An Open Letter to the Firefighters Local 3494

weist-dec-2012Firefighters Should Stop Being Part of the Problem and Start Being Part of Renewing This Community:  It has been a surprisingly heavy agenda here in late June and early July, so I am a bit late responding to this matter. A couple of weeks ago on a Friday evening, I went to the Davis Police Station to do a ride along with the Davis Police.

Outside of the station, two firefighters were dropping something off to the police when one of them, before returning to the rescue apparatus, attempted to confront me. He asked why I was such a negative force in this community, that they do a lot of good things, and I should write about them sometimes.

This is the second such confrontation I have had with firefighters, the last one being in the restroom at City Hall. I thought about what he said to me, and I realized there are a lot things that need to be said. I am happy to sit down and talk with anyone, any time, but unfortunately, I don’t see that really bearing fruit.

The first point that needs to be made is that the Vanguard has not put down the work of individual firefighters. Going back to the Aaronson Fire Report in 2008, there has been nothing but good praise for the professional work product that the firefighters in Davis perform.

The complaints that the Vanguard has had against the firefighters has been with the union operations. There are documented reports about harassment and a hostile work environment in the fire station, affecting firefighters who do not tow the union company line. We have documented cases where that extends to the community – whether it be attempts of retaliation against individuals who speak out, UC Davis firefighters who have spoken out, or businesses that associated with the Vanguard.

There were also the noted efforts by the firefighters’ union president to get the previous city manager fired, which may or may not have played a role in his exit. And then there was the inappropriate celebration of that city manager’s departure by the firefighters and some other city employees.

A second series of complaints has been about firefighter compensation, opposition to reform efforts and holdout on contracts in 2012-13.

Finally, we have had a series on the undue influence of the firefighters’ union, who utilized the bundling of at times 40 $100 contributions to enhance its influence on the city council. Those were joined by as much as $8000 in independent expenditures. That helped to elect a council that was beholden to the firefighters and their issues – they voted on expensive salary and benefit increases, expensive battalion chief models, and most ominously to not read the full Aaronson report.

While the firefighters want a positive story in the public realm, we probably could find numerous positive stories to talk about. Unfortunately, they want to dismiss and diminish the harm that they have caused the community in just the last 18 months.

When they, along with DCEA, held out on contracts, it ended up costing the community roughly half a million dollars. That was money that might have gone to infrastructure upgrades, that instead have had to be bolstered by sales taxes increases and more budget cuts.

The efforts to fire city manager Steve Pinkerton led perhaps to his decision to leave in February. Since May, the city has been operating with an interim city manager – that has caused all sorts of problems for the city and may ultimately lead to the failure of the parcel tax.

Ironically, these problems could end up resulting in another round of pay cuts and it is possible, since the firefighters’ union did not sign a three-year contract, that the next round of cuts will land on them, this year.

In the meantime, the city has stumbled on a number of ventures that could produce additional revenue for the city – the question is really how much the loss of Steve Pinkerton will end up harming the entire city.

And yet, the firefighters’ union not only helped push him out but they celebrated on his grave. It is hard to gain a positive view of a group that has that poor a sense of political tact.

The firefighters fought the reforms that were implemented for almost a year. The council finally pushed through fire staffing cuts mid-2013 and hired a full-time chief through the shared services agreement at the end of 2013.

On July 1, without fanfare, that program was automatically renewed until December 31, 2015.

The firefighter who confronted me a few weeks ago did recognize that there were political reasons for the attacks on fire, as he characterized it. I wonder how much he really understood.

It was in 2008 that the reality set in that the only way to get reform implemented on the fiscal and political fronts was to break the lock on council that the firefighters had. From 2002 to 2008, the firefighters elected 7 of their 9 endorsed candidates. Only Lamar Heystek in 2006 and Sue Greenwald in 2008 won without fire backing.

The key turning point was in 2010, when Joe Krovoza and Rochelle Swanson won while eschewing fire support. That repeated itself in 2012 and 2014. Since 2010, no one backed by the firefighters, with endorsements and money, has prevailed.

In so doing, we were able to elect a council that would take on structural deficits, and push for much stronger contracts that eliminated cafeteria cash outs and increased worker shares of pensions and retiree health.

