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Raley's closes 2 more stores as union talks continue over wages, benefits

Original post made on Aug 24, 2012

West Sacramento-based Raley's has announced that it will close its stores in Pittsburg and Woodland, adding to four stores the struggling supermarket chain has closed so far this year.
At the same time, the grocer said it is resuming negotiations with the United Food and Commercial Workers, where both sides have been locked in a lengthy stalemate over a new contract.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 24, 2012, 6:30 AM

Comments (57)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sue
a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:14 am

Just about every other industry has changed where employees have to pay a contribution towards their benefits so what's the big deal? Yes, grocery clerks work hard and have to put up with whining customers, but so do a lot of other industries. Not very many industries offer any extra pay for working on Sunday, it's just like any other day. Now if it's a 6th or 7th day in a row, yes I agree they should be compensated with extra pay. Most grocery clerks know when they get hired that their schedules vary, so suck it up and accept the fact that at least you HAVE A JOB! IF you don't like your schedule or the changes that have been made, the door swings both ways. It swung open when you took the job and it can swing out as you choose to leave. Quit being such cry babies and go with the flow or walk with signs with the flow, who cares! Nothing is mentioned about the benefits that you do get to enjoy - only the negative.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anti-union
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:36 am

Well, Well, so those folks will be out of jobs....like the rest of us. Sounds reasonable to me, Just very very sad for Raley's.
Funny about the stomp, stomp, we refuse to stay together, regardless of our unity mentality. Whenever it gets right down to basics, the union workers stomp their feet like chilren saying NOT ME ! I won't cut, I won't be reasonable. I want it all. Fire my bother and sister, don't fire me! Rather than dealing reasonably, saying better for ALL, IF we ALL take across the board adjustments. But, in total hypocrisy, their personal greed always takes over, saying NO, we WON'T take less across the board, better to take my chance that they'll fire my brother, and I can hog it all. Sick mentality.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

What these ungrateful union workers need to realize is that stores like Raley's are there to make huge profits for their owners and managers. Now, who in their right mind thinks that THEY should take a cut? Why, of course not. They're rich and we need to do everything to keep them rich. That's what Swiss Bank Accounts are for, for goodness sakes. My own goal is to have all supermarkets look like Walmart's produce sections, and all other businesses look like Staples where the products are crappy, I admit, but where it isn't the customer we care about but continued profit for the special ones among us that reigns supreme.

Mitt -- Because no one ever has had to ask HIM for a birth certificate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

this is my contribution...let somebody eat cake!!!

i mean it...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

wages and benefits are not the same thing...if you have a wage, it doesn't meant that one necessarily receives benefits...i rest my case!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

Dear Censorship Board,

Unions are bad for America and a tsunami is coming! There. Does that pass muster? Good grief. Typical mainstream newspaper attempting to silence the opposition!


Mitt -- Ask him all you want about birth certificate, just don't ask about multiple marriage certificates.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

How unfair to be censored like that mittens. You should take your posts to Huffpo where you'll be better appreciated and never questioned about what's left of your integrity.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:22 pm

It's not as if I rounded up a bunch of good conservative boys in order to hold down someone and cut their hair off for goodness sakes!

Now, unless someone has something good to say about me and the owners of Raley's let's just continue to bash those oh-so-very-wealthy union checkout clerks shall we?

Mitt -- Think of him the next time you're gazing at the cheap junk that passes for office supplies at Staples. It's the American Dream!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by readyteddy
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 25, 2012 at 11:02 am

If it weren't for the union employees, everyone would be working for min. wage and six days a week. People forget how are parents and grand-parents got started. It's okay to receive a decent wage. Yes, some companies are asking for you to pay something for your benefits. The companies didn't tell you that they are trying to take retiree benefits away. People worked 30 years for them. This is no different than the Fire, Police, Teachers, that work sometimes 20 years. You can't blame the employees that went to work for these stores and were promised their benefits and salaries. The employer gives exactly what it wants to give. So far, they just keep taking things away from their employees. Then they wonder why the employee isn't shopping at the company stores. They don't make enought money like the rest of us.


