The City published the proposed new PCEA (Miscellaneous Employees) last night, and it is a significant disappointment. It looks like elevated entitlement expenditures will continue for the foreseeable future with no guarantee that things will be fixed in 2014.
Just think about this for a moment. The public employee entitlements planning mistake (as now admitted by City Management) occurred in 2002, and it won't be fully addressed even 10 years after that date. Just amazing. This is one more example of why public unions are so detrimental to the financial health of governments. Even FDR recognized the dangers of allowing public employees to unionize.
Yes changes are occurring so the city can claim it is doing something to address the problem, but if one looks more closely they will realize how minimal the steps are. First, the recommended 2% Employee Contribution rate won't cover the CalPERS increase for this year let alone next year. City Management states that this will save the city $722K over two years. What they fail to mention is that increased CalPERS contributions will cost Pleasanton an extra $2M for just this one work group, so taxpayers will fall further behind.
Second, nothing is being done to address our current unfunded liability ($180-290M depending on valuation method). Beyond hoping that the market has an even more dramatic turnaround and CalPERS can blow away its investment target for the next 15 years straight, the unfunded liability will remain and potentially grow. This means elevated costs for Pleasanton taxpayers for years to come. Think about this, we and our children will be paying this "tax" for years so Pleasanton employees can retire at relatively young ages. We are all indentured to our civil servants because the union-controlled CalPERS board misrepresented the cost of SB400.
Additionally, the City admits this agreement with the union was established before the public vetting we the public started late last year and before they received key information from CalPERS (that they knew was coming!).
If you can believe this, the union even pushed back on establishing a two-tier pension program. The state is in the process of establishing this for state employees, and many cities have already done this. But no, the Pleasanton public employee union pushed back on this. The union clearly cares more about optimizing the benefits for their own members regardless what damage it does to Pleasanton's financial future.
Unless the City Council finds the courage to stand up to this farce, we will all continue to pay the price for years while those public employees benefiting the most will contribute the least. Please help our Mayor and City Council to find the courage to do what is right and have the city go back to the drawing board with this contract. Things you can do:
Sign the petition at Web Link
Help get others to sign the petition see www.ptowncitizens.com for ideas on how to help
Attend the 1/18/11 Council Meeting (even if you don't speak, your presence will help)
Send comments to the Mayor and City Council urging them to reconsider this contract
Public Employee Proposed Contract Falls Way Short
Original post made by Bart Hughes, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2011
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