Earlier this week Ventura City Councilman Neal Andrews penned an opinion piece about the scandal in Bell and the problem with public employee over-compensation.
A 33-year public employee responded in an editorial of his own, writing that Andrews "tarnished" public employees.
He insults all hard-working municipal employees when he suggests that the corruption of top officials in the city of Bell is even remotely associated with the struggles of public sector union members to maintain livable wages and modest pensions.
OK, "livable wages" is a total BS phrase, as if the author is going to starve to death if he gets a 7 percent pay cut. He may have to give up some comforts, but his wage not being livable? Come on. But it gets worse from here.
But, the salaries and benefits of Ventura employees are already below the labor market, and Andrews knows this.
Wait a minute...the labor market (in this sense) is pretty much defined as what other cities are paying for the same work, correct? But the author JUST SAID that overcompensation in cities like Bell is not relevant. It almost sounds like the author wants to take into consideration what other cities are paying employees when it benefits him, and conveniently ignoring that when it doesn't!
What is often overlooked in all the political posturing is that the recent increases in pension costs are not the result of benefit increases. They are the fallout of the market crash of 2008-09 from which the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and other public pension funds are still recovering.Andrews should be advocating stricter regulations of Wall Street financial institutions that damaged our economy rather than scape-goating public employees, who, like the vast majority of American workers, are struggling to make ends meet.
Like the vast majority of American workers? The vast majority of American workers do not have cushy defined benefit retirement plans. For you private sector workers that don't know what that is, defined benefit means that the taxpayers chip into the pension fund to make up for any loss in market value of their retirement investments. Does that sound like YOUR 401K?
No, that's only for spoiled public employees, not "the vast majority of American workers."
The councilman is confused. On the one hand, he states that "elected officials have a duty to the taxpayer to assure that what we pay is consistent with the labor market." But, he then proceeds to rail against "the error of leaders who argue that public agencies must offer pay equal to other cities to stay competitive." Which is it?
It's not Councilman Andrews that is confused. He says that elected officials have a duty to the taxpayer to pay public employees a wage that is consistent with the PRIVATE sector, not what other cities pay.
Of course, the author is a chapter president of SEIU, so maybe he has to say these things. I doubt by bringing his gripes to the public he'll engender much sympathy from regular Joe private sector workers. He certainly won't from this one.