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Posted by readyteddy
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

Anti-union, when they have a lay-off at your company and you were asked to take a little less money to save a job, would u do it. I bet not. I bet u are all for yourself. Just, let it be in the other guys company. NOT IN MY BACKYARD


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 25, 2012 at 11:43 am

there a several posters that i never take very seriously...i just say give it a good flush and disappear...FOREVER! HOORAY!!!

CATCH MY DRIFT?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Union member retirement portfolios most certainly hold shares in non-union, publicly traded companies. Union members aren't likely worrying about the non-union guy who loses his job when his company has to cut jobs/costs to retain or improve the value of the shares in that portfolio. No one is wearing the white hat; all sides are negotiating for their own interests and at a cost to others.


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Posted by Drifter
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

"all sides are negotiating for their own interests and at a cost to others."

KR seems comfortable ascribing such qualities to others as she herself appears unable to grasp any other form of activity except that which is self-interested.

Therefore, those of us who are not unionized but support union efforts to improve safety and health and working conditions for ALL must be on the take or something. The reasoning behind KR's above claim is actually pretty transparent, and truncated. Par for the course.

She thinks since she isn't worried about the non-union guy who loses his/her job then union workers aren't either. Quite a stretch. Ah well, back to Ayn Rand and the virtue of a self-interest that is blind to the plight of others.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

How is a union (in this case at Raley's) "improving safety and health and working conditions" for those who lose their jobs as a result of negotiations? The now unemployed aren't feeling better, and that would be the case whether it is the result of union gains or non-union company layoffs to improve margins. These are not warm and fuzzy, feel good, selfless acts. Ignoring the outcome of those acts is being blind to the plight of those left in the wake.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Listen, we shouldn't question Staceleen when it comes to either unions or grocery stores. Don't you remember how RIGHT she was about her inside source at Gene's Fine Foods this spring? Boy, was she ever RIGHT about that one! Which is good, because she stridently shrieked her "facts" with so much force and persistence that it would certainly have been a huge embarrassment if her "evidence" turned out to be no less accurate than any other gossip or hearsay.

Seriously, she knows her stuff when it comes to unions! No, really...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Drifter
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I'll try to take this very slowly for you, Staceleen. A soldier may fight to preserve his or her own life, but insodoing may also be fighting for a higher good. Can you grasp that? The same soldier may throw himself or herself on a live grenade to protect others around him or her. Got that?

So too, union workers may (or may not) fight for a better quality of life for themselves and family, but they may also be engaging in the higher struggle for the betterment of others. Indeed, the union worker might even engage in a prolonged strike that is almost assuredly going to work against his or her own immediate self interest, but the worker soldiers on for the higher good (e.g., if we let owners exploit us here, they'll be better able to exploit others).

Now, I wouldn't expect a self-interested person like Staceleen with no care or empathy for others (adults or children) to be able to grasp the point. But I really can't make it much simpler.

BTW negotiations don't cause job loss. Wealthy owners and high-priced managers fire people or lay them off. It maybe makes one feel nice to disguise the reality of owner greed by talking about those darned unfortunate negotiations as causal agents; but they are not. Now, go back to sorting out all those office supplies. That's an order.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Drifter, you're hilarious, in addition to being sanctimonious. In your mind soldiers and union drones are synonymous? Really, how dillusional are you?
You unionistas are quite full of yourselves. For your next fete, will you create world peace or walk on water?
Or, maybe just lose your jobs by pricing yourselves out of the market.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

NS, covered that territory already including admitting I may have misunderstood and an apology. All done.

Drifter, I would not be so bold as to compare a sacrifice of life to people on strike. I want to meet the happy unemployed teachers, classified staff, Raley's employees, or any other union members who paid dues in good faith with a belief in improving the lot of all only to realize they were expendable. "Wealthy owners and high-priced managers" also are not acting selflessly.

