No Romance Without Finance

Did you ever have a romantic relationship with someone that tested you in one way or another?  Maybe you or someone you know dated or are dating a person where at first the relationship was great. You were carefree and really enjoying yourself—but suddenly realized that some of your actions have consequences? 

Perhaps you really enjoyed eating out at restaurants together, mostly at really nice places. And maybe your frequency of dining out increased from once a week to five nights a week.  You simply put it on your credit card and did not worry about it until you had to reconcile your monthly bill.  But even then maybe you justified pulling out money from savings to pay your credit card bill each month, since the other person likes you soooo much, which makes you feel really good. Maybe from time to time you get them a gift like a watch—and your significant other really likes a high-end brand.  You may stop and think about purchasing a lower-priced watch, but your sweetie says “if you really loved me, you would get me the really nice watch.“

When your savings dwindle you may have had the sobering realization that your were spending more then you were making.  At this point you might have a conversation with your lover about the new realities of what you could actually afford. Your ability to love may be unlimited, but your bank account is not.

It is no wonder most divorces are caused by conflicts over finances.

This analogy reminds me of what I have heard many times from union representatives: that if the council really respected/appreciated them, we would pay the them more, or continue paying them the current salary, benefits and pension. 

This is a fair question if you have extra money. However, if the City only has so much, and even that pot of money is low, then you have to make choices.

I have said and have heard the same from my council colleagues that we respect the work of those employees that do great work for the City. However, words are cheap in comparison to tangibles like compensation.  Just like the relationship I described above,  you may want to spend more. However, you may not have the money to continue dating at the same style. 

Like the City budget. If we don’t have the money we once did, we are forced to freeze or cut spending. For the individual this might be car repair, utilities and groceries. For a city that might mean cutting libraries, information technology, community centers or any other department that is important to you.  It also mean that each person in a romantic relationship or an employer relationship has free will and therefore has a choice to leave the relationship.

When it comes to money, it is important that we all learn how to adapt to changes in our lifestyle and work compensation.  I don’t say this lightly as nearly everyone is hurting in one way or another during this slow-growth and high-unemployment economy. I think my parents’ generation adapted best to difficult circumstances as their generation generally had a high savings rate and were green before it was cool, since they reused everything.

The Council made a hard decision last week, against a sea of union opposition, to put pension reform on the ballot for the voters to decide. These votes are tough as elected officials naturally would prefer to be liked—just like the person in the romantic relationship described above. 

I am hopeful that you—the voter—will support new pensions for new employees as we simply cannot afford the current pension system. I made the recommendation that the group working on pension reform recommendations to the Council should be the former Three Year General Fund Structural Deficit Elimination Plan Stakeholder Group that the Council approved in 2008. Some of the group members are:  Pat Dando (Chamber of Commerce), Bob Brownstein (South Bay Labor Council), George Beattie (police union), Randy Sekany (firefighters union), Yolanda Cruz (MEF Union) and others, including a representative from the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association. This group recommended to the Council in 2009 to raise taxes on card rooms which the Council then put on the ballot and the voters approved.

As we move into the future and we discuss new pensions for new employees, I take into consideration that some city positions, such as police or skilled chemists at the water pollution control plant, are tougher to recruit for than others. Therefore, for competitive positions, I think future compensation should be higher on salary to attract qualified candidates.

This 80’s song by Gwen Guthrie reminds me of the relationship part of the blog.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XecTPWJu0wk

40 Comments

  1. We’re laying off firefighters, but keeping the Office of Cultural Affairs.  It’s nice, but not as necessary as firefighters enough to cover the city properly.

