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State employees want a pay raise

This topic contains 64 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  mpandgp 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #173458

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    http://m.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/06/05/state-employees-rally-better-contract.html?ana=RSS_wid&r=full

    State employees dressed in purple converged on the Capitol on Wednesday to rally support for a better contract.

    Service Employees International Union Local 1000, the state’s largest public employee union, started collective bargaining with the state of California in April on behalf of 95,000 workers.

    The state negotiating team wants a “cost neutral” contract, the union says, while state employees are seeking a raise and workplace improvements after years of furloughs and cutbacks.

    State officials aren’t talking; it’s against policy to comment during on contract negotiations, said Pat McConahay, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Human Resources.

    Local 1000 wants:

    An across-the-board pay increase for all SEIU-represented state workers
    No new furloughs or personal leave programs for the term of the new contract
    New rules against workplace bullying and abuse by managers

    “We entered these negotiations focused on a multi-year agreement to provide our members with a more secure financial and employment future,” SEIU Local 100 President Yvonne Walker said in a news release. “The fight is on,” Walker said in a statement after the state’s bargaining team rejected union money proposals Tuesday. “Our members do not lead ‘cost neutral’ lives.”

    The current contract was approved in October 2010 and is set to expire July 1.

  • #252271

    joy
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    This disgusts me for several reasons.

  • #252229

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    Care to elaborate?

  • #252272

    joy
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    Not really. Let’s just say that I now have a somewhat new perspective on the whole union thing.

    I especially liked “New rules against workplace bullying and abuse by managers.

  • #252230

    EGL Admin
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    That is a good one. In other words, they don’t want to be told what to do and how to do it.

  • #252248

    bevone
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    The article doesn’t indicate whether the raise they are demanding will bring them back to what they were making before all the cuts and furloughs or if it’s in addition to what they want restored. During those long Furlough Friday months I was fortunate to work for an agency that is not under the governor. The BOE is a large revenue agency and told the Governator thanks but no thanks. However our agency did give us the option of voluntary furlough days.

    Several people I know struggled financially when the Furlough Fridays were in effect. That amounted to a 15% pay cut which is a significant amount. For me the increasing amounts that were being taken from my paycheck for more union dues, higher retirement contributions, higher insurance, etc. was enough for me to call it quits once I ran the numbers and found my take home pay would be the same whether I worked or retired. It was a great 33 year run but am glad to have time to take life slower.

  • #252290

    SteveB6509
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    I think that “demand” was thrown in as a demand that could be negotiated away – standard negotiating 101.

  • #252249

    bevone
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    @joy 79763 wrote:

    Not really. Let’s just say that I now have a somewhat new perspective on the whole union thing.

    I especially liked “New rules against workplace bullying and abuse by managers.

    The same could have been said for sexual harassment 25 years ago. This was going on between managers and employees alike. Now? For the past 10 years all State employees have been required to take a sexual harassment class every two years. As time goes on I think ‘Bullying” will likely be added to the mix as it should be. Yes bullying in the workplace does exist. Not only between managers and employees but across the lines as well. Fortunately I was never subjected to any of the above but I knew of others who were. Most managers I have known are good people but there are a few of those who go off on power trips once they are in a supervisory position.

  • #252273

    joy
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    No, not the same as sexual harassment. There is a huge problem when expecting someone to do the basics of their job, things like showing up and leaving on time, meeting the minimal job duties, etc, somehow becomes “workplace bullying and abuse by managers.” The whole system as it is today breeds idiocy. Does that mean everyone is an idiot? No. Is it a majority? Maybe. Is it a sad state of affairs? Yep.

  • #252275

    newmom
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    Not to mention that fact that people NOT working for the state also had significant pay cuts, benefit cuts, etc during the last 4 years and they aren’t getting their salaries and benefits back yet either. As usually, totally out of touch with reality.

  • #252250

    bevone
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    OK not the same per se’ but it’s a very thin line between the two. No I don’t consider it bullying when a manager requests an employee to do a task related to their job. But it *is* bullying when an employee is continually berated, put down, etc. That is not acceptable behavior and is very unprofessional. Also unacceptable is when workplace peers bully each others as well.