No one ever "ordered" me; they were partnerships. Apparently, I was fortunate to work with better people than you. You and shark have a good evening.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

When will we return to the concept of relative worth, the idea that while all work is honorable and the people who do it worthy of respect, not every job comes with a six-figure salary, 15 days off per month, and a million-dollar retirement?


Mike


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Just look at me, for heavens sake. When I was in college my honorable work was having to keep track of all the investments I was able to make from money I got from my Daddy. Whew-eeee was that hard. But today, because of my accountants' hard work, I'm worth 250 million dollars. Why can't people realize that in terms of "relative worth" I'm worth about a million times more than your average worker?

Now these Raley's workers, working their 15-day per month work schedules -- honest, because that's what Mike tells us -- and making their million-dollar retirement, now there's something to get angry about! Thanks Mike, for keeping the dream of capitalism alive.


Mitt -- Because he knows how to make money for himself, and it's harder counting one's millions than one thinks. (Way harder than stocking shelves, bagging groceries, or so many of the other jobs the little people do.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Raleys Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2012 at 6:58 am

I don't see comments related to the shopping itself so I'll provide a little input. It's difficult for Raleys to compete with Trader Joes, Target, and soon Wal Mart with prices. I bought bananas at Trader Joes a few days ago at .29 cents each for organic. I walked into the Pleasanton Raleys over the weekend and noticed that their organic bananas were .99 each. Where is a family going to shop on a weekly basis with these prices? The Raleys stores are too large and offer too many items that people rarely purchase. This takes up expensive lease space that they must pass on to their customers. Every business changes over the years and the grocery business is in this process now.


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Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor
a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:41 am

Ok, what some of you may not know is that for years and years (and years) Raleys was very good to their employees. Overly good. Heck they kept a cabinet shop (it made their wood fixtures) going to guarantee the employees in that department had work. Every fixture they made cost them money. Meaning they could have gone and bid these fixtures to other shops in the area and gotten them for alot less. But they didn't. They gave the work to their people.

Their Pittsburg store should have been closed years ago. The area around it has gone Hispanic, but again they kept it open for the employees.

Now in these tough times the union will not allow the employees to help keep their own jobs alive.

It is the union that needs to go, not the employees. The Raleys family are very decent people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by P-Town
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:47 am

If any of those union employees shops Wal-Mart and/or drives a Honda, Kia, Subaru, Nissan, etc. then I do not feel a bit sorry for them. Since they themselves do not support America by buying American made products - they deserve to lose their jobs like so many other decent middle class Americans have. Like the regularamerican people who worked for companies like Black& Decker and Levi's and ...


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:51 am

Yes, the Raleys are very decent rich people who can't be expected to give anything back or take a cut themselves in these hard times. Heck, that's what hard times are for! Maybe some of the little people get laid off -- that's Obama's fault -- but recessions are for rich people making huge profits.


Mitt -- He doesn't pay taxes, and he'll make sure other rich people won't have to pay theirs!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yeah MM, These are bad people: Web Link "The founder of Raley's Inc., Thomas P. Raley, was born in 1903 in Carrollton Hollow, Arkansas, the 13th in a family of 14 children. Raley's father, a Baptist preacher and farmer, gave his son the opportunity to become a farmer like himself, but when Tom graduated from high school he decided to attend Springfield Business College in Missouri. However, the young man grew increasingly dissatisfied with his studies and dropped out of school after six months. He went to work in a wheat field and, with four of his fellow workers, suddenly decided to travel west to seek his fortune."

Hard work, job creation, success, stumble, more success--that's not enough, eh Mr. Mittens? Gotta be sure you demand higher wages and benefits and lose jobs and close stores. Who cares about the people who end up unemployed.

Mr. Mittens--better working conditions for all (well, except those expendable former members).


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Quick follow up: Web Link
Raley's ranked as the 116th largest privately held company with 15,500 employees in 2008.
Web Link
Raley's ranked as the 138th largest privately held company with 13,400 employees in 2011.

