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Willle Brown calls Public Employee pensions too generous

Original post made by Caesar, Vintage Hills, on Jan 23, 2010

Even Willie Brown knows that Public Employee Unions are Bankrupting the state. He said recently:

"The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life. But we politicians—pushed by our friends in labor—gradually expanded pay and benefits . . . while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages. . . . [A]t some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact."

Read the rest of this article. This must be confronted now.

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Comments (14)

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 23, 2010 at 8:56 pm


as for willie brown...he just needs to flush and wash away!

all people...the DEVIL!

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Posted by tax free retirements also
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2010 at 11:49 pm

It is not just the obscenity of the people who retire at age 50 with huge pensions, making more than when they worked within a few years. Police officers and firefighters scam their way to a tax free retirement by claiming that they are "disabled". This claim starts when they are initiated as new hires and continues every time they are "hurt" on duty. Of course there is no reason to let a "disabling bad back" interfere with 4 or 5 golf games each week during retirement, that just would not be right. Also, all work hours taken off due to disability are tax free to current public safety officers, this is not charged to sick leave and subject to income tax. I personally know a firefighter who claimed he got a splinter at a department training event, claimed it got infected and took several weeks off -- tax free naturally. I know another one who smoked his entire life then claimed a disability retirement due to lung damage caused by "fighting fires". The cities and counties that employ these people have the right and the ability to stop this. The unions cannot continue to win these battles if the employers, and those of us taxpayers who pay the salaries, insist on stopping the fraud.
The most obvious step to take now is to get rid of the 3% at 50 retirement system (3% of their highest wage base per year of service, up to 30 yrs worth, at age 50). They retire at age 50 with 90% of their highest salary and most departments have negotiated to pay similar raises to the retired workers as the current ones get in their contracts. Plus lifetime free medical.
Pleasanton police officers and firefighters will get a similar package. The time is upon us to let the city know that this is no longer acceptable. Willie Brown got it right.

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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 9:45 am

Tax Free Retirements,

You are 100% spot on. Unless these retirement programs are changed there is no way even with all of this budget cutting the state can be solvent. Arnold is just waiting to get out of office and let someone deal with the fallout. Checkout how many policemen and firemen retire on disability and you will be amazed. Actually they are now retiring at a record pace for fear that their retirement packages will be taken away now that the public has woken up.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 24, 2010 at 11:14 am

Arnold tried to fix things when he first got elected, but "we the people" voted him down. After that, I think he just gave up...I don't defend him, but I understand him. The 3 point rule needs to go and Arnold needs to go and "we the people" need to get behind a strong Gov. who is not afraid of the unions for the sake of a political career. The unions are not destroying this state, they have already done it and if a strong personality doesn't come forward to reverse the carnage, then you will see a mass exodus of "baby-boomers" and all their money that will leave California looking like a third-world nation (PC "developing nation").

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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

Arnold had it right, and if those lobby groups hadn't gotten their way we would be in far better shape now. Something has to be done. These pensions just aren't sustainable.

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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm

This has been obvious for a long time. We are the serfs supporting the new aristocracy of public sector employees. We need to cut salaries, pensions and medical benefits. If need be declare bankruptcy and start from scratch. City councils, school boards,state and federal elected officials are all part of the problem. All existing decision makers that caved in to the uniouns need to be replaced. It is too late for half measures. We cannot grandfather in the current robbers.

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Posted by tax free retirements also
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Wait just a minute "a reader" -- on all of the PUSD threads on this site I have read your comments about needing to pay teachers MORE money, allow all of the raises, etc, etc. What's your problem with cops and firemen? Are only teachers (who on their best day don't run into burning buildings) worth more money and higher pensions?
Don't misunderstand me, I am in favor of doing away with the so called disability retirements entirely, they are almost always filled with fraud and paid for by all of us. I am also in favor of severe limits to any public sector retirements, we cannot support them at those rates. But I am also in favor of cutting pay and benefits for the PUSD employees as well. You seem to be playing both sides of these issues. You say that it's bad for lobbyists to boost pay and pensions for public sector employees as long as those same lobbyists keep pushing for higher teacher wages and benefits. Please, pick one or the other.

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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm

It is the pensions I have a problem with. If we aren't able to pay for them we'll either have to cut them or raise the retirement age. I don't think we can tax our way out of the problem either. I'm no expert, that's just my opinion.

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Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Einstein is a registered user.


Both of the things you suggest are against the law. The only possibility is bankrupcy short and simple.

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Posted by tax free retirements also
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm

for a reader
"I don't think we can tax our way out of the problem "
You got it! And the same thing applies to the PUSD problem! We cannot tax our way out of never ending pay raises and benefit increases. The employees simply have to give something up.

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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 9:01 pm

To Einstein,

I understand that we can't legally break the promises we have already made, but we can at least stop making the same promises for future workers.

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Posted by dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Jan 24, 2010 at 11:01 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

So, back to Willie Brown.

His understanding of how the system should have been is also my understanding. That is, public employees would accept lower pay now so that that they would have a better retirement.

We, that is your AND me, are not happy how some unions have exploited the system but we failed to recognized how many senior police, firefighter and other public officials exploited the system as well. The sad part, but very true, is that these same senior public officials were Republicans. So, please, do not blame only the unions or Democrats.

Let's get to core and move on these elected officials that let it happen. Perhaps we can find some way to pull their pensions...

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Posted by Caesar
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm

You don't have to break the promise of a ridiculously genereous pension. One solution would be no more raises for life to reduce the burden on the taxpayers.

I'm brilliant. Don't you agree?

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Posted by another resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Willie Brown has a talent for stating the obvious.

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