    Newmom, in the past people in the private sector might have had that happen as well when labor unions were stronger. Unfortunately unions have pretty much priced themselves out of business but if you go back almost a century ago unions were formed for the purpose of protecting the workers. And for many years they did a good job. But those at the top demanded more and more. The beginning of the end was when President Reagan fired those air traffic controllers for going on strike. I don’t remember what all the issues were but I know this: When I am up in a plane I want to be assured that those controllers are not overworked, burnt out and sleep deprived.

  • #252276

    newmom
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    Unions haven’t been a positive influence in the employment market for 60 years or so. No purpose for them now and they are not a positive influence.

  • #252251

    bevone
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    Unfortunately that is true yet they are needed more than ever now if there is any hope of saving the middle class. Sad to say people (including the unions) have brought this all on themselves 🙁

  • #252236

    adiffer
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    Save the middle class from what?

  • #252252

    bevone
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    @adiffer 79786 wrote:

    Save the middle class from what?

    Extinction!

  • #252280

    tomwaltman
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    By taxing them to death? Unless you think the only middle class member is a union state worker… The rest of us are losing our jobs as they move out of state because the tax system in CA is crushing them. Even the millionaire sports guys are chosing anything over CA.

  • #252266

    doclaguna
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    Joy and Newmom —-> voting booth, vote D —-> D takes public union monies, D grants public union favors —-> Joy and Newmom feign disgust.

    The next election:

    Joy and Newmom —-> voting booth, vote D —-> D takes public union monies, D grants public union favors —-> Joy and Newmom feign disgust.

    Repeat, rinse, repeat.

  • #252282

    politicopedro
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    Unions (particularly public employee unions) aren’t “saving the middle class” – they are creating a “government worker class” who are protected from economic realities at the expense of taxpayers and “the middle class.”

  • #252231

    EGL Admin
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    @doclaguna 79812 wrote:

    Joy and Newmom —-> voting booth, vote D —-> D takes public union monies, D grants public union favors —-> Joy and Newmom feign disgust.

    The next election:

    Joy and Newmom —-> voting booth, vote D —-> D takes public union monies, D grants public union favors —-> Joy and Newmom feign disgust.

    Repeat, rinse, repeat.

    But hey at least gay marriage is legal in all 50 states now. 🙂

  • #252267

    doclaguna
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    @politicopedro 79813 wrote:

    Unions (particularly public employee unions) aren’t “saving the middle class” – they are creating a “government worker class” who are protected from economic realities at the expense of taxpayers and “the middle class.”

    Exactly. This is how every government falls, when the bureaucrat class takes over and sucks the working class dry.

  • #252281

    violarose
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    I dont want to be negative about my husbands company, but this is his first time dealing with unions, and it’s not even funny the nightmare the Union cost. The Union supports lazy workers.

  • #252237

    adiffer
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    @bevone 79790 wrote:

    Extinction!

    From where I sit they appear to be contributing to the extinction.

    There is a type of collusion that occurs between labor and management that doesn’t involve back-office deals. When both can figure out the other’s strategies, both can play for the optimal outcomes that the other will tolerate instead of the maximum outcomes they could get at each others expense. With experienced people managing the negotiations, this isn’t all that difficult.

    The problem with having a public employee union do this with respect to their employer (The State) is that there is an negative externality here. The optimal solution that appeases both is paid for by people inside and outside their deal, but the people outside have no negotiation power. We can change our elected officials when we get annoyed at them, but the political risk they face in these negotiations prompts each to play for the optimal strategy. The only protections we have against the leech sucking away our blood is to elect zealots or to disallow the State from negotating with the public employee unions in this manner. I suspect the smartest thing to do would be to put their proposed contracts up for two votes with one involving their union members the the other involving us.

    The problem with this negative externality is that it encourages us all to work for the government to avoid it. If it continues to the logical conclusion you get a Chinese style bureaucracy instead of a liberal democracy with free markets. The middle class still exists, but they are all dependent upon authority instead of in charge of authority.

  • #252283

    politicopedro
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    “State employees protested at the Capitol yesterday – their demands – a $2,500 bonus this year for all 95,000 state employees Local 1000 covers. A 7% pay hike for 2014 and a 9% pay hike for 2015. WOW, looks like we better raise taxes again! We wouldn’t want to lose any of these fine folks who were chanting – No Justice, No Peace, as they marched around the Capitol.”