What are those 2,100 people doing now?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

Ah yes, straight out of comic book thinking comes advocacy of the Horatio Alger myth. Work hard, stumble, get up and then become a billionaire. Anybody can do that. Heck, it's just like winning the lottery! Gobbling up the myth as gospel, they want to blame job losses on the unions that hire and fire people. Oops, sorry, actually unions don't hire and fire; it's owners who do that. Yes, if only unions hadn't have become the Bain of our existence. Minimum wage; health and safety; collective bargaining; five-day work week. Wouldn't the world be so much better without these things? I know MY world would, heh-heh.


Mitt -- Always against the organized working man or woman. And pity the poor grocery chain, with 445,000 stores and 3.2 billion in sales, for they're in it after all heh-heh only to please the customer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 9:58 am

What are those 2100 little people doing now? Heavens, how should I know. Maybe if they all pick up stakes and work hard each and every one of them will become a billionaire. So, when we downsized (gotta make a profit, of course) or took down some stores (urban blight), or mechanized (self-checkout) it was necessary that we ask politely for unions to fire people. Well, there I go again! Actually, unions don't fire people, companies do. And sometimes, if they are clever, after firing people they can re-start and pay people a whole lot less!

Mitt -- Always willing to engage the poorly educated who have bought hook line and sinker into the dream that, just like the lotto, EVERYBODY can work hard and become a billionaire. And if they fail? Well! It must be on account of those pesky unions!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by AnnaS
a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

The little correction for Raleys Shopper: Trader Joes charges their bananas per banana but Raley's chares them per pound which is usually three to four bananas. Raley's fruits and vegetables are not cheap, but they are not very different in prices than at Trader Joe or at Sprouts.
About unions, worker compensations and who is rich: after paying their union dues unionized workers often have less on their hands than non-union workers who have less initial salaries and cost less for consumers.
Where these union dues go who benefit from forced unionization?
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka – $293,750.
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel – $460,060
Read more: Web Link
California could do much better if it would be a right-to-work state.


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

And ME, with $250 millions and still counting!

The Washington Times is one of my favorite Rev. Moon newspapers! Great source!

And oh yes for golly sakes, yet another myth -- or as my opponents call it, a lie. Now, I suppose it's POSSIBLE that non-union workers doing the same job as union workers might make as much, or more. But, you see, that ALSO is because of the nasty unions. You see, the unions drive up wages and then companies, in order to help ensure that their employees don't vote to install a union, pay competitive wages. Without the unions, all wages, union as well as non-union would be considerably less than they are today. Which would leave even MORE for me and my rich friends.[I do apologize, Anna, and KR too, because I realize a bit of this is over your heads, which are just the right height I might add. Just trust me!]

Mitt -- Who says he's against diversity when Rev. Sun-yun Moon has been one of his best buddies!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2012 at 11:20 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Mr. Mittens, there must be somewhere else in the world you could live that fits you better--Cuba is close. I know, that whole American dream thing is only okay until you hit it big, right?

Union negotiators realize their demands will cause job losses for their members; oh, and, "Sorry, but thanks for the dues!" Do unions really need high paid leaders (living in the 1%)? Maybe you could take their salaries and benefits to educate the 2,100? No one promised everyone could be billionaires. I think those 2,100 would be happy just to be, oh, say, a union leader.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by P-Town
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 27, 2012 at 11:23 am

Unions were good when it came to getting 9 year olds and such out of the work force. But today there are laws to prevent this.

Unions now are awful. They keep people in place that should be gotten rid of. We all have stories about horrible teachers and about USPS workers that can't be let go after their position is eliminated by a machine.(So they are paid to sit and read the paper for their entire shift.)


Heck if these union people keep buying all the junk and prescriptions from India that Wal-Mart sells then there will not be ANY manufacturing jobs left at all. Maybe those union people should start learning Mandarin. That is where they are sending their jobs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Drifter
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Wow! Has her bubble burst and, with no argument available, Staceleen resorts to the "Go back to Cuba" refrain.

