Five More Unions Make Concessions In