  • #252253

    bevone
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    @politicopedro 79838 wrote:

    “State employees protested at the Capitol yesterday – their demands – a $2,500 bonus this year for all 95,000 state employees Local 1000 covers. A 7% pay hike for 2014 and a 9% pay hike for 2015. WOW, looks like we better raise taxes again! We wouldn’t want to lose any of these fine folks who were chanting – No Justice, No Peace, as they marched around the Capitol.”

    Looks like I may have left the building too soon….

    However….these pay hike rates will not happen. In all the years I worked for the State the union would make these ridiculous demands, the State would counteroffer with take-aways and eventually a compromise would be reached. I don’t see that changing any time soon. I learned early on to take all of this with a grain of salt until the budget was actually passed and the contract voted on and signed. I also learned to start banking money once the dotted line was signed to be sure I was covered just in case the governor threatened to withhold our pay. After the budget passed I then embarked on my latest home repair/maintenance project. And then rinse, lather, repeat. Nowdays I do my home improvement projects whenever I feel like it or the need occurs.

  • #252232

    EGL Admin
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    I say we Ronald Reagan their asses and fire the whole works. I doubt we would notice a drop in service.

  • #252254

    bevone
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    @EGL Admin 79841 wrote:

    I say we Ronald Reagan their asses and fire the whole works. I doubt we would notice a drop in service.

    But no one is striking. These protests at the Capitol usually occur during our lunch break or after hours.

  • #252274

    joy
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    @doclaguna 79812 wrote:

    Joy and Newmom —-> voting booth, vote D —-> D takes public union monies, D grants public union favors —-> Joy and Newmom feign disgust.

    The next election:

    Joy and Newmom —-> voting booth, vote D —-> D takes public union monies, D grants public union favors —-> Joy and Newmom feign disgust.

    Repeat, rinse, repeat.

    Nothing feigned about my disgust. Not much D about my votes in the past few years either. Sorry to disappoint.

  • #252238

    adiffer
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    Inflation hasn’t run anywhere near the raises being requested.

  • #252255

    bevone
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    @adiffer 79852 wrote:

    Inflation hasn’t run anywhere near the raises being requested.

    Are you basing that on what the Feds *say* the inflation rate is or what the *real* inflation rate is (i.e. food, medical, education, etc.). The Feds have come up with their own paltry rate from lord knows where but ask any SS recipient if it is sufficient to cover all of their needs. Yes I know people should not rely 100% on SS benefits but for those who have seen their pensions and other assets eroded they have very little choice at this point in their lives.

  • #252239

    adiffer
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    The needs of the typical SS recipient aren’t a good measure for the typical state worker. Medical insurance costs have been in hyperinflation range for quite some time while much of our digital whiz-bangs have been deflating since forever.

    Sorry. If they go over 2% I’ll have to treat it as a gift/incentive to draw people into state work and if they go over 1% I’ll point back at prop 30 and ask WTF. This state is trending toward bankruptcy, so I think the wiser and moral signal to send state workers is that we can’t deliver on the security they believe is present in their current line of work. We might want to, but we can’t. The furloughs should be taken as an iceberg collision alarm and a reminder to contemplate your options.

  • #252256

    bevone
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    Bottom line is all workers, state and private, should try their best to live within or below their means and any forthcoming pay increases should go straight into their savings or retirement accounts. I did this while I was working because as I previously mentioned I could never be sure come July of each year if I was going to get a paycheck or not. Oh I knew if we didn’t get paid August 1st we would later but creditors and stomachs don’t quite see it that way.

  • #252284

    politicopedro
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    The state is raising taxes and cutting services – and still running at a deficit.

    There should be no pay raises for state employees whatsoever.

  • #252240

    adiffer
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    bevone,

    Heh. Yah. I remember what summers are like. When I taught the summer was one very long dry spell. I had to stash money as best I could during the year and then coast at poverty levels in the summer in case things went wrong in the fall. They eventually did, but it wasn’t until it happened the second time that I bailed on the whole mess. My interim solution was temp work that paid me once a week in order to deal with the fact that the state paid once a month.

    I’m glad I left. I still love teaching, but I don’t like the system. I hope my state worker friends won’t take it too personal when I keep voting against what they think is in their financial best interests. I’m convinced it isn’t, but it is hard to sell the pitch that says you have to look long term when there are short term bills to pay. 8)

  • #252241

    adiffer
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    @politicopedro 79901 wrote:

    The state is raising taxes and cutting services – and still running at a deficit.