Can't or won't concede that companies are responsible for laying off employees, not unions, because it's easier to criticize union leaders. Won't consider comparing highest paid union leader -- less than 300 thousand -- to the highest paid CEO's because, well, it wouldn't contribute to her little girl's grasp of American Dream.
Wish she could be educated, but of course in order for a zealous ignoramous to be educated they'd first have to want to be educated. Won't find that here, I'm afraid.

I personally am not asking for billions here. Would be content with American workers being able to earn a living wage. I applaud the progress America's organized workers have made in this respect.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I don't know where Mr. Mittens is from, but would guess "he" is an American born citizen. Suggestion was that Cuba might be a better fit, not that he go back. Nice try using quotes and all.

Certainly some company employee acutally has to let people go as a result of union demands. Heaven forbid if a union leader had to pass on the bad news when they are cannibalizing their most vulnerable members. In the case of Raley's, a guy from a farming family becomes a billionaire . . . tut tut.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Last time I checked, Raley's was not a non-profit or govt sponsored entity. Even drifter and mittens (if they are indeed not the same poster) can't deny Raley's and any other American Company has the right to make a profit, otherwise, why would anyone start a business?
Their employees were earning a living wage prior to their unionization, so that lame argument is going nowhere. Union coercion and employee greed got them into this position and is inevitably getting them out of their current jobs.


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Posted by Drifter
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

The inability to grasp a basic concept is really quite unbelievable. "Some company employee acutally has to let people go as a result of union demands." The stupidity almost defies belief. In case you hadn't heard this, Staceleen, company employees don't "let people go" as a "result of union demands." They fire people because their superiors told them to do so. As a "result of union demands"? No, I don't think so. Rather, because machines are being brought in, or because these workers were attempting to organize their fellow workers, or because profits weren't up to expectations. Because of union demands. What kind of absolute mush that is. Too much time counting pencils and staples over the course of a career, not enough time reading. Once again makes a fool of herself.


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Posted by Drifter
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm

"Their employees were earning a living wage prior to their unionization, so that lame argument is going nowhere. Union coercion and employee greed got them into this position and is inevitably getting them out of their current jobs."

And it is on the strength of such 4th-grade reasoning that Republicans are able to mount a challenge to Democrats. And posters like LsD and Staceleen wonder why other posters ridicule them?

I think I'd honestly rather be diseased than have to live with the kinds of cognitive deficit that spew onto these pages.



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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Web Link Two excerpts:

"If unionized companies are less flexible and invest less than nonunion companies, then we would expect them to grow more slowly and create fewer jobs. Unsurprisingly, research shows that this is exactly what happens. Employment drops 5 to 10 percent after unions organize a business. Thereafter, jobs in unionized companies grow more slowly (or shrink more rapidly) by an average of about 3 to 4 percentage points than at comparable nonunion companies. Of course unions try to avoid pushing the businesses they organize over a cliff. Research shows that unionized companies do not go out of business at higher rates than nonunion firms. Nonetheless, unions accept slower growth and gradual job losses as the price they are willing to pay for the contract provisions they want for their existing members."

"The increase in government union membership is good for the union movement but bad for taxpayers. In many states government employees earn considerably more than their private sector counterparts. Cash wages may be comparable, but government employees receive far greater benefits. In California, for example, government employees make 30 percent more than they would in the private sector. The rest of society pays for public employee benefits through higher sales, income, and property taxes."


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Posted by Drifter
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Yet another sign of being badly educated and more than a little slow on the uptake.... Staceleen, unable to find her own words (for she has no argument, only beliefs in rightwing mythological claptrap), offers two excerpts. (Watch, after I debunk them she'll likely claim she 'wasn't necessarily advocating them', this as face-saving measure as only she as KR/Stacey can do.)