    I learned over the weekend that we employ someone whose title is “Trail Manager”, and that we have city trail officials (plural).  Another bit of fluff we could do without in these hard times

      • Trails are right up there with libraries as among the very few municipal services I would truly miss.  In almost 38 years of living in or very near San Jose (meaning I’ve also spent some time in Campbell and Los Gatos), the Fire Department has only been of potential use to me one time, and they really didn’t do anything, except put out the fire after it was too late to do me any good.  And I could walk to the freakin’ fire station from here (I’m not saying it was entirely their fault; a few things went wrong that evening, but the fire department’s less than stellar response MAY have been the deciding factor in my car recently being reduced, in substantial part, to a smoldering pile of rubble, and otherwise totaled).  But I’ll be damned if trails I’ve already paid to have built are going to be closed because they laid off the doubtless quite small trail staff.  You know they’d still pay cops to harass you for trespassing on formally closed trails, so they might as well pay the trail staff to keep those same trails open.

        • Why don’t you and your hiking friends “adopt” one of your favorite trails, and keep it clean and free of overgrowth, etc.?

          Everyone has their favorite little service that government provides “free of charge”, but all of us share the bill to keep their favorite little perk going.  That’s one of many reasons why so many one-trick ponies get elected in SJ and SC County; and indeed, in many environs.  It’s just another example of the sense of entitlement that government has brought us to.

          There isn’t enough “free money”; i.e taxes, to keep all of these niceties going.

          Another example—the state wants to add to the annual vehicle tax to keep state parks going.  Let those who use the parks pay for them with whatever increased fees are required.  To tax 100% of the people to subsidize the 2% or 5% or whatever who use the parks just cannot continue.

        • JMO,
          Agreed!

          Stop complaining people and volunteer your time to
          keep what you want open, clean, and safe. I clean up parks around my house and keep an eye out in my neighborhood, why can’t you? We’re in this together! Look at what an awesome job volunteers did in the Rose Garden..

        • Jaymock & Kathleen,
          Have you two really thought this through? You want me and Kevin to “stop complaining” about parks and trails and instead get out there and build and maintain them ourselves?
          You want libraries to be paid for by only the people who actually use them too? I believe we have those already. They’re called “book stores”. How ‘bout busses? You want the 5% of people who actually use VTA to “stop complaining” and foot the entire cost? Okay, that’s fine with me but do you really think anyone’s going to pay $100 to ride the bus?
          Kathleen, would you like to see your line of thinking spill over into school lunch program? Poor people whose childrens’ only hot meal is at school should stop complaining and actually prepare a hot meal for their own child instead of expecting taxpayers to cover the cost? Sounds like something a hardass conservative like Larry Pegram might suggest. But you, Kathleen? I thought you were more compassionate than that.

        • John Galt,
          Congratulations, you have masterfully twisted the concept of volunteering and pulling together during hard times into something I can’t even define. We were only talking about getting off your rear end and volunteering your time to clean up, and maintain your trails and parks.

          My God John, where do you come up with this over the top exaggeration of the comments JMO and I made? Geech.

    • Dear John,

      Sorry but I don’t think our relationship will last. I only date interesting, smart creative types. I like going to festivals, concerts, theaters, museums, and love walks on trails. They make life more intersting and make me proud of my community. They are not expensive. Its part of who I am.

      I’m not really into sweeping generalizations. Good luck finding a compatible partner.

      Bye bye.

  2. Councilmember Oliverio:

    In our republic’s ongoing (deep) depression, the concept of “marrying money” has proven valuable in maintaining and increasing personal wealth at the expense of morals and the institution of marriage.  Do a web search on that term to understand what I’m talking about.

    Where does one find a full list of who’s on the Council’s stakeholder group?  I know one member (Brownstein) who is also a member of the Valley Transportation Authority’s “ad-hoc” Financial Stability Committee.  From what I saw from your post on who sits the city’s Financial Stability Committee, four of the listed members represent labor unions.  For San Jose’s sake, I hope this committee isn’t stacked with representatives from unions and big business.

    I echo JMO’s prior comments.  It’s useless to remind people of the arts when art museums burn to the ground because there are too few firefighters around to fight fires.  Another example of the spending priorities crisis I see in government at all levels.