    There should be no pay raises for state employees whatsoever.

    The counter position should probably be a 7% cut in 2014 and a 9% cut in 2015. 8)

  • #252257

    bevone
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    Truly I enjoyed the whole environment of state government work. I enjoyed the people I worked with. Like any occupation it sort of builds a cocoon around you because that is where you are and what you are doing most of your waking hours. However I saw first hand how the deep pockets run State, local and county government. Sure there is a lot of room for managerial improvement but the bottom line is when those with the deep pockets say “jump” the response is “how high?”

  • #252292

    mpandgp
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    When I was starting to work, my dad told me to find something that gave something to the community (he was militarty, then federal civil service). so I ended up with state.
    As an individual, I work hard. In private industry I’d be earning more, but I like what I do, and my coworkers (at least our unit) all work hard too.
    But I’m embarassed by our union, I refuse to wear a purple shirt, attend a rally, etc. I feel they give most of us who do work hard a bad name.
    I dealt with the furloughs, hoping it would help. But I got tired of that, as we (my agency) are 98% federally funded, so losing 15% of my pay did NOTHING for the state budget. I’ll get my first full paycheck come August, I can’t wait! But I fullye xpect furloughs to be implemented again…
    Between our elected officials and the union officials – they’ve made it that I dont’ want to say I work for the state. Once upon a time I would say The Great State of California. not anymore:(

  • #252291

    ErinO
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    Don’t you people know how negotiations work? You don’t ask for what you want. You ask for a much ridiculously higher number so you have room to negotiate down. A 9% or even 7% increase is ridiculously high.

  • #252258

    bevone
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    @erino 79959 wrote:

    Don’t you people know how negotiations work? You don’t ask for what you want. You ask for a much ridiculously higher number so you have room to negotiate down. A 9% or even 7% increase is ridiculously high.

    Exactly. They may wind up with 2-3% this year if they’re lucky.

  • #252285

    politicopedro
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    [video=youtube_share;avB_iFEURY4]http://youtu.be/avB_iFEURY4[/video]

  • #252286

    politicopedro
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    Even with roll backs, government workers have done pretty well.

    This article focuses mostly on the outrageous pay & bene’s for federal employees, but shows state employees are doing better than the private sector…

    A story regarding BLS study shows that average public sector employees make significantly more than their private sector counterparts….

  • #252277

    newmom
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    @bevone 79973 wrote:

    Exactly. They may wind up with 2-3% this year if they’re lucky.

    Bev, 2-3% is still better than most private employers offer. That is what many union employees fail to understand.

  • #252259

    bevone
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    @newmom 79987 wrote:

    Bev, 2-3% is still better than most private employers offer. That is what many union employees fail to understand.

    Many private employers could offer more than that if they weren’t paying rheir CEO’s millions each year in salaries and bonuses. I cannot think of a single person worth that kind of $$$.

  • #252233

    EGL Admin
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    @bevone 79973 wrote:

    Exactly. They may wind up with 2-3% this year if they’re lucky.

    Or they get nothing. We know that’s how this all works but by going public they lose more support. Even if their goal is 2%, asking for 7% is going to make people hope they get nothing.

  • #252293

    mpandgp
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    I’ve been headhunted – private makes more in my line of work (IT), including benefits. I’m staying out of these threads now. It’s galling to work hard for 25+ years and constantly hear how we are greedy & are the root of the problem. Think before you vote folks, it might make a difference!

  • #252268

    doclaguna
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    @mpandgp 80003 wrote:

    I’ve been headhunted – private makes more in my line of work (IT), including benefits. I’m staying out of these threads now. It’s galling to work hard for 25+ years and constantly hear how we are greedy & are the root of the problem. Think before you vote folks, it might make a difference!

    Public employees should be paid the bare minimum needed to keep the job filled. Period. Especially since the skill set needed for many of these jobs is a pulse.

  • #252278

    newmom
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    I would agree that IT people for government are underpaid compared to private companies. That is maybe the only area. Private companies can compete for IT people as skills get more valuable by raising salaries and benefits, often quickly. The state doesn’t operate like that.

  • #252287

    politicopedro
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    You can drill down the data to see specific jobs areas – and other than “high skill” jobs, government IT workers make more than their private sector counterparts (remember that they are measuring TOTAL compensation – so it includes pensions and retirement benefits).