It also played an unexpected role in changing the political landscape. In 2008, Don Saylor spent $75,000 and Stephen Souza about $55,000 to win seats on council. Since 2010, no one has spent much over $30,000 and this past time, Robb Davis won spending around $20,000.

The result is that more people have the opportunity to run for office and compete and those who win are usually those best organized who can walk the precincts.

I understand that the individual firefighters work hard and deserve our respect. They play a vital role in our community. The problem is that the conduct of these same firefighters within the confines of their union has been detrimental to this community.

When they held sway and influence, we got things like four on an engine, 3% at 50, and a 36% pay increase in 2005 after the voters passed a half-cent sales tax.

When we have attempted reform, they have tried to block it.

Firefighters want positive stories – then they need to be part of the solution in this community, they need to help us move forward, not get stuck in the past.

Someone sent me this story from 2011 – it was from Solana Beach and their firefighters’ union president and 15 uniformed firefighters went to the council meeting “to publicly apologize to City Manager David Ott for circulating a letter accusing Ott of endangering the public by trying to reduce fire staffing.”

They said:

“We’re here tonight to offer a public apology to Solana Beach City Manager David Ott.

“The City Council and city manager put its trust in its firefighters, and its trust that we hold to the highest regard. During last month, our actions damaged this trust.

“David Ott is a man who has dedicated his life to public service, and he is a man who truly has a servant’s heart. Our membership displayed a lack of judgment by questioning his character, and in the process, hurt him to the core. So for this, we are truly sorry.”

Can you imagine that happening here? I certainly can’t. Losing our city manager was a huge blow to this community; if the firefighters do not recognize it, then once again they are being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

58 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Firefighters Local 3494”

  1. Mr. Toad

    One thing that has not been considered is the effect of the Davis Firefighters in the 4th Assembly race. It was shortly after the vote on reorganizing to 3 on a truck that Joe announced he was going to run. Although it was a fools errand I can’t help but think Joe saw that vote as an opening. The antics of the firefighters who still haven’t settled their contract, picketing city hall, trying to get Pinkerton fired and opposing the boundary drop helped Joe who won the election in almost every precinct in the city. Despite whatever money they put into his campaign I wonder what would have happened in that election without the FF’s. Would Joe have still run? And if Joe didn’t run Dan likely would have finished in the top two.

    Then of course there was the best line in the entire assembly race that was uttered by Bill Dodd when he claimed that in twelve years as a Supervisor he never had to impose a contract. It was a double barreled shot at both Dan and Joe presented to Bill Dodd not by the anti-union money guys who funded a fair portion of his campaign but instead by the two holdout unions in Davis.

    There have been many misgivings about what might have happened if Joe hadn’t run but from the perspective of this Dan Wolk supporter I also wonder what would have happened if the Firefighters hadn’t been a factor in the race and I can’t help but think Dan would have done better without them.

    1. Davis Progressive

      what about the impact of dan blowing up in the face of pinkerton early this year in an effort to get the firefighters endorsement?

      you raise interesting points both in terms of the impact on the race and in terms of the conduct of dan wolk and his votes. he switched on the shared services after his mother wrote the letter, that can’t be coincidence.

      1. PhilColeman

        Whether it’s “over” or not in terms of thinking, anybody can judge its relative value in the absence of fact or substance. But the real importance of the thought is its creativity because nobody before has made the association. The writer must be credited on that point.

  2. Mr. Toad

    One thing that has not been considered is the effect of the Davis Firefighters in the 4th Assembly race. It was shortly after the vote on reorganizing to 3 on a truck that Joe announced he was going to run. Although it was a fools errand I can’t help but think Joe saw that vote as an opening. The antics of the firefighters who still haven’t settled their contract, picketing city hall, trying to get Pinkerton fired and opposing the boundary drop helped Joe who won the election in almost every precinct in the city. Despite whatever money they put into his campaign I wonder what would have happened in that election without the FF’s. Would Joe have still run? And if Joe didn’t run Dan likely would have finished in the top two.

    Then of course there was the best line in the entire assembly race that was uttered by Bill Dodd when he claimed that in twelve years as a Supervisor he never had to impose a contract. It was a double barreled shot at both Dan and Joe presented to Bill Dodd not by the anti-union money guys who funded a fair portion of his campaign but instead by the two holdout unions in Davis.