  3. If MEF and the Police and Firefighters Unions had agreed to a l0% reduction in salary and benefits that some of the other city employee bargaining units agreed to, they would have demonstrated to city residents that the welfare of the city, as well as their members, was important to them. Unfortunately, they chose not to agree to the reductions, and therefore, we now have the two ballot measures for voter consideration in November. Que lastima!

    • The police officers did take a 10.25% reduction in pay. They took a 5% reduction LAST year which was hardly publicized, and another 5.25% just a few weeks ago. You can confirm this by calling either the city or the SJPOA.

      • Tom, it is even more than that. You are not adding up all the take aways and increased medical.

        Ms. Ortega the police DID demonstrate to the city residents and to the the council that the welfare of the city was important to them.  Yet Oliverio pushed through these ballot measure anyways.  After seeing what he did to the janitors it is clear to me what his agenda is.

        Do we want a ball park or a city that is run like a city?

        VOTE BUT VOTE SMART!

  4. San Jose revenue is not going to increase in the next 5 to 10 years.

    We need to seek concessions from unions on pay and benefits.

    If the unions are not able to cooperate, then we need to help their members secure employment in other cities.

    Denver, Dallas, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Milwaukee or Orlando might be a better fit for their employment goals.

  5. Employee moral is important.  While many have enjoyed extremely generous compensation (and benefits) it has come to be taken for granted.  Roll-backs, even when justified by honest labor market comparisons, will cause hurt feelings (and may hurt productivity.)

    If possible, I would suggest non-wage compensation options to reward great performance.  Training opportunities, a new mentorship program for promoting upwards, chances to work outside your department on task forces or committees, these are all possible without dealing with salaries.  Now would be a good time to consider some of the carrots to encourage the best employees to stay focused on continuous improvement and quality public/customer service.

  6. San Jose’s Broke And Out Of Money lyrics

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUMGG0LHvUU

    Broke And Out Of Money lyrics

    We left home just last week,
    We went to conquer City Hall world,
    But things don’t always go easy,
    And things don’t always go well.

    First up it was budget deficits,
    Then it was a hip hopping union pensions,
    Tomorrow we’re into political Hellsville,
    Oh yeah it’s nice to be back.
    Yeah, yeah, yeah!

    San Jose’s broke and out of money,
    Sleazing it and grubby,
    Digging for tax revenues,
    Do you think we’ll find enough taxes?
    Cause no one ever gets enough taxes,
    And if they do they’re full of shit,
    They’re sleazy and they’re politicians,
    San Jose’s broke and out of money

    Monday blends into Tuesday’s Council,
    And where were we last week ?
    Now we’re hanging with lobbyists,
    Put that in your stereotype.
    Yeah, yeah, yeah!

    (Chorus)

    I feel like I am doing the right thing,
    But why does it have to come down to money?
    I feel like I need a drink or a toke,
    And that’s why it always comes down to money?

    (Chorus X2)

  7. Mr Councilman:

    You seem to spend quite a bit of time crafting these articles for SJI. Is this more proof of how a PART-TIME COUNCIL POSITION might suite you and others? Maybe we should rush that onto the November ballot?

    • Officer X,

      You don’t like the fact that for once, one of the PEOPLE’S representatives is actually doing his job? You’re exhibiting the sort of snottiness and arrogance that has helped to galvanize public resistance to your union’s demands. Keep it up. Please.

      • John:

        The PART-TIME COUNCIL ISSUE is a legitimate issue that has support. You may not like it, and may support P.L. That’s fine too. I disagree that he is doing his job. He and his council votes are hoisting the issue on the populace. Don’t take it personally that we disagree. It is not snottiness or arrogance.