    I certainly do not blame the workers (and I know that most of my colleagues feel the same way), but I do blame those elected to represent the public, yet do not, and union leaders who use political juice and money to game the system.

    I also think many public employee unions screw many of their own members in the process: for example: I think many teachers genuinely want to teach- I think they would support merit pay and making it easier to fire bad teachers.

  • #252242

    adiffer
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    @bevone 79999 wrote:

    Many private employers could offer more than that if they weren’t paying rheir CEO’s millions each year in salaries and bonuses. I cannot think of a single person worth that kind of $$$.

    I can think of a few people worth that kind of salary. I know some who should reasonably be able to demand a few million for what they can do.

    There is a huge difference, though, between what typical CEO’s get paid and what the most extravagant get paid. The CEO’s of the financial firms before the meltdown had a few among them that made gross salaries when combined with the benefits and parachute offers, but most CEO’s don’t make that kind of money until they are a major share holders too in which case it can be treated as extracting profits instead of salary.

  • #252234

    EGL Admin
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    Union members have bought into it thinking they need a union to survive. Then when something like this comes up they say “see we saved your job…” and the people smiled and said “this is good”.

  • #252260

    bevone
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    @adiffer 80013 wrote:

    I can think of a few people worth that kind of salary. I know some who should reasonably be able to demand a few million for what they can do.

    There is a huge difference, though, between what typical CEO’s get paid and what the most extravagant get paid. The CEO’s of the financial firms before the meltdown had a few among them that made gross salaries when combined with the benefits and parachute offers, but most CEO’s don’t make that kind of money until they are a major share holders too in which case it can be treated as extracting profits instead of salary.

    As long as their employees work full time and still don’t make enough to put food on the table and pay their rent the CEO’s are overpaid. I hear a lot on this forum about lazy people who don’t want to work. Well for heaven’s sakes put these people to work and pay them enough to meet their basic needs! (no I’m not talking tattoos, beer and cigarettes….just things like a simple roof over their head, 3 meals a day. transportation to get to work and back..)

  • #252279

    newmom
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    It’s not that simple though. Should a person who works full time sticking shelves at the grocery store-which requires no skill- make $40,000 a year? What about if that person is an 18 yer old kid just out of high school? Salaries are always based on education, skills, and experience. Unskilled jobs don’t pay ASCII as skilled jobs that require educations. The desire to provide a better life for oneself and their family should motivate people to learn new skills. Because some 45 year old person decided they never needed to take any classes outside of high school is not a reason to pay someone and artificially inflated wage package. If someone wants a nicer house, a car, to go out to eat, etc, they need to make te sacrifices necessary.

  • #252288

    politicopedro
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    @newmom 80022 wrote:

    It’s not that simple though. Should a person who works full time sticking shelves at the grocery store-which requires no skill- make $40,000 a year? What about if that person is an 18 yer old kid just out of high school? Salaries are always based on education, skills, and experience.

    … and the market.

  • #252261

    bevone
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    That’s right politicopedro. Having the skills, education, experience no longer guarantees anyone a decent job.

  • #252289

    politicopedro
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    Of course not – if someone is a skilled, educated and experienced whaler or a DOS programer, they have limited opportunities because there is little market for those skills.

    I don’t think it’s government’s role (or more accurately, taxpayers responsibility) to subsidize obsolete industries.

    Changing demand and need is certainly not justification for taxpayers to bear the burden of insulating public employees from the market or the economy.

  • #252269

    doclaguna
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    Bev, if I can get someone to work a job for the state at say, 35K a year, why in Hell should we pay them 40K? Just to redistribute tax payer’s money?

  • #252243

    adiffer
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    The progressive argument is that it is immoral to ask someone to work full time for an unreasonably low salary.

    The counter-argument is that a job that commands a low salary should be sliced and diced until the parts that can be automated are and the remaining parts added to other jobs that would command a better salary.

    The progressives can be appeased by NOT offering the job in the first place if there are other options for people.

  • #252262

    bevone
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    @doclaguna 80028 wrote:

    Bev, if I can get someone to work a job for the state at say, 35K a year, why in Hell should we pay them 40K? Just to redistribute tax payer’s money?

    You shouldn’t. Actually when you figure in the benefits that come along with it$35K a year is pretty damned good. But as far as jobs in general go I would much rather pay someone a living wage to work a low level job than pay that person (via taxpayer money) to not work at all. if a freeloader can get a minimum wage via welfare doing nothing then where is the incentive to work?