    There have been many misgivings about what might have happened if Joe hadn’t run but from the perspective of this Dan Wolk supporter I also wonder what would have happened if the Firefighters hadn’t been a factor in the race and I can’t help but think Dan would have done better without them.

    1. Davis Progressive

      what about the impact of dan blowing up in the face of pinkerton early this year in an effort to get the firefighters endorsement?

      you raise interesting points both in terms of the impact on the race and in terms of the conduct of dan wolk and his votes. he switched on the shared services after his mother wrote the letter, that can’t be coincidence.

      1. PhilColeman

        Whether it’s “over” or not in terms of thinking, anybody can judge its relative value in the absence of fact or substance. But the real importance of the thought is its creativity because nobody before has made the association. The writer must be credited on that point.

  3. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > This is the second such confrontation I have had with firefighters,

    Unless the guy pushed you against the wall before asking the question you should probably write: “This is the second time a Davis firefighter has asked me a question about my hundreds of critical posts about the department”…

  4. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > This is the second such confrontation I have had with firefighters,

    Unless the guy pushed you against the wall before asking the question you should probably write: “This is the second time a Davis firefighter has asked me a question about my hundreds of critical posts about the department”…

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      We didn’t post it, BP. I discussed it with the Editorial Board, and we decided that we made the point with the first article, that the backstory was too inflammatory and personal, and better left unsaid.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      We didn’t post it, BP. I discussed it with the Editorial Board, and we decided that we made the point with the first article, that the backstory was too inflammatory and personal, and better left unsaid.

  5. Tia Will

    David

    Your article brings up the issue of collective punishment for me. Do you know if the particular firefighter you spoke with was in opposition to or attended the celebration of Mr. Pinkerton’s departure. If not, he may be lacking in awareness of just what this was about and why it was so offensive. Also, since you were there, can you estimate how many firefighter’s were present ? Was this a big representation of the group…..or just the union leadership and close associates ? All of these issues could easily be influencing how a non political member of the force could view the Vanguard coverage.

  6. Tia Will

    David

    Your article brings up the issue of collective punishment for me. Do you know if the particular firefighter you spoke with was in opposition to or attended the celebration of Mr. Pinkerton’s departure. If not, he may be lacking in awareness of just what this was about and why it was so offensive. Also, since you were there, can you estimate how many firefighter’s were present ? Was this a big representation of the group…..or just the union leadership and close associates ? All of these issues could easily be influencing how a non political member of the force could view the Vanguard coverage.

  7. Topcat

    David,

    Thank you for talking about the firefighter’s union role in the fiscal problems that the City has. I hope that the council and City administrators come to realize that firefighters have gotten very generous pay and benefits and this has contributed to the financial problems we have.

    This needs to be talked about and citizens have a right to know where there tax dollars are going.

  8. Topcat

    David,

    Thank you for talking about the firefighter’s union role in the fiscal problems that the City has. I hope that the council and City administrators come to realize that firefighters have gotten very generous pay and benefits and this has contributed to the financial problems we have.

    This needs to be talked about and citizens have a right to know where there tax dollars are going.

  9. Frankly

    This all boils down to the problem of labor being vested with too much power.

    As long as we allow public sector labor collectivism we are just shouting at the wall about these issues.

    Our government employees work for us and hence should not be allowed to form any collective bargaining organization. Doing so circumvents and distorts the democratic process. It gives more political power to one minority class of citizens over their majority neighbors. And, as is always the case, that power is exploited for monetary gain of the more powerful over the less powerful.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i think the idea of vested with too much power is overblown here. they created their power base – they were able to out-organize other employees, they combined their resources to give them a huge advantage, and they did the work to get their councilmembers elected, who they can control.

      how can you legislatively prevent that from happening? where they have fallen is that they have been methodically and systematically exposed by an outside body that has acted as whistleblower.

      1. Frankly

        We need Constitutional amendments or legislation that makes the existence of public sector labor unions or associations illegal.

        This is not a stretch. FDR and others involved in the early laws and acts to support labor were firmly against unionization of government employees. They clearly saw the hazards… hazards that have been realized by orders of magnitude.

        The only reason that these considerations were ignored was the first to leverage the political advantage of organized government labor. So, in effect, it has been the political fox guarding the hen house.