        • It seemed like you were indicating that you felt that since writes these articles for SJI then he must have too much time on his hands.
          There’s a myth floating around that all this public outcry about public employee pensions was initiated by Mayor Reed, Pierluigi Oliverio, Pete Constant. That’s simply not true. It’s really the other way around. These representatives are finally responding to the concerns of their constituents- concerns that have long been there and were stated publicly even back in the dotcom boom contrary to the myth that the union supporters are trying to perpetuate. Now finally, after many years of kicking this impending problem down the road, it can’t be kicked any further and Pierluigi can see that.
          You know, just yesterday Congress passed a bill that gives $26,000,000,000 to public employees. This money will come out of the same pot that contains the Social Security pensions that private sector workers are required by law to pay into. So public employees like police, firefighters, and teachers, are raiding the pension fund of private sector workers. This isn’t some lie concocted by Mayor Reed and Pierluigi Oliverio. It’s real and it’s just one of many reasons that millions of us are angry and resentful of public employees unions and their members.

        • Go ahead, be resentful. I’m not. Plenty in the private sector live in gorgeous homes on shady tree-lined streets financed by the salaries, stock options, bonuses, etc that were/are enjoyed in high tech careers in the valley. Some won big, some not so, all lost some. During the same era public safety wages moved up incrementally nowhere near the torrid paces in the private sector. I do not resent them. Life is not fair. Maybe I should have been an engineer or pursued an MBA. No thanks. I choose this career and knew what to expect. No riches in law enforcement. I live in a humble home, do not drive a Benz or BMW, and love my career as a police officer. That’s life. As well there are “millions” who understand public safety and their pensions did not create this financial crisis we are in. Continue to villainize us because I also understand that nothing “we” say can makes a difference.

          That said,…at this point we shall let voters decide the issue in November and them a court to determine if it is constitutional. That pretty much settles it.

        • “During the same era public safety wages moved up incrementally nowhere near the torrid paces in the private sector.”

          Boy, have you got that bass ackwards.  Public safety wages and benefits in SJ have almost doubled in the last ten years.  Not so with private industry; except for the overpaid CEOs

        • And the thing about those overpaid CEOs is that we get to CHOOSE whether or not we wish to invest our hard earned dollars in their companies. Not so with the City of San Jose or with Santa Clara County. They get to take our money (which represents a certain amount of our precious time here on Earth) whether we think they’re misspending it or not.
          That’s why I resent Officer X and his colleagues. They’ve broken the trust of their benefactors by taking advantage of their unique position. He can claim he’s being scapegoated all he wants and righteously point his finger at the reckless and corrupt spenders in City Hall, but the thing is, he’s pointing his finger at the exact same people who gave him and his fellow union employees the lavish benefits THEY now enjoy.

        • Well John and John,…since you seem to have ALL of my paystubs from 2000-2010 I guess the debate is over! BTW, what is COLA ? Guess what? SJPD has not even received that so please share with us your math, exact numbers are welcome since you’re making the claims. OK,…well enough debate for me, your minds are made up. Tell ya what, since you resent us (PD and FD) so much, don’t call us. Solve your problem/crisis and then you can really crow about how self-sufficient you are.

          And the change you wish, not sure it will ever come, not unless you want to come do my job at half the salary (assuming you meet standards) or wish to replace us with security guards. Good luck replacing us all!

  8. Fellow Councilman:

    As the wife of a police officer who has served more than 15 years on the SJPD I am compelled to speak for the wives of fellow officers.  By taking binding arbitration away it not only strips our officers of their voice but of their honor.  My husband went into the job knowing that some of his voice and choices would be taken away.  Does he have a voice or choice knowing that he would come home to his family safe and unharmed? No. He makes sacrifices above and beyond the normal 9 to 5 job that is offered out there.  He will miss birthdays, soccer games, anniversaries, and family trips.  Why? Because he HONORS what he does and knows that while he does it, his family will be taken care of.
    So if you are comparing my husband and his fellow officers to “a new romance”. I would strongly disagree.  My husband went into the police force with all intentions of not only protecting his community, but he honors his country for whom he loves. So in shopping for “watches” I would rather but a Tag watch than a Fossil.  They last longer and they are more reliable. Yes,  a good salary is good to start with, but like new romances, the large salary will wear off if there is nothing to back it up.