The excerpt? Written by James Sherk, a Hillsdale College hack, and now rightwing propagandist for the conservative Heritage Foundation (a foundation financed by rich rightwingers to hire hacks -- who usually are unable to find college professor jobs (competence factor) -- to write hit pieces that support rightwing ideology. Now, does Sherk cite supportive evidence for his claims? Of course not. Why? Because he has none. He states employment drops 5 to 10 percent after unions organize a workplace. Does he cite research that confirms this? No, because there is none; or, if there is, it is likely to be obviously flawed having been conducted by rightwing hacks like Sherk himself. He then goes on to insinuate this is the fault of unions. He doesn't consider that unions don't decide to dump workers; he hides the awareness that owners and their high-priced managers are responsible for firings, not unions.

Rich owner: "Well, if you organize for better workplace conditions -- e.g., safety, health -- we're going to punish you. For every worker safety provision we install, we're going to take it out of your flesh. Further, we're then going to blame our punitive measures on you and your unions. And you know what? There are plenty of rightwing propagandaists and followers willing to lap up this swill."

Sherk's second excerpt? A bald-faced lie. In Cal, govt employess make virtually exactly the same as employees DOING SIMILAR JOBS in the private sector. Oops! I guess Sherk forgot to include that. Why? He's a high-paid liar. The pity is that there are so many out there like Staceleen and the other deficits who aren't able to critically analyse a clear piece of propagandistic writing when they see one.

Stop with your pathetic rightwing excerpts already. Go read a book. Or go sit in on some college classes at public universities. It will be difficult to correct all the damage already done to your underread cognitive being, but, honestly, I don't know what else to suggest.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm


Did Kathleen Ruegsegger complain when her school employees union negotiated a higher wage for her and her co-workers? Did Kathleen Ruegsegger refuse the paid leave and other benefits that her school employees union negotiated for her and her co-workers?

If not, she's a hypocrite. But then again, Kathleen Ruegsegger is a Pleasanton resident who argues against a parcel tax for our schools, but a former Palto Alto schools employeewho benefited from the huge parcel tax that Palo Alto residents pay.

So: unions are only bad when Kathleen Ruegsegger doesn't benefit from them. Taxes are only bad when Kathleen Ruegsegger has to pay them.

I could spin out a detailed argument showing how, historically and presently, unions have benefited society overall, not to mention union members. I could compare and contrast the lower unionization rate of the United States with the high unionization rate of countries such as Germany and Sweden, which have a higher standard of living and a much less income inequality (and poverty) than the United States...but really, what good woud it do? You can't move someone's feet when those feet are set in concrete, or when their head is full of rocks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

In other words, Palo Alto's huge parcel tax benefits the employees' union.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

"In other words, Palo Alto's huge parcel tax benefits the employees' union." The employees' union, the employees, the taxpayers, the students, and others. Isn't that the idea?


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Boy oh boy, Staceleen is switching names so fast it's about making my head spin! But, I must say, the recent churlish little quip by Staceleen is a bit disappointing. Is this the best my side is capable of? Maybe Mr. Diseased can step up to the plate and defend little miss multiple personality?

As my eldest son stated, whenever there's food on the table, I'm first to cut in line and usually eat mine before everyone else even gets a helping. Now consider this. What if those kids and grandkids of mine organized into a union? Why, heck, I might be restricted from cutting everyone off any which way I liked, and then we'd be more like Cuba than Utah. (Of course Cuba didn't go through a phase of capitalism, and so didn't have organized unions in defense against capitalists. But when you're spewing mythology on the basis of pure ignorance and gullibility, you can say whatever you want, right Staceleen?)


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2012 at 12:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

John,

Mr. Bradford pointed out that a union in Palo Alto negotiated a higher wage (higher than who?) and that's where the Palo Alto parcel tax money went. If the money went into higher wages, how exactly is it benefiting students, especially when programs are being cut? Are you assuming that higher teacher pay attracts the best teachers? Mr. Bradford's favorite example of Finland doesn't pay its unionized teachers at the high end of the scale. Clearly Finland figured out how to benefit students with high quality teachers without people buying into the claim that higher wages attracts the best teachers.


