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Old 07-10-2013, 03:10 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,467,321 times
Reputation: 29071

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombocom View Post
Their sole obligation is to get as much as possible for their union members...
And their primary aim is to pick their member's pockets as much as possible to finance their high salaries, great pensions, generous charge accounts, over-the-top "meetings" and conventions and significant benefits and line the pockets of their pet politicians. The higher the members' pay the more dues they extract. Sometimes they don't wait for a pay raise to occur to increase dues. And remember, CA is almost a closed shop. It's line staff employees either join the union or have to pay a "fair share" of dues anyway.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:10 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,747,950 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by cb73 View Post
When all is said and done, I honestly don't think most people even know what civil service employees even do, so they can hardly be expected to be supportive of their mandatory pension contributions.

During the course of answering telephone calls from the public, I was asked to: get a woman's son out of jail in another state; get a girl's possessions back from her ex-boyfriend; get the drugs back that a guy left in the trunk of his car that had been impounded; and, my favorite, personally retrieve a person's car that had been shipped by her ex to Estonia. Because, after all, "it's your job--I pay your salary." Every one of these calls ended up "escalated" meaning they talked to maybe four or five employees on up the ladder. Wonder how much that cost taxpayers?

A previous poster stated:

"This way, public sector union's pensions would work just like Social Security. Pay-as-you-go."

I hope the person was joking, cause "your" Social Security money is currently being used to fund the bulk of the druggy SSD people, with a slim to none hope that there will be enough people paying in by the time you retire.
They probably know just as much as the average public sector worker knows about people in the private sector, I'd wager.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:14 PM
zdg
 
Location: Sonoma County
841 posts, read 1,706,951 times
Reputation: 1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombocom View Post
They probably know just as much as the average public sector worker knows about people in the private sector, I'd wager.
I tell you what. I have owned many private businesses, from instant failures to (more importantly) one very large, very successful one. The day we hired a former government employee (high ranking, career government employee) I would agree with your statement. It was like finding a kid who was raised by wolves.

But that was one guy, and it's a little outrageous to paint an entire group of tens of millions of Americans with that brush.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:15 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,747,950 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by zdg View Post
Except that it is exactly what you are saying. My opinion is based on the fact that upholding contracts is the law and a basic function of a first world civilization. Your opinion, on the other hand, is based on a belief that you know what is best for "the taxpayers" based on how you feel.
Yeah, except that contracts by the government are only enforceable if the government says so. just like you can only sue the government if the government gives you permission.

There is clearly a public interest issue here - in my county the pension eats up 25% of the budget, medical benefit costs have quadrupled in 10 years, and pension obligations are going to double in the next 10 years.

If, because a bunch of political hacks with no real stake in the game made really crappy deals with employees that is going to torpedo the government's ability to effectively provide services, then I believe reform is necessary. Not like I'm saying government employees should have their benefits stripped, they just need to be sustainable, which they aren't right now.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:16 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,747,950 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by zdg View Post
I tell you what. I have owned many private businesses, from instant failures to (more importantly) one very large, very successful one. The day we hired a former government employee (high ranking, career government employee) I would agree with your statement. It was like finding a kid who was raised by wolves.

But that was one guy, and it's a little outrageous to paint an entire group of tens of millions of Americans with that brush.
Well then, how do you feel about cb73 painting over 100 million Americans with that brush?
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:28 PM
zdg
 
Location: Sonoma County
841 posts, read 1,706,951 times
Reputation: 1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombocom View Post
Well then, how do you feel about cb73 painting over 100 million Americans with that brush?
Well, I can see where he's coming from. That day was definitely hard to take and I considered firing the guy on the spot (and only didn't because that seemed a little short sighted).