    • Dear wife of a police officer:
      Please take the time to research what the council actually did. They DID NOT take binding arbitration away! They DID NOT vote to let the voters decide whether or not to take binding arbitration away!

      What they did do id vote to place an item on the ballot in November that would place 3-4 very modest guidelines on the arbitrators authority – like making sure the arbitrator only awards benefits that are within the city’s ability to pay. These are very moderate reforms.

      Simply put, it’s either reform arbitration now, or repeal it later when the city’s bankrupt.

      In fact, I believe your husbands safety is at stake here. With the rapidly rising costs of employees, the city has been unable to hire an adequate number of police officers. Even though the PD’s budget has increased, the number of officers has decreased.

      I would much rather that your husband have additional officers to provide back-up than give him a raise.

      I would suggest going back and looking at his starting pay and retirement and compare it to now. His retirement increased from a maximum of 75% at 55 years old to a maximum of 90% at 50 years of age. I don’t see that as not honoring him. His pay rose from approximately $62K to $116K. I don’t see that as not honoring him either.

      If the city has to shut down many other services to pay him, crime will rapidly increase and his job will become much more dangerous… that is definately no way to honor him.

      I really think you should do some of your own research and think about this more. Don’t just listen to the union line.

      • Please research your facts as well, and don’t just take the Murky News’ word for it.  Officers do not automatically receive 90% at 50.  In order to be eligible for the 90%, you have to put in at least 30 years of service.  Officers put in about 20% of their base pay into retirement.  Santa Clara PD on the other hand has CalPers, where they pay 11.25% of their base pay into retirement.

        • Either way we tried the pension thing and it did not work so time to try something else that does not limit the city from increasing police positions.

  9. As the wife of a police officer who has served more than 15 years on the SJPD I am compelled to speak for the wives of fellow officers.  By taking binding arbitration away it not only strips our officers of their voice but of their honor.  My husband went into the job knowing that some of his voice and choices would be taken away.  Does he have a voice or choice knowing that he would come home to his family safe and unharmed? No. He makes sacrifices above and beyond the normal 9 to 5 job that is offered out there.  He will miss birthdays, soccer games, anniversaries, and family trips.  Why? Because he HONORS what he does and knows that while he does it, his family will be taken care of.
    So if you are comparing my husband and his fellow officers to “a new romance”. I would strongly disagree.  My husband went into the police force with all intentions of not only protecting his community, but he honors his country for whom he loves. So in shopping for “watches” I would rather but a Tag watch than a Fossil.  They last longer and they are more reliable. Yes,  a good salary is good to start with, but like new romances, the large salary will wear off if there is nothing to back it up.

  10. Mr. Oliverio,
    While you, your fellow council members, the mayor, the city manager, and even some bean counters within the police department, continue to gut the police department and destroy its ability to protect the citizens from violent crime, I thought it would be appropriate it for all of you to remind yourselves of the jobs these officers do on a daily basis. You have all done a masterful job of dehumanizing the officers and reducing them to dollars and cents and forgetting what they deal with to try and keep us safe. I hope you take time to watch this 3 minute video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otKI3_Rp5Lc

  11. Pier,

    Your romance analogy is interesting. Do you also suggest outsourcing as a good alternative to a romantic relationship?

  12. Steve,
    Thank you so much for posting this video. Even though many won’t see it with the same compassion, and clarity as we do, I still think it is important to TRY and educate them.

    Having said that, I’d like to invite everyone to the Candle Lit Vigil for Victims of Violent Crime I am putting on Wednesday, August 25th.

