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Ridiculous Compensation For Public Employees

Original post made by CEASAR, Vintage Hills Elementary School, on Aug 30, 2009

Read this article from the Contra Costa Times. Can you still justify raising taxes for any reason? Taxes should be cut and Public Employees should be fired.

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Comments (21)

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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 30, 2009 at 8:26 pm

The law enforcement segment is out of control. Each individual listed did, or almost, doubled his/her salary in OT pay.

I always though government jobs were supposed to provide excellent benefits and retirement packages and slightly below average to average salaries.


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Posted by stop the insanity
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2009 at 11:07 pm

P-town Parent -- it is not the law enforcement segment, it is the fire department with the most people on that list! Fire prevention has made incredible strides and we are subjected to very few house fires anymore. These people are allowed to work regular shifts at straight pay and overtime shifts at time and one half pay. We are not talking about the people on the front lines of the wildfires! Their days are filled with ordinary tasks in a firehouse equiped with many extras that most of us do not have -- huge screen TVs, full cable (generally paid by the department), modern gourmet kitchens, etc. If they volunteer to go on a strike team to a wildfire they are paid time and a half minimum for the entire time they are away from the station. The regular line firefighters at the wildfires are CDF and you can bet they are NOT getting 200 grand a year! A full time month means working 10 days.
The biggest travesty of all is that very few firefighters retire on a regular pension, they all scam a disability pension which is tax free. So, after retirement as early as age 51, they get 80% of what they made their last year PLUS all raises granted to the current workers, PLUS getting this tax free.
Remember this when the contracts come up for negotiation next time!


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 31, 2009 at 9:25 am

Like it or not, Police and Firemen earn every penny! They put their lives at risk daily to protect others from harm. Gracias Police and Firemen!


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 31, 2009 at 1:12 pm

stop the insanity - when I view the list by Alameda county the number of Chiefs, Deputy Sheriffs, Sergeants, etc. seem to be the most re-occuring positions with high annual salaries and OT.

Cholo - While I do agree that the Fire and Police departments provide a valuable and needed service to our community I disagree that each individual is putting his or her life at risk each and every day. More specifically I would imagine those that top this list actually are farther removed from the actual "day to day" harms your statement implies as their titles appear to be higher in rank than those I would imagine are on the streets each day. Furthermore the amount of overtime would seem to indicate that there is a need for more people filling these positions, however, hiring practices do not seem to support the demand. To me this screams of union protectionism. This is your money and my money, let us not blindly accept the charge because the motives of the service provided are good.


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Posted by CEASAR
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 31, 2009 at 8:08 pm

You think their salaries are outrageous? Wait till you see their pensions when they retire. Oy Vey.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 31, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I believe that Police and Firemen have very stressful jobs and place themselves at risk to protect the public. If you don't want them to collect OT pay, then their needs to be a way for them not provide OT services and for the public to not expect that they are willing to work for free even in an emergency. Otherwise, their services are for free. That makes no sense. Very few people work for free. If you want to volunteer you time, the do so. But, don't expect everybody to work for no compensation.

I strongly believe that many people are jealous because the Police and Firefighters made out better than you did. I'm certain that if you could arrange to have a better retirement, you would do it asap! No ifs, ands or buts! Money talks!


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 31, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Cholo - Hiring more people would drastically reduce the amount of OT paid. Seems like if their is demand for an abundance of OT logic would seem to suggest their is demand for hiring more people.

You may want to try to come up with a better argument. Your current one follows the lines of....I like blue, blue is a color, and the sky is blue. If you like blue, you should color with blue.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 31, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Ouch....gross misuse of the word "their".


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Posted by Amused
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 1, 2009 at 10:41 am

It is true there is a lot of overtime paid, but did you ever think what that means. These officers and firefighters are putting in their regular 40 hours a week. They then are spending there off time back and work providing protection demanded by the public above that that can be provided by on duty personnel. Have you given up that many hours to be back at work away from your family. How many Christmases and birthdays have you missed to protect others? If you are so outraged about the money spent, why dont you volunteer your time to sthe community for free? No? Why not?


