? `Earned’ $250,000/year salaries for prison guard work? `Earned’ $180,000 of vacation payout? Sorry, that uses a definition of `earned’ that most Californians find unbelievable.

    The unfunded liability of the California pension funds? $498 billion. About 5 years of the gross State spending.

    http://siepr.stanford.edu/system/files/shared/Nation%20Statewide%20Report%20v081.pdf

    Scapegoat? Nope, no scapegoating, just fact. I’m not interested in the hatred and bashing of public employees, I’m just interested in a reasonable compromise, which seems to me to be… 2% at 65, limit overtime, limit vacation payout, and train up lots more safety personnel so that salaries get closer to market.

  112. SeeSaw Says:

    If vacation accumulation or overtime, are limited to individual employees, the money is still going, to be spent. You are just sore, because of certain individuals, making so much more, than you think they should. Whatever the amounts they received, it is still a fact, that the people involved, put in work, for those hours. You really have no solid ground, on which to claim, that those amounts were not earned. You have no idea, of the true unfunded liablity of CA penion funds, especially if you are going by, what the Standford Study reported. What was your criteria for believing that Study over what CalPERS and CAlSTRS had to say, about it? I think it stands to reason, for me, in my own situation to listen to what CalPERS has to say. Or are you conducting your own scientific study, so that you will know, the complete truth? I have always stated, that I will take my truth, and my orders, as necessary, from those in the official capacities, to give me such. Enough of these theats, about sovereign default!

  113. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw, you would be interesting if you had an original thought. What you continue to state, every point really, is nothing other than the same nonsense that comes from the unions or CalPERS. I can read any thread on the pension topic and here the exact same thing, and it is always self serving.

    Like I’ve said before, I guess we will just disagree on just about everything as it relates to this topic. What are thoughts on O.J. Simpson? My guess is that you still he was innocent.

  114. Captain Says:

    “Ted Steele, Beat Framer Says: not much.

    Where is Rex? At least when Rex was around you had someone that would respond to your comments. Hopefully he’s just enjoying a vacation and will be back soon. He’s a smart guy. I miss him too!

  115. The Ted System Says:

    Rex is a smart guy? The Poodle? Well, he can’t spell, he can’t cutnpaste, he sort of remembers the talking points from other sites we all see…..he is sort of rude and vulgar….hmmmmm…..smart?

    Not so much.

  116. SeeSaw Says:

    What are my thoughts on OJ? How insulting of you, to presume my opinion on that! I guess that must be why you miss Rex, the “House Insulter”. (You sure let your IQ,or lack therefo, out of the bag, on that subject, Captain.) I do not see him on the other sites, so either he has taken a vacation, or they neutered him–which he would have deserved. It wouldn’t surprise me, because he was already neutered on the OCR, before it went Facebook posting. He might be sticking with the Facebook Forums. On the other hand, I hope he is not sick or dead.

    Don’t ever expect me to turn on public employees–just like I don’t expect that you will ever admit that are wrong, dead wrong, about who controls the CalPERS BOD.

  117. Captain Says:

    Aren’t people confusing the end of career sick leave payouts with vacation payouts. While I agree that vacation accruals need to be capped, it is the sick leave payouts that are sending employees into retirement with 10’s or 100’s of thousands of dollars in paid sick leave. Either that are they use accumulated sick leave to spike pensions.

    For PD it takes 1440 hours of accumulated sick leave to equal one year of service credit. For FD employees it takes two thousand hours. I’m afraid to look at the hours for Teachers.

    In Vallejo they recently increased annual sick leave for the PD from 120 hours per year to 180 hours. The FD gets 288 hours per year of sick leave. Not hard to see how these employees can get three years of extra pension benefits at that rate, or how one PD employee retired with a cashout of over 400K.

    Chris Christie is taking a hard line on this issue. Google “Chris Christie + ZERO means ZERO” to find the article.

  118. Captain Says:

    “Don’t ever expect me to turn on public employees–just like I don’t expect that you will ever admit that are wrong, dead wrong, about who controls the CalPERS BOD.”

    I’ll get to that.