    Info below:

    MC: Kathleen Flynn

    Key Note Speakers:
    DA Carr
    Jose Salcido, on behalf of Mayor Reed
    Bobby Lopez
    Forrest Williams
    Casandra Hosseini
    Sandy Fontana- Fallen Officer Jeffery Fontana’s Mother
    Esther Peralize-Dickman- Director, SCC Office of Women’s Policy

    Blessing to be given by Reverend Bonita Carter-Cox

    Co-sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley

    Date and Time:    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 7:00pm – 9:00pm

    Location: San Jose City Hall – 200 East Santa Clara Street San Jose, Ca. 95113

    Who: Sponsored By Kathleen Flynn, Casandra Hosseini, and Bobby Lopez

    This event is being held in loving memory of Vahid Hosseini and Officer Jeffery Fontana.

    The purpose of this event is to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives due to a violent crime, to honor our fallen Police Officers, and Fire Fighters, and to support their loved ones. After speakers are finished we encourage you to share your personal stories. A sign up list will be provided.  We will gather outside in the quad in front of the rotunda. To ensure safety, please do NOT bring candles. You may bring glow sticks.

    Please feel free to bring photos of your lost loved one to share with us. 

    We hope to see you there. Thank you.

  13. Councilmember Oliverio,

    Interesting use of a relationship as a simile for the imperiled City budget situation.  What you don’t mention is that in many troubled relationships, there is a partner who abuses or misuses the other.  This type of behavior in a relationship engenders distrust on the part of the one being abused or misued.  As an example, abuse is like saying to a partner you really love and appreciate them, but your behavior indicates something far different.  Haven’t you been hearing employees communicating that they don’t feel appreciated or valued?

    The decisions and positions taken by Council are one among a range of options.  Council has just chosen not to work effectively and cooperatively with employee bargaining groups towards solving the problem(s) rather it has made strategic budget choices to galvanize a negative public response to pressure unions for concessions.  Isn’t working effectively and cooperatively with a partner the recipe to averting separation and/or divorce in a relationship? 

    The ballot measures on binding arbitration and pension reform were moved forward prematurely and rushed through the process, even though you may think otherwise.  This couldn’t have been more evident than by the fact that the language wasn’t available when the items were requested to be agendized for the 8/3/10 Council meeting at Rules Committee (on 7/28).  Further, the City Attorney and his staff scurried around at the 8/3/10 Council meeting (after public comment had closed) to craft last-minute revisions to the pension reform ballot measure language because of its potential to “mislead” the electorate as originally written. 

    I’m not saying there isn’t a problem(s) to solve, but I think the way in which Council is approaching solving the problem(s) is alienating employees who should be partners in reform.  Council is taking a hammer rather than carrot approach, and it is clear which of the two approaches is easier on the teeth.

    • “The ballot measures on binding arbitration and pension reform were moved forward prematurely and rushed through the process, even though you may think otherwise.”

      Actually, the reverse is true.  Taking this course of action was delayed far too long, and now we are at the precipice.  it should have happened at least five years ago.

  14. Dear Councilmember,

    I am on of those so-called overpaid greedy public employees who work 50+ hours per week without the possibility of overtime and my workload has nearly doubled over the last year through layoffs and reorganizations where the good employees always seem to pick up the slack for the few not so great employees. I pay over 17% of my salary into our bloated pension system which will cap my benefits at no more than 70% of my salary after decades of public service and working in a fishbowl. I do not pay into social security and so our pension system is our retirement system. I receive no merit increases, bonuses, stock options, automatic step increases or any of the other perks like a matching 401K, stock options, on site gym, cafeteria, or extra time off, unlike so many of my private sector counterparts.

    Let’s be real, it is the police and firefighters who receive uniform allowances, hazard pay, constant overtime, and a host of other benefits that cost the city dearly. Why is it that when the Mercury publishes the lists of the highest paid employees, it is always police officers and firefighters who dominate the top 300 or so positions? A lot of them make more than the City manager or directors. Did I forget to mention that our police and firefighters also retire at 90% of their highest year earnings. They also have no caps on their sick leave payouts or anything else. If the Council wants to get serious about cutting the budget deficit, it needs to look at the cost of our public safety officials, many sworn officers who conduct public outreach in schools, fire safety programs, and full time recruiters. Why are we paying sworn uniformed officers to do what a lesser paid analyst can do?