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 11:03 am

Anyone who has had the experience of managing payrolls knows that there are usually two reasons for an inordinate amount of OT - either there is gross time mis-management, or there are not enough people to do a critical job. I hope "Wake up people" doesn't mind, but I am pasting his/her response from the other thread about this subject below because it addresses this issue specifically and succinctly. Thank you "Wake up"! And thank you PPD and LPFD for all your hard work! You folks are a big part of the reason we all live in Pleasanton!

"Posted by Wake up people, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, 19 hours ago

You know these salaries have been available to the public for quite some time. Anyone that really cared over the past few years would know this. It is only now that many of us have lost our $500,000 a year jobs that we now look to criticize others salaries for positions that are much more humble. For example salaries of Policeman and Fireman remain very constant through out the years except for cost of living adjustments. Many of the overtime that you see for these positions are due to the City of Pleasanton CHOOSING not to hire to fill open vacancies. The city CHOOSES not to fill these vacancies because it is cheaper to pay overtime wages to current employees rather than hiring new employees with benefits, etc. So to those that state the Fire Department and City of Pleasanton are mismanaged is false. They are properly being managed and actually are saving the city a lot of money in the long run. On paper some of the salaries generate anger. But that is only because the circumstances are not adequately explained when these salaries are printed. Remember there are always two sides of the story. From what I have heard the Fire Department Union and Police Officers Association both do not agree in leaving the positions open and push to fill vacancies when they become available."


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 1, 2009 at 11:08 am

Billie,

there is a 3rd reason in my experience with dealing with union employees and that is self generated overtime meaning it is like make work detail. there is a sense of entitlement to overtime amongst police and fire and government workers. my neighbor is an alameda country sheriff and he said that when they are calling about free tickets to say a circus (unless it is outsourced to a service) they are getting paid overtime to make the calls to us asking for donations.


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 11:21 am

Chris,
OK, so that would fall under "gross time mis-management" in the Alameda County organization. I've had union employees working for me in the past; just because employees are in a union is no excuse for padding the payroll. It's only allowed to happen if management lets it. Of course, those employees weren't allowed to carry guns either! :0)

As far as Pleasanton goes, I've lived here going on 18 years and all of the calls for donations I've ever received have come from benevolent organizations that support the PPD.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Billie,

Good one. I have been here since 1968 and never got a call from firefighters, police, sheriffs or anyone else until say 15 years ago and then I bought some tickets for the circus i believe then everybody and there brother started calling me to buy tickets and I mean everybody and I get confused but swear that some years I have been approached by the same organization multiple times for the same event even though I have purchased tickets! :O) I always ask them if they are a solicitor for the organization or a cop or a fireman or whatever just to find out.


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Posted by Barb
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Sep 1, 2009 at 2:34 pm

You have to remember, from Cholo's perspective, anything resembling work like 'on call' would "earn every pennny". You've seen in Cholo's posts, he sits at home and paints. He collects gov't $ from one of the 1000s of assorted programs.


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Posted by Roger
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 1, 2009 at 2:39 pm

To wake up: of course the union wants every job in every company, city, county, multiplied exponentially....it's all about MEMBERS paying DUES, DUES, DUES, otherwise, how would they be able to continue to CONTROL, FUND, BUYOFF COUNCIL AND MAYORAL SEATS, ASSEMLY CANDIDATES....TO INSURE THEIR CONTINUED EXCESSIVE PAY AND
BENEFITS.


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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Sep 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Amused: volunteers are great. I remember we had volunteer fire in Pleasanton late 70s into 80s. No retirements at 50, and no fraudulent spiked retirements, etiher. There will never be any 100 story buildings in pleasanton...outlawed... no 50, no 10, no 5 floors !


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Geez Roger, hate on the unions much?

You're absolutely right, tho'. Many unions have way too much sway with people in positions of power, including politicians. But then, so do, for example, conglomerates, like insurance and drug companies, who hire lobbyists to do their dirty work. Or that preacher that says to send your money to God, just use his address. Or the CEO who takes a huge bonus after they've led their company into tax-payer ownership.

Personally, I'm much more irate at the greedy, corrupt person in the position of power who solicits and accepts a payoff - for whatever reason, whether it's personal gain, to get elected, to have bragging rights about your big glass church, whatever. They are the root cause. Be angry at them. Believe me, if you didn't have someone standing there with their hand out there wouldn't be a place for payoff money.