  119. SeeSaw Says:

    That is a lot more sick leave, than my former munie allocates. We got a maximum of 96 hours, per year. On the third year, if the 96 hours was maintained at the end of the second year, they bought half of the unused sick leave, for the current year back, so that it did not accumulate, to such heights. I understand that they no longer have sick leave redemption, because they cannot afford it. Therefore, the hours will continue to accumulate. It would not be reasonable, to cap sick leave. One catastrophic illness can wipe, an individual employee, out. The County has a program where employees may transfer, a portion of their own sick leave hours, to those in need. My former employer bought out half of my unused sick leave when I retired–it amounted to less than $10,000. CalPERS allows for half of unused sick leave, to be added to the final service credit, but not to the age.

  120. The Ted System Says:

    sick leave hours— nonsense—- Cap always picks the extreme examples——hyperbole— and here is what is more important—none of those kind of things are vested rights and ALL negotiable at CB— man up and come to the table— sheeeeeesh.

  121. SeeSaw Says:

    I was wondering if Cap has the real facts. Over 200 hours sick leave, per year, is pretty high, and unbelievable to me, until I see a fact sheet from the Agency, in question. The story about the prison guards getting eight-weeks paid vacation, their first year, has never gone away, and that is false. The guards get 12-days paid vacation, accumulated, the first year–the truth was put out, in a fact sheet, by the secretary of the union.

  122. SeeSaw Says:

    Chris Christie, is a jerk, Cap. Have all collective bargaining rights been removed from state employees in NJ? He better hope so–otherwise they will make mince meat, out of him.

  123. Tough Love Says:

    Every State and City with a DB Plan for Public Sector workers needs (1) a Chris Christie (NJ), (2) a Scott Walker (WI), (3) a Ms. Raimondo (RI).

    The Greedy Public Sector Unions need to be tamed, and Collective bargaining should be outlawed. President Roosevelt had it right long age.

  124. spension Says:

    I’m just old fashioned and think sick leave should be for when you are sick. Getting a $ payout when you retire means… you’re not sick. Arguing that sick leave could have been taken well… if you weren’t sick you should not have taken it.

    Better that sick leave is transferred to those who have real illness or injury. Sick leave is better thought about as a pooled benefit not an individual benefit.

    BTW, I don’t like Christie. At all. But he can be right without me liking him.

  125. SeeSaw Says:

    I feel the same way about Governor Brown, spension. I like him, but he can be wrong, about some things.

  126. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, I’m looking forward to seeing the people, of Wisconsin, throw Governor Walker out, on his ear. Tarring and feathering him, would be even better.

  127. spension Says:

    Yes, the Republican party in New Jersey just wants to burden taxpayers in different ways than the Democratic party. Christie loses me on that point in that video.

    Actually, Brown is far more likely to be honest on this point, while simultaneously caving in to those that brung him to the dance.

  128. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw …”TL, I’m looking forward to seeing the people, of Wisconsin, throw Governor Walker out, on his ear. Tarring and feathering him, would be even better.”

    And I’m hoping for the day Public Sector “Collective Bargaining” is outlawed throughout the USA …. a MUCH better day for the 85% of workers (and their families) NOT riding the Gravy Train of excessive Public Sector Pensions and Benefits.

  129. SeeSaw Says:

    My wish has a better chance of happening, than does your’s, TL.

  130. Captain Says:

    The CalPERS Board of Administration has 13 members:

    * Six are elected by various segments of the CalPERS membership; the unions.

    * the governor appoints two members

    * the leaders of the State Legislature (Democrats) appoint one member.

    There are four ex officio members who serve on the CalPERS Board by virtue of their elected or appointed office:

    * the State Controller
    * the State Treasurer
    * the director of the State Department of Personnel Administration
    * a representative of the State Personnel Board.

    SeeSaw, how many of these thirteen members of the CalPERS Board of Directors are acting without Bias? How many of them are not, or will not, be receiving a pension based on their employment with the state? And why do you think Governor Brown included this group as part of his 12 Point Plan for needed pension reform?

  131. Captain Says:

    Tough Love Says: “I’m hoping for the day Public Sector “Collective Bargaining” is outlawed throughout the USA”

    Ditto that! I’m OK with private sector collective bargaining but it doesn’t work in the public sector.

  132. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “I was wondering if Cap has the real facts. Over 200 hours sick leave, per year, is pretty high, and unbelievable to me, until I see a fact sheet from the Agency, in question. The story about the prison guards getting eight-weeks paid vacation, their first year, has never gone away, and that is false.”