    I’m tired of the attacks on public employees. Study after study reveals that, at least for mid level and higher management positions, salaries are not exactly competitive. Salaries are higher than the private sector only for lesser skilled office and clerical staff.

    I am sure I will be worth more in the private sector, so as much as I enjoy making a difference, feeling good about what I do, etc., etc., I can no longer afford to work at the City of San Jose. Our City will recruit the types of employees that Pierluigi, Pete, and the Mayor have all bargained for. Good Luck.

    • “I am on of those so-called overpaid greedy public employees who work 50+ hours per week without the possibility of overtime and my workload has nearly doubled over the last year”

      Since your workload has doubled and you now work 50+ hours/week, does that mean that you formerly worked 25+ hours/week? 

      “where the good employees always seem to pick up the slack for the few not so great employees.”

      The solution to that is to terminate the slackers; but with union contracts, that is virtually impossible to do.

      “I pay over 17% of my salary into our bloated pension system which will cap my benefits at no more than 70% of my salary.”

      No-one on social security gets 70% of their salary.  Wake up to the real world, “Truthteller”.

  15. Not so –  Truthteller –

    You and other government employees are getting a great deal that is way better than 98% private employees ( get realistic not everyone works for Google or Apple ) and are another “ungrateful and out of touch with private job market”  government employee

    1) “so-called overpaid greedy public employees who work 50+ hours per week without the possibility of overtime and my workload has nearly doubled over the last year through layoffs and reorganizations where the good employees always seem to pick up the slack for the few not so great employees.

    a) Does that mean you previously only worked 25 hours per week since “my workload has nearly doubled over the last year”  now you work 50+ hours per week ? 

    Private company employees typically work 55-60 + hours work weeks and do not get overtime

    2) ” I pay over 17% of my salary into our bloated pension system which will cap my benefits at no more than 70% of my salary after decades of public service ”

    Government pensions at 70 and 90 %  are best deal in country for 10 % more that private employees pay for Social security contribution   70% payout is higher than almost all private defined benefit pension which almost all private employers have eliminated for 401 k 2-3% employer contributions and employee has risk for investment losses without automatic cost of living 3% increases

    3)“I receive no merit increases, bonuses, stock options, automatic step increases or any of the other perks like a matching 401K, stock options, on site gym, cafeteria, or extra time off, unlike so many of my private sector counterparts.

    Few private employees do any more – stop using unrealistic dot com examples since very small % of private workers ever collected promised millions in stock options or other benefits which government employees are guaranteed pensions and other benefits worth millions once granted that can not be taken away even if government must cut critical services and layoff current employees to pay excessive past pension promises

    4) ” I am sure I will be worth more in the private sector, so as much as I enjoy making a difference, feeling good about what I do, etc., etc., I can no longer afford to work at the City of San Jose. “

    Go look at private sector jobs that will hire you not those that you think you are qualified to do  

    Telling us you are ” worth more in the private sector,” is a government employee fantasy   ”  since you are not qualified for most comparable private sector jobs  

    We know you can not do better in private job, unless you are former government employee now Consultants selling to government or Lobbyists   Those jobs are not comparable private company jobs since they use their government contacts not their jobs skills

    If this is wrong, then give us names of 3-5 former government employees and what company they joined and job title of better private company jobs in last 2-3 years

    Yes most government employees ae hard working and do good work but public is upset about your being ver paid for your work

    Just admit it that your government job is overpaid for skills and requires fewer hours with great early retirement benefits and pensions unavailable to private employees because that is the truth based on Grand Jury and and other comparison reports, not what you so called “Truthteller” are saying