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Posted by Wake up people
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:28 pm

"stop the insanity"
P-town Parent -- it is not the law enforcement segment, it is the fire department with the most people on that list! Fire prevention has made incredible strides and we are subjected to very few house fires anymore. These people are allowed to work regular shifts at straight pay and overtime shifts at time and one half pay. We are not talking about the people on the front lines of the wildfires! Their days are filled with ordinary tasks in a firehouse equiped with many extras that most of us do not have -- huge screen TVs, full cable (generally paid by the department), modern gourmet kitchens, etc. If they volunteer to go on a strike team to a wildfire they are paid time and a half minimum for the entire time they are away from the station. The regular line firefighters at the wildfires are CDF and you can bet they are NOT getting 200 grand a year! A full time month means working 10 days.


The biggest travesty of all is that very few firefighters retire on a regular pension, they all scam a disability pension which is tax free. So, after retirement as early as age 51, they get 80% of what they made their last year PLUS all raises granted to the current workers, PLUS getting this tax free.


Remember this when the contracts come up for negotiation next time!










This is my response to the above post written by "Stop the Insanity."

First of all the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department (LPFD) is a joint department that consolidated in 1996. They saved both cities tremendous amounts of money by eliminating a lot of upper management positions. Combining their services was very cost effective. During the consolidation it was agreed that each city will be in charge of certain aspects of the department. For example the City of Pleasanton human resources department hires all employees for the LPFD. Therefore, you will see many fire department employees on the list. Keep in mind that these Firemen are from the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton. Pleasanton alone does not pay these salaries although it comes across this way. Livermore and Pleasanton are 50/50 on all operating costs of the department.

You are right their is a great reduction in working structure fires. However, these firemen are not only trained in fire suppression. The LPFD offers the highest level of emergency medical care outside of a hospital on every single apparatus. These engines can get to your front door in less than five minutes. That is a lot faster than any ambulance could ever get there. Firehouses are strategically positioned throughout the city to allow them to get to many emergencies in less than five minutes time while responding from the firehouse. Fireman are also trained in hazardous materials, swift water rescue, high angle rescue, trench rescue, confined space rescue, property conservation, and get called out to just about any and everything. People that think Fireman are overpaid and lazy frankly are uneducated regarding what they really do and have to offer. They do much more than just go to fires. This isn't your grandpa's fire service anymore.

Most of the amenities that you see in the firehouse are purchased by the fireman themselves. The department union which all employees pay into purchase the tvs, and internet, etc. All other amenities such as computers are purchased by the department. needed for training, reports, etc.

Fireman do not get paid time and a half from the moment they leave the firehouse to go on strike teams. That is completely incorrect. You're paid time and a half while on a strike team when it supposed to be your scheduled day off. It is no different than working an extra day in the firehouse. Keep in mind that these firemen do not always "volunteer" for these assignments. They are forced to go and be away from there families for up to one week.

A full time month working ten days is more than you work if you are on a regular nine to five. 10 days a month comes to a 56 hour work week. 10 days a month is the normal schedule. That does not count the many days they are mandated to work which means they have no choice at all. That can happen several times throughout the month depending on the seniority of the individual. Many argue that they sleep on duty. That is true but even if they sleep eight hours each work day as you would at home that still brings them to a 40 hour work week with the sleep taken out.

I don't even know where to begin with your last paragraph it is full of so man incorrect statements. I hope you can straighten out your facts before you post further inaccurate comments regarding firefighters in general.


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Posted by Wake up people
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Roger-

Unions want all positions filled because that is the safe thing to do. When the department is understaffed fireman MUST work the vacancies left out by the City of Pleasanton. By MAKING people work no matter what that puts many at risk. Firemen are tired, more susceptible to accidents, etc. This increases sick leave, and workmen's comp cases. You can see the spiral this creates which in turn opens more and more vacancies as people become injured.

Those are the facts.


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Posted by Wake up people
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Kathy-

Residents of this city would be outraged with a volunteer department. The city would never even entertain the idea due to the liability placed upon the city. Businesses would also leave the area. Look up what an ISO rating stands for. Only then will you truly understand.


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Posted by steve
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 7, 2009 at 8:30 pm

after raeding the CC times and Mr Borenstein what would be an acceptable salary. How much would most of you want them to make.


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