  • #252244

    adiffer
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    I’d rather slice parts out of the low-end job description, give them to others, and then automate what’s left and shrink the government.

    Government work should not be a mechanism to empty the welfare roles. That creates dependency and their votes aren’t really the votes of free people.

  • #252270

    doclaguna
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    I’d rather let people who won’t work starve, and those who can’t work rely on private charity, and let people locally decide which category each individual truly falls into. The idea that we should pay some government drone more money because otherwise they will go on welfare is preposterous. End these racketeers, put more money back into people’s pockets. Then they can spend and create real industry.

  • #252263

    bevone
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    @adiffer 80046 wrote:

    I’d rather slice parts out of the job description and give them to others while automating what’s left and then shrink the government.<<

    That has been happening Al although slowly. The agency I spent my career at finally set up and started requiring tax returns to be filed electronically. That has cut out data entry type of jobs. Since most of those jobs were permanent intermittent (because returns are filed quarterly) those positions (and people) were eliminated. Just before I left our paper filing system was being converted to scanned documents on line. That basically shut down most of our taxpayer records department. The people from that department were sent to fill positions that were needed in other departments and others retired.

    And…my gig at Department of Finance last summer….Their system for the unit I was in became such a well-oiled automated machine *I* was eliminated LOL!

  • #252245

    adiffer
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    Heh. Yup. That’s what I do for a living. I’m currently plying my skills trying to do it to federal employees. They like me and don’t like me at the same time. 8)

    There is a veritable army of us doing this kind of work in public and private sectors. Next time you notice how slow the job growth is in this recovery, don’t blame the President or CEO’s or anyone else. My peers have been hard at work for years trying to eliminate ALL the drudgery.

  • #252264

    bevone
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    So once jobs are eliminated how are people supposed to work? I have felt for a long time there is a huge disconnect between what schools are offering and what is needed in the job market. I am concerned for my son….at this point he is getting some work experience (showing up to work, doing the work, public contact not stealing etc. etc,) and an education but I am not sure at this point what he can do with it.

  • #252265

    bevone
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    @doclaguna 80047 wrote:

    I’d rather let people who won’t work starve, and those who can’t work rely on private charity, and let people locally decide which category each individual truly falls into. The idea that we should pay some government drone more money because otherwise they will go on welfare is preposterous. End these racketeers, put more money back into people’s pockets. Then they can spend and create real industry.

    Yeah President Reagan had the same idea only the money *did not* end up going back into people’s pockets. The trickle-down flow got blocked somewhere way up the chain. If the trickle-down could actually be made to work then that would be a major improvement.

  • #252246

    adiffer
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    @bevone 80055 wrote:

    So once jobs are eliminated how are people supposed to work? I have felt for a long time there is a huge disconnect between what schools are offering and what is needed in the job market. I am concerned for my son….at this point he is getting some work experience (showing up to work, doing the work, public contact not stealing etc. etc,) and an education but I am not sure at this point what he can do with it.

    This is the usual argument used against what my peers do. I tend to answer it with a short story and a question.

    When the US was founded it was a mostly agricultural nation. Some states were more heavily agricultural than others. The number of people involved on the farms was about 70%. Today the number is in the neighborhood of 1% depending on who you count. Our population has grown by a factor of roughly 75X, so where are all these people working and why aren’t we starving?

    The work our farmers used to do simply doesn’t exist for humans to do anymore, yet we ARE managing to prosper. We have a world spanning empire the likes of which would have given Napolean wet dreams. 8)

    We will manage because each of us will consider our personal situations and go where the money draws us. That’s what prices do in a market and a wage is a price for labor.

  • #252235

    EGL Admin
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    State workers got their pay raise. Not as much as they wanted. Now this sets the stage for other unions to ask for more too. Glad we increased the taxes for “schools.” This illustrates again how the unions and democrats work hand in hand.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/11/5489535/seiu-pay-raise-deal-could-spawn.html

    California’s largest public employee union and Gov. Jerry Brown reached a new labor agreement early Tuesday, sending a strong signal that pay raises are possible to other unions bargaining contracts with the administration.

    The centerpiece of the deal gives the 95,000 employees covered by SEIU Local 1000 an across-the-board 4.5 percent raise – far less than what the union wanted – and defers the increase until at least mid-2014, depending on the state’s finances.