Here's the story, which should really appeal to the anti-government-worker, anti-tax crowd (you're welcome):

So we make a lucrative offer to the highest ranking person at a specific department in an unnamed, very cold, very small (population wise), very Republican state to come work for us as a director. We offer to literally double his pay on Day One and offer him full healthcare for himself and 50% for his wife and kids as well as a SEP IRA that will effectively add 25% to his salary every year starting in year 3. To be clear, he'd be working shorter hours with us, for significantly more pay, and a bonus structure the likes of which he had literally never heard of at the state.

Within an hour of starting, he marches in to my office and hands me 50+ pages he had printed out in color (at six cents a page on our expensive printer) with the specs for a THIRTY THREE HUNDRED dollar laptop he had researched and decided I should buy him. "But John, even MY laptop is $1200 brand new. The staff get $900 laptops. All you use is CRM, email, and Skype." Shock wasn't even the word. He looked at me, points to the 50+ color pages again and says "yeah, but this is a much better computer."

By the end of the first day, he had put in for vacation time, asked if he could leave early his first Friday to take his wife bowling for their anniversary, and literally cut off a client at 5pm because (he actually told the client this) "it was quittin' time."

I wish I could say it got better, which it did, but it took an awful lot of reprogramming to get him out of Well-Funded Republican State With Not Many People Mode.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:30 PM
 
11,181 posts, read 10,199,678 times
Reputation: 20595
Quote:
Originally Posted by zdg View Post
Except that it is exactly what you are saying. My opinion is based on the fact that upholding contracts is the law and a basic function of a first world civilization. Your opinion, on the other hand, is based on a belief that you know what is best for "the taxpayers" based on how you feel.
I know the difference between a contractual agreement and future agreements. I also know that these "promised" benefits cannot be cancelled. However, future agreements will be carefully designed based on past agreements, though. These past contracts are a big cause of the problems today, not entirely the whole enchilada but certainly are putting a strain on the budgets today. I have no problem paying my taxes to fund fire, police and public sector workers. Never have. I just let the geniuses *cough cough* try and figure out how they're going to continue paying their obligations without raising taxes or cutting services to their communities . . . or filing bankruptcy, altogether (which several cities have, to date). With any luck, the economy will be back on its feet, money will start flowing in and they won't have to worry about it. Until the next collapse.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:33 PM
 
7,150 posts, read 8,797,071 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by zombocom View Post
The statistics are there, the public sector is a much nicer place to work than the private sector. I don't blame anyone for wanting good pay and benefits - but that doesn't mean the people who are having to pay ever higher taxes are going to be okay with it. There is something fundamentally wrong with the system when taxes have to go up and services have to be reduced simply to pay for the benefits of employees (look at San Jose, it has fewer employees now by several thousand, simply so the city can fund the pension costs).

This is not a tenable situation, and the unions are not being very realistic about the solution - but why would they? their sole obligation is to get as much as possible for their union members...
That is not what I was commenting on. You wrote:
Quote:
Regardless, It is in everyone's interest to get a handle on this problem. I don't know if government employees are quite aware of just how they are viewed - especially when they insist on more taxes and less services to fund their far superior retirement benefits... That just doesn't go over well at a time when people in the private sector (if they even have a job) are making less money, and receive fewer benefits.
I then pointed out that you are accusing government employees of "insist[ing] on higher taxes and less services to fund their far superior retirement benefits." ... government employees are not the ones negotiating contracts. They are, for the most part, worker-bees getting up with the alarm clock and pulling on their shoes and going to work -- for you and me. Take up the beef with the union reps and politicians.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,467,321 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
I then pointed out that you are accusing government employees of "insist[ing] on higher taxes and less services to fund their far superior retirement benefits." ... government employees are not the ones negotiating contracts. They are, for the most part, worker-bees getting up with the alarm clock and pulling on their shoes and going to work -- for you and me. Take up the beef with the union reps and politicians.
Tried to rep you for that one but still have to spread more around.

In any event, you capture it perfectly.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:50 PM
 
11,181 posts, read 10,199,678 times
Reputation: 20595
Yup. Worker bees make up a good majority of civil servants.
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