    SeeSaw, thanks for verifying these ridiculous numbers. BTW, I don’t believe I ever mentioned anything regarding prison guard leave. What you are refering to as pretty high (over 200 hours of paid, compensated, or pension credited sick leave for Vallejo is actually 288 hours for the Vallejo Fire Department (228 hours of holiday pay and up to 312 hours of vacation). The Vallejo Police Depardment receives 180 hours of sick leave per year (who gets 180 hours of sick leave and 130 hours of holiday pay (15 days)), per employee. That was an increase from 120 hours, along with 7.6% in raises over two years (it would have been 12% if some their comparable city salary survet cities hadn’t cut or frozen pay rate increases) while the city was in bankruptcy – thanks to the collective bargaining process.

    What happened should be illegal but it wasn’t because the pay raises and increased sick time were collectively bargained with city management, who also avoided bankruptcy pay reductions to the extend they got RAISES. Of course the taxpayers were livid and voiced oposition during council meetings but the union funded/endorsed/campaigned for city council majority approved the unaffordable contracts anyway. Because Vallejo couldn’t even afford the contracts they had prior to the approval of these contracts – they were staring at a 12 million dollar deficit, the city started reducing the PD from 124 to 95, cut what was left of economic development department, closed another fire station, and cut the wages of the lowest paid employees. NOW – those same unions , especially the police union that was more concerned about getting paid than providing service or saving jobs, is claiming they need more staffing. They fully supported the increased 1% sales tax and campaigned heavily to ensure it would pass. I’ll stop there.

    The entire thing was a complete joke, and that is what collective bargaining in the public sector represents to me!

  133. Tough Love Says:

    Captain said …”They fully supported the increased 1% sales tax and campaigned heavily to ensure it would pass. ”

    You’ll notice that Public Sector Union member are the ONLY ones who routinely support and campaign for tax increases. On the surface it appears odd, but not once you realize that for each $100 of total incremental taxes collected, with about $15 coming from them (since they represent about 15% of workers), about $90 of the $100 total goes for nothing but supporting their overstuffed pensions.

    Their greed, self-interest, and self-dealing had no bounds. Collective bargaining must end.

  134. SeeSaw Says:

    Your comments on the CalPERS BOD, are nothing but, empty-speak, Captain. I look at the the people that are on that Board–not the groups, who voted, to elect them. And, get this point straight–there is no member, that is elected, by the unions. I had a vote for many years, when I was an active employee. At no point, did I ever attend a meeting where, the election was discussed. There was never any discussion among the employees. I just read the statements of the candidates, and cast my vote, by the deadline. It would probably surprise you, to know that the actives don’t even pay attention, to the Board elections. They are more concerned, about their own take home pay.

    The retirees, like me, have one vote. I do pay attention, to who is endorsed, by a particular retiree group, that I belong to. That candidate was defeated, prior to the runoff election. I chose the candidate I voted for, by myself–the retirees are not in unions, but the Board Member, who represents the retirees, is a union member–he has a lot more on his resume, than a union membership.

  135. SeeSaw Says:

    And, guess what Captain. I don’t have to care about a word you say about me, and I don’t have to answer your questions, and I don’t have to do any research for you. I will reserve my right to state, my own opinions, and report what I know to be facts. You can believe anything I say, or not.

  136. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw, how many of these thirteen members of the CalPERS Board of Directors are acting without Bias? How many of them are not, or will not, be receiving a pension based on their employment with the state? And why do you think Governor Brown included this group as part of his 12 Point Plan for needed pension reform?

    Can you just asnswer the questions?

    And why is CalPERS spending taxpayer money meant for pensions (451,000) to pay lawyers to monitor what goes on in union corrupted Vallejo? About a month ago or so I read an article that critized CalPERS for diverting funds to law firms in an effort to fund PAC’s. Does that sound familiar? It should because you just read it right here. How is that within the scope of the CalPERS Charter? Why are taxpayers funds being diverted?

    BTW, my comment to your collective bargaining argument – collective bargaining is great – is just three posts above this one.

  137. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain, I am not going to go back through the Board, and determine who will be collecting a CalPERS pension, or not. The question about CalPERS and Vallejo has been answered for you, several times, by me and other people. CalPERS stood to loose a lot of money, if Vallejo reniged on its obligations, to CalPERS–to me that’s as good a reason as any, to spend $451,000. I doubt a better reason, exists. I don’t know, or care, why JB wants to add two members, to the BOD. All I care about the BOD, is that it fulfills its fiduciary duty, to the members.

