Town Square

Post a New Topic

Union negotiations at impasse

Original post made on Mar 16, 2010

Menlo Park city officials continue to meet with representatives from the city's largest union in mediation sessions over stalled contract negotiations.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 8:49 AM

Comments (8)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ranch Gal
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm

SEIU are way way way overpaid with golden benefits and huge salaries found nowhere in the private sector. These cushy contracts were made when money flowed like honey from so- called rich taxpayers but now the well has dried up and the land of milk and honey has disappeared. SEIU employees are living in a dream world if they think things will be status quo from now on. The FAT CAT days are O V E R folks. Get a clue! We are broke as a nation, we are broke as a state, we are broke as a county and we are broke as a town. I am a small business owner, and I pay out of my own pocket, $616 a month for just myself for health care premiums. I net after expenses and taxes take home pay of less than $80K a year to live on. These SEIU folks get double what I earn with huge benefits for free. I, for one, am sick and tired of their whining about their golden pensions and benefits being too little. Menlo Park should get some cahones and fire these greedy union workers, bring in the hard working unemployed qualified private sector people who are dying for a good job. With 10.7% unemployment let's find grateful employees instead of whiners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sports mom
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I happen to be a city employee in the rank and file group (SEIU) and just to let you know Ranch Gal I could only wish I made twice as much as you take home annually. If I worked in the private sector doing what I am currently doing I would actually be making more than I do working for the public sector. I chose the public sector because I find it more rewarding. I think you might be lumping SEIU employees with middle and upper management. I don't think any of us are whining about our retirement plan or benefits, most of us decided to work for less pay to get a good retirement and benefits. Just in case you haven't figure out yet most if not all people employed right now are grateful to have a job since the unemployment rate is so high.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The next step is simple - the city should declare that an impasse has been reached and then implement its last best offer.

If sports mom thinks that she can earn more, salary and benefits, in the private sector then she should take that option. I am confident that she cannot and will not.

Years ago public sector salaries were perceived as being behind the private sector so the make-up was with enhanced retirement benefits. In the meantime private sector salaries have stagnated or fallen while public sectors salaries have constantly improved and the enhanced retirement benefits have remained. Who in the private sector get defined benefits as high as 3% of final year's income for every year worked at age 50??


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ranch Gal
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm

To Sports Mom:
I'll bet your health care premiums are nowhere near $616 a month per person and your retirement is 3% of your salary per year depending on how many years you work in that capacity. So after 25 years, you retire with 75 % of your "last year's" salary which is amazing. This would never happen in any corporation here in the private sector. And I work sometimes 16 hour days with all the bookkeeping and closing up the shop etc. You work an 8 hour day I am sure. Your benefit package is amazing. I heard one SEIU employee whine about her health care premium going up to $350 a month for HER ENTIRE FAMILY. Give me a break! That is so cheap. We taxpayers cannot afford to pay these horrendous salary/benefit packages anymore. The party's over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Question
a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Peter:

What role does Social Security play in the public sector compensation picture? I understand that public employees do not receive Social Security benefits. So their pension benefit is like a combination pension and Social Security benefit.

The public employee does not pay into Social Security, either. But they do pay into the pension fund.

Do you know roughly what percent of the Menlo Park firefighters' pension benefit is paid for by the firefighter? I'm asking because I know you served on the fire board. I don't know if the board or staff ever ran this calculation.

Thanks for any insight on these questions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sports mom
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Again I'm not sure where some of the info that is floating around is coming from. Rank and file employees do not get 3% at 50 when we retire. I do pay about $500 a month for health care. Both of my parents worked in the private sector and never paid for their health insurance which covered the whole family. Overtime is not allowed without approval, however I have worked longer hours to get me job done without pay and don't expect it. There are different contacts for the different classifications of employees that work for the city, so I think that people are taking the best of all the contacts and thinking that we all get the same benefits which is not the case. Yes SEIU employees may be the largest group of people employed by the city, however we are the lowest paid with the most to lose in the end.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reality check
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

Sports mom, the benefits your parents got is not provided anymore in the private sector in almost all cases. Almost every organization, profit and nonprofit, has modified employees' retirement benefits that now cover far less than before, involve a lot more employee participation in the costs, and shifted from defined benefit to defined contribution. During this economic downturn, major downsizing has occurred in the workforces and in compensation. This hasn't happened similarly in much of the public sector, yet anyway. The issue is that the taxpayers of Menlo Park have lost a lot themselves and think it's only fair for city employees to share the pain.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Question asks:"What role does Social Security play in the public sector compensation picture? I understand that public employees do not receive Social Security benefits. So their pension benefit is like a combination pension and Social Security benefit.

Answer: There are a limited number of public agencies that still participate in both. The Fire District does not.




The public employee does not pay into Social Security, either. But they do pay into the pension fund.

Answer: Correct




Do you know roughly what percent of the Menlo Park firefighters' pension benefit is paid for by the firefighter? I'm asking because I know you served on the fire board. I don't know if the board or staff ever ran this calculation.

Answer: For the Fire Fighters with 3% @ 50 their contribution is 9%, unlike SSN they do not max out on their contribution they pay for the entire year on all "persable" wages.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 3,545 views

Charter School Proposal Steeped In Unintended Consequences
By Erin Glanville | 49 comments | 2,030 views

A Surprise!
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,390 views

Measure M-- I am not drinking Greenheartís expensive potion
By Martin Lamarque | 15 comments | 667 views