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2012 at 1:35 am

Staceleen, unable to argue the point about unions as expression of workers organizing on behalf of themselves as well as others, resorts to her typical troll tactic of shifting the conversation to school teacher salaries. Anything to change the subject!

But that's okay, because that's what we like. We don't want to get bogged down in actually talking about things like unions, workplace safety, women's health.... Say, shouldn't there be a censorship policy where trolls are penalized for repeating themselves time and again outside the parameters of defined discussion?

Mitt --- First at the trough, always, and last to give in to the little people who organize for a higher standard of living.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 28, 2012 at 6:54 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Daniel, I volunteered to go half time to save classified jobs and eventually quit in one district (sadly, that position still exists). I then volunteered to have my position eliminated (there were two admins to the superintendent) in another district. And I did refuse the benefits package in Palo Alto, more than making up for whatever you think I may have gained.

And you know I am in favor a parcel tax but believe specific language was absolutely necessary. I would still work for a tax that is definitive of what programs/positions would be saved--and I make no claim as to what those areas should be; current parents should decide. I would even work for a tax even if it only provided bonuses to the best of the best in teaching.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 28, 2012 at 7:00 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sorry for the typos above--need to be at school this morning.

By the way, after a couple of years of refusing benefits (much longer story about why they don't want healthy people to opt out), Palo Alto finally made it possible for others to step forward and do the same. It was about a dozen when I left; don't know how many it is now.


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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 28, 2012 at 8:58 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

dribbler said: "In Cal, govt employess make virtually exactly the same as employees DOING SIMILAR JOBS in the private sector." Aside from the spelling mistakes, this assumption is incorrect. Public employees have better compensation plans that most private sector workers, including higher pay, better health benefits and a pension that defies fiscal logic. One reason the state is so far in the red....but, their union masters and their dem partners in crime are fat and happy.


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Posted by P-Town Neighbor
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

People do not get it. The unions will not even try to get it. If there is not enough money coming in then things need to be cut. Wages are the largest expense of a business or school district. The problem is teachers may take a cut but they do it by working less hours. That is not taking a cut. It is not good for our kids. Hey teachers taking a cut means you still work a full day, but your wages and benefits are less.

It is what all of us in the 99% have been doing for the last 4 years. That is the realism of what is going on in this country.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Mittens wrote: "unions as expression of workers organizing on behalf of themselves as well as others"

As Mr. Bradford said, "what good would it do?" to have such a discussion on these boards?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Too funny to see a certain misanthropic troll here whine about why no one wants to discuss the pros and cons of unionization.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm still waiting to hear from Mittens exactly how taxpayers are benefiting from the expression of public workers organizing on behalf of themselves. "Well, ya should've organized!" Blame the victim for not organizing. Sure, the taxpayers were asking for it. Just look at the way they didn't organize. Must not be legitimate.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

"Are you assuming that higher teacher pay attracts the best teachers?"

Yes, I'm assuming that it attracts better teachers. I don't think the Finland example refutes that. All things aren't equal in that comparison.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

john,

No, all things are not equal there. There's a thought amongst certain American education reform circles that agrees with you that higher teacher pay attracts the best teachers. What Finland did to place a higher value on teacher quality was to restrict who can qualify to be a teacher. They recruit teachers from those who have a masters degree and even then it is only the top 10% of candidates that make it, making it more of a prestige job despite their lower salaries. There's a belief that such a reform would not work here in America given the size differences. Merit pay is often proposed as an alternate way to place a value on teacher quality, the belief being that the best teachers will be attracted by the higher pay. It's difficult to value teacher quality with a step and column salary schedule. But I believe that even with a well-designed merit pay system (yes, there have been poor ones), we still need to better value teacher quality through the teacher training and certification process, like Finland. It's a systemic issue that requires systemic reform, not bits and pieces. Higher pay won't get us there by itself.


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