        Voters are mostly ignorant of the impacts… more associating themselves to workers and hence being more sympathetic to even those government workers that are grossly over-compensated. But that is changing. I talk to more and more people that are disgusted with the fact that their 50-something year old retired ex-government employee neighbor is sitting high on a six-figure pension and full health care… while they keep getting hit with tax increases because government is broke and cannot pay its bills.

        But again, this conversation about the behavior of the FF unions is twaddle. It misses the bigger point and root cause… and that is the corruption of the political process because we allow government workers to organize and force the government (we the people) to have to negotiate with a cartel and allow ourselves to be extorted.

        1. Davis Progressive

          “We need Constitutional amendments or legislation that makes the existence of public sector labor unions or associations illegal.”

          you’d have to do it at the federal level. it will never happen. come up with a more realistic solution.

          1. Frankly

            Starts with states all becoming right to work states. Next we have more and more cities going bankrupt. It will eventually happen because the compensation is unsustainable and politicians are not able to correct it because of the previous work of the labor cartels to legally lock in the unsustainable commitments.

            So are you just here to say what cannot happen, or do you have ideas of your own for solving the problems?

          2. Davis Progressive

            yes i think what has happened in the last five years in davis are a way forward. community becoming more conscious of its fiscal situation. i’m not against unions and i don’t even think they are the problem. the problem becomes when they are unchecked by the power structure that they help to put into place.

          3. Frankly

            Funny. You support outlawing plastic bags even though there is scant evidence that it is beneficial to the environment. And here we have copious evidence that public sector unions are causing us massive harm, and you just want to keep them and work on education of the public to solve the problem.

            I guess ideology, worldview and political power trump objectivity these days.

          4. Davis Progressive

            freedom of association is a fundamental right of the constitution. freedom to plastic grocery bags is non-existent. stay on topic.

        2. Frankly

          There is no freedom of association. Just ask business owners and churches and the Boy Scouts about their ability to freely associate with the people they choose.

          You can allow these labor groups to form, but it should be illegal for them to represent the employee in the government employer-employee relationship in any way shape or form. Public sector unions should have not legal status as an entity that gets to participate in government business. When the government has to negotiate with a labor union representing the employees of government, that entity becomes vested with political power, and there is a tremendous conflict of private and public interest.

          1. Biddlin

            But in The United States of America, those employees are the government.
            All that “of the people, for the people, by the people,” jazz? One does not surrender any rights or responsibilities of citizenship just because of public employment. You might as well say,”It’s OK for Republicans to run for the state legislature, but they shouldn’t be allowed to vote on any gun or agriculture legislation, because it’s a conflict of private and public interests.” lol
            ;>)/

          2. Frankly

            Employees of the government are not elected. They are not “of the people, by the people”. You can make a case that they are secondary to this because voters elect the politicians that then appoint and hire the employees. But in most cases the employee’s career longevity far exceeds that of the politician. A voter has no real voice to terminate the employment of any government employee. Even politicians lack the power to do so in many cases.

            And then you add the unions.

            And then the employee of government is a member of another branch of government. One that is not included in our Constitution as part of the well-designed checks and balances.

            And you cannot compare this to a private organization like the NRA. The NRA does not have a seat at the government spending negotiation table. They have to work through their political representatives. Public sector unions negotiate with government employees for pay and benefits for government employees.

            That is HUGE conflict of interest for the rest of us.

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      “And, as is always the case, that power is exploited for monetary gain of the more powerful over the less powerful.”

      Interestingly enough this is exactly how unions came to be formed, because the powerful , namely industry owners were so much more powerful and so heedless of the needs of their workers that the only way the workers could protect themselves was through collective action.

  10. Frankly

    This all boils down to the problem of labor being vested with too much power.

    As long as we allow public sector labor collectivism we are just shouting at the wall about these issues.

    Our government employees work for us and hence should not be allowed to form any collective bargaining organization. Doing so circumvents and distorts the democratic process. It gives more political power to one minority class of citizens over their majority neighbors. And, as is always the case, that power is exploited for monetary gain of the more powerful over the less powerful.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i think the idea of vested with too much power is overblown here. they created their power base – they were able to out-organize other employees, they combined their resources to give them a huge advantage, and they did the work to get their councilmembers elected, who they can control.

      how can you legislatively prevent that from happening? where they have fallen is that they have been methodically and systematically exposed by an outside body that has acted as whistleblower.

      1. Frankly

        We need Constitutional amendments or legislation that makes the existence of public sector labor unions or associations illegal.