    The Service Employees International Union’s tentative deal could form the basis of deals for the nine other unions bargaining contracts with the administration.

    “This won’t escape their attention,” said Daniel J.B. Mitchell, a union historian at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

    Speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, Brown said the SEIU agreement is “a fair proposal” but declined to say more.

    “I don’t want to characterize it, because if I characterize it to please the critics, then I might say that it’s, you know, it’s good for the taxpayer,” Brown said. “And if I’m trying to get it ratified, I’ll say it’s a hell of a deal for the workers. So either way I will err, and therefore I will say nothing more.”

    SEIU wanted across-the-board raises, and the contract provides a 2 percent increase July 1, 2014, if the state “achieves certain revenue targets,” and a 2.5 percent raise a year later, according to a union email announcing the deal Tuesday morning.

    If the state misses the 2014 fiscal target, the entire 4.5 percent increase would be effective July 1, 2015.

    Still, the agreement is less lucrative than what Local 1000 negotiators wanted – a $2,500 bonus this year, a 7 percent salary increase next year and 9 percent boost in 2015.

    Brown can claim the deal avoids increasing the state’s payroll cost in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Because of the previous contract, most state employees will see their take-home pay increase this July 1 when furloughs end and a 3 percent raise kicks in for top-step workers that offsets higher pension contributions.

    It remains unclear exactly how the fiscal triggers in the new contract work.

    “Revenues have to be consistent with meeting the state’s obligations” for the 2014 raise to take effect, said Pat McConahay, spokeswoman for Brown’s Department of Human Resources. “And that’s determined by the Department of Finance.”

    State officials on Tuesday were reviewing the terms of the agreement and weren’t ready to comment more on specifics, McConahay said.

    The union’s announcement, meanwhile, didn’t explain what factors would trigger the earlier raise. The local didn’t respond to The Bee’s texts and messages requesting comment.

    By linking the 2014 pay raise to state revenue, the agreement reflects the same sort of trigger thinking that characterized the 2012-13 state budget. That deal would have automatically cut spending for a wide variety of programs last December if state voters had not approved Proposition 30’s tax increases.

    Bruce Blanning, the longtime executive director of the state engineers’ union, said he has seen state labor proposals contingent on certain economic factors in the past, but that they weren’t put into contracts.

    “They were too difficult to measure,” Blanning said.

    History indicates the early agreements reached between a state employee union and a governor set the contours for those that follow.

    In 2010, for example, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration and four unions, including those representing Highway Patrol officers and firefighters, agreed to contracts with furloughs.

    All but two of the other unions, including Local 1000, eventually accepted unpaid days off in their contracts, including some pacts negotiated with Brown.

    Last year, the governor and Local 1000 reached a one-year agreement that traded a monthly furlough day for tougher outsourcing reviews and other workplace considerations.

    By then, however, nearly every other union had already agreed to furloughs, leaving Local 1000 with little choice but to work out a similar deal. Lawmakers imposed furloughs on two unions that held out.

    At a Capitol rally last week that drew 8,000 purple-clad union activists, Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker said the union would “demand” pay raises, and in a statement that same day declared “the fight is on” over money.

    The local had helped elect majority Democrats to the Legislature and worked for Brown’s tax measure, she reminded the crowd, and declared the Capitol “is our house.”

    Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, said the local’s contract highlights the quid pro quo that exists between Democrats and the unions.

    “They seem to feel that they deserve a raise because they helped Jerry Brown with a heavy lift in November,” Jones said. “That’s not a reason for a raise.”

    The SEIU agreement left state worker Ernie Medina disappointed, especially in light of Walker’s tough talk.

    “She said she would fight for us,” said Medina, “but I don’t see where she even threw a punch.”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/11/5489535/seiu-pay-raise-deal-could-spawn.html#storylink=cpy

  • #252247

    adiffer
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    SEIU wanted across-the-board raises, and the contract provides a 2 percent increase July 1, 2014, if the state “achieves certain revenue targets,” and a 2.5 percent raise a year later, according to a union email announcing the deal Tuesday morning.

    If the state misses the 2014 fiscal target, the entire 4.5 percent increase would be effective July 1, 2015.

    Did they? I see a conditional on the part for FY14 and FY15 isn’t exactly the present.

    I’d rather there was a conditional on FY15 too, though.

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