  138. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Captain, I am not going to go back through the Board, and determine who will be collecting a CalPERS pension, or not. The question about CalPERS and Vallejo has been answered for you, several times, by me and other people.”

    No they haven’t. You saying the questions have been answered is a cop out.

  139. SeeSaw Says:

    I don’t know a thing about CalPERS and funding for PAC’S. If you have facts for such charge, show a link.

  140. SeeSaw Says:

    Then, I’m copping out. Good night.

  141. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says:” CalPERS stood to loose a lot of money, if Vallejo reniged on its obligations, to CalPERS–to me that’s as good a reason as any, to spend $451,000. I doubt a better reason, exists. I don’t know, or care, why JB wants to add two members, to the BOD. All I care about the BOD, is that it fulfills its fiduciary duty, to the members.”

    OK, just how is it that “CalPERS stood to lose a lot of money?” I would love for you to justify that statement. You can’t, although you probably wont acknowledge it.

    “if Vallejo reniged on its obligations, to CalPERS–to me that’s as good a reason as any, to spend $451,000″

    – but Vallejo didn’t renege on anything related to CalPERS. So why did CalPERS spend 451,000 dollars of tax payer money? Can you esplain that Lucy? Maybe it has something to do with how CalPERS is diverting taxpayer dollars, meant to pay for pension benefits, to law firms that contribute those funds to PAC’s which support union causes. It is essentially an illegal activity that is being disguised as a pension/business/investment expense, at the taxpayers expense. I’m pretty sure your beloved B.O.D has something to do with it.

    I think there is a BIG STORY right here!

  142. The Ted System Says:

    YES you are right Captain! It’s a big story!! You go girl!!!

  143. SeeSaw Says:

    No, Captain, Vallejo didn’t renig on anything related to CalPERS. Didn’t it say something, in the body of this article, about CalPERS flashing that big gun, at Vallejo, just in case it got any ideas?

    If you can prove even one thing you are saying here, Captain, get out your paper and pen, because you are going to become, richer than CalPERS, after you film your documentary. You will be bigger than Charles Ferguson and Michael Moore combined!

  144. Tough Love Says:

    Speaking of Michael Moore………..

    If he took a long deep look at the full picture, he’d see that ordinary middle class Private Sector taxpayers are the ones being ripped off by the taxes they pay to fund public sector pensions multiples greater than thery get.

    Now THAT’s a move I like to see.

    A suggestion ….. he should name it “Public Sector Unions are a CANCER on Society”.

  145. The Ted System Says:

    Love– Maybe MM would title it that—- more likely he would look at the 99% to 1% ratio issue and find yet again that the worker who was promised pensions of a specific type and as a result of the promise gave 35 years of her life to the work…was now faced with the tea baggy whiners who want to break the promise and not keep their word. All the while…….the rich keep getting richer and the sleepy republicans fight to keep the super wealthy tax free!

    There—- that’s Moore like it!

    Pretty soon….to most Americans…..The word “republican”– will be another way to say…..promise breaker. I’m just sayin…

  146. Tough Love Says:

    I’m guessing you may be an active or retired CA safety worker. So, were you “promised” that 50% RETORACTIVE increase in your pension via SB400 …. for which you contributed not one dime?

    Willing to give it up?

  147. SeeSaw Says:

    Nobody got promised anything, in their pension, via SB400. It was a law, allowing individual entities, to consider the adoption, of upgraded formulas, for their own employees. Those who did accept that permission, had to then pass their own new laws, for that purpose. Many safety divisions, in many public entities, did not adopt the new formula, and many of those, who did adopt it, have since amended it, for future hires.

  148. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw….. You speak like a robot.

  149. Trifolium Says:

    I find it sickening that CalPers can strongarm local governments into cutting basic services for the taxpayers in a community vs. adjusting pension payouts and inordinate promises. The taxpaying public are losing in everyway. Basic services are cut when governments can’t meet pension costs and then when Calpers or Calstrs can’t meet its own existing exorbitant pension payouts, they lobby State Government (again, the taxpaying public) to award them more money. I am sick of this and astounded that pension recipients cannot see the handwriting on the wall. The money is running out and the very fact that public pensioners oppose ANY review of existing pensions for fear their own may be cut…means that the pension abusers will eventually pull down the entire system.

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