        This is not a stretch. FDR and others involved in the early laws and acts to support labor were firmly against unionization of government employees. They clearly saw the hazards… hazards that have been realized by orders of magnitude.

        The only reason that these considerations were ignored was the first to leverage the political advantage of organized government labor. So, in effect, it has been the political fox guarding the hen house.

        Voters are mostly ignorant of the impacts… more associating themselves to workers and hence being more sympathetic to even those government workers that are grossly over-compensated. But that is changing. I talk to more and more people that are disgusted with the fact that their 50-something year old retired ex-government employee neighbor is sitting high on a six-figure pension and full health care… while they keep getting hit with tax increases because government is broke and cannot pay its bills.

        But again, this conversation about the behavior of the FF unions is twaddle. It misses the bigger point and root cause… and that is the corruption of the political process because we allow government workers to organize and force the government (we the people) to have to negotiate with a cartel and allow ourselves to be extorted.

        1. Davis Progressive

          “We need Constitutional amendments or legislation that makes the existence of public sector labor unions or associations illegal.”

          you’d have to do it at the federal level. it will never happen. come up with a more realistic solution.

          1. Frankly

            Starts with states all becoming right to work states. Next we have more and more cities going bankrupt. It will eventually happen because the compensation is unsustainable and politicians are not able to correct it because of the previous work of the labor cartels to legally lock in the unsustainable commitments.

            So are you just here to say what cannot happen, or do you have ideas of your own for solving the problems?

          2. Davis Progressive

            yes i think what has happened in the last five years in davis are a way forward. community becoming more conscious of its fiscal situation. i’m not against unions and i don’t even think they are the problem. the problem becomes when they are unchecked by the power structure that they help to put into place.

          3. Frankly

            Funny. You support outlawing plastic bags even though there is scant evidence that it is beneficial to the environment. And here we have copious evidence that public sector unions are causing us massive harm, and you just want to keep them and work on education of the public to solve the problem.

            I guess ideology, worldview and political power trump objectivity these days.

          4. Davis Progressive

            freedom of association is a fundamental right of the constitution. freedom to plastic grocery bags is non-existent. stay on topic.

        2. Frankly

          There is no freedom of association. Just ask business owners and churches and the Boy Scouts about their ability to freely associate with the people they choose.

          You can allow these labor groups to form, but it should be illegal for them to represent the employee in the government employer-employee relationship in any way shape or form. Public sector unions should have not legal status as an entity that gets to participate in government business. When the government has to negotiate with a labor union representing the employees of government, that entity becomes vested with political power, and there is a tremendous conflict of private and public interest.

          1. Biddlin

            But in The United States of America, those employees are the government.
            All that “of the people, for the people, by the people,” jazz? One does not surrender any rights or responsibilities of citizenship just because of public employment. You might as well say,”It’s OK for Republicans to run for the state legislature, but they shouldn’t be allowed to vote on any gun or agriculture legislation, because it’s a conflict of private and public interests.” lol
            ;>)/

          2. Frankly

            Employees of the government are not elected. They are not “of the people, by the people”. You can make a case that they are secondary to this because voters elect the politicians that then appoint and hire the employees. But in most cases the employee’s career longevity far exceeds that of the politician. A voter has no real voice to terminate the employment of any government employee. Even politicians lack the power to do so in many cases.

            And then you add the unions.

            And then the employee of government is a member of another branch of government. One that is not included in our Constitution as part of the well-designed checks and balances.

            And you cannot compare this to a private organization like the NRA. The NRA does not have a seat at the government spending negotiation table. They have to work through their political representatives. Public sector unions negotiate with government employees for pay and benefits for government employees.

            That is HUGE conflict of interest for the rest of us.

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      “And, as is always the case, that power is exploited for monetary gain of the more powerful over the less powerful.”

      Interestingly enough this is exactly how unions came to be formed, because the powerful , namely industry owners were so much more powerful and so heedless of the needs of their workers that the only way the workers could protect themselves was through collective action.

  11. Tia Will

    Frankly

    “And you cannot compare this to a private organization like the NRA. The NRA does not have a seat at the government spending negotiation table. They have to work through their political representatives. Public sector unions negotiate with government employees for pay and benefits for government employees.”

    I disagree that there is not room for comparison between the public unions and the NRA.
    Whether a “seat at the table” is occupied by a representative whose seat was purchased by a union or by a representative whose seat has essentially been purchased for them by a private group makes little difference in my eyes. If money has been the primary determinant of who is “at the table ” ( as opposed to say a true word of mouth campaign such as Joe, Rochelle and Rob conducted for city council ) then I see it as money running the show no matter which group is calling the shots.

    1. Frankly

      Well Tia – We are just going to have to agree to disagree on this point. I see a clear distinction, and you do not. I think that is unfortunate because those that have continued to ignore this distinction have contributed to the fiscal mess we are in at all levels of government.

      The NRA does not have a seat at the negotiating table for allocation of our limited government cash.

      That point seems pretty simple and non-argumentative to me. You can apply all the nuance you want about why you see the NRA as also being a negative disruptive force in the political system, but then you just ignore this point that they have no direct connection to the decision process for the allocation of government money.

      Unions provide for government employees by directly negotiating with government employees.

      If you cannot see the conflict of interest in that, then we can just move on to the next topic.

      1. paul Brady

        The distinction is not very subtle. Public employees through their unions, and usually it is mandatory, donate directly to the people – the legislators that pass the laws that set the public employees wages and benefits. GE union members can not do that; their wages, etc., are set by GE management, and in directly by economics conditions for GE.

        We see the public-union results in our failing schools, roads, infrastructure, etc., and public agencies such as Caltrtans! No one is accountable, at least not at the state level. Where possible it will have to come from the local level; eg, where parents are demanding better schools and better teachers!

        Pension parameters were increased 25 to 50% in 1999, and also made retroactive, although most employees had paid little on nothing to support the past or the increases, much less the pensions as they were set previously. Davis in on the road to bankruptcy because most employees contributed nothing for healthcare or pensions. Even now, outside of safety, they only pay a few percent, and it is a fraction of the 23% of salary that retirement benefits cost and are demanded by the inept CalPERS whose investment performance is so far below, usually about 2/3 of market indexes!

  12. Tia Will

    Frankly

    “And you cannot compare this to a private organization like the NRA. The NRA does not have a seat at the government spending negotiation table. They have to work through their political representatives. Public sector unions negotiate with government employees for pay and benefits for government employees.”

    I disagree that there is not room for comparison between the public unions and the NRA.
    Whether a “seat at the table” is occupied by a representative whose seat was purchased by a union or by a representative whose seat has essentially been purchased for them by a private group makes little difference in my eyes. If money has been the primary determinant of who is “at the table ” ( as opposed to say a true word of mouth campaign such as Joe, Rochelle and Rob conducted for city council ) then I see it as money running the show no matter which group is calling the shots.

    1. Frankly

      Well Tia – We are just going to have to agree to disagree on this point. I see a clear distinction, and you do not. I think that is unfortunate because those that have continued to ignore this distinction have contributed to the fiscal mess we are in at all levels of government.

      The NRA does not have a seat at the negotiating table for allocation of our limited government cash.

      That point seems pretty simple and non-argumentative to me. You can apply all the nuance you want about why you see the NRA as also being a negative disruptive force in the political system, but then you just ignore this point that they have no direct connection to the decision process for the allocation of government money.

      Unions provide for government employees by directly negotiating with government employees.

      If you cannot see the conflict of interest in that, then we can just move on to the next topic.

      1. paul Brady

        The distinction is not very subtle. Public employees through their unions, and usually it is mandatory, donate directly to the people – the legislators that pass the laws that set the public employees wages and benefits. GE union members can not do that; their wages, etc., are set by GE management, and in directly by economics conditions for GE.

        We see the public-union results in our failing schools, roads, infrastructure, etc., and public agencies such as Caltrtans! No one is accountable, at least not at the state level. Where possible it will have to come from the local level; eg, where parents are demanding better schools and better teachers!

        Pension parameters were increased 25 to 50% in 1999, and also made retroactive, although most employees had paid little on nothing to support the past or the increases, much less the pensions as they were set previously. Davis in on the road to bankruptcy because most employees contributed nothing for healthcare or pensions. Even now, outside of safety, they only pay a few percent, and it is a fraction of the 23% of salary that retirement benefits cost and are demanded by the inept CalPERS whose investment performance is so far below, usually about 2/3 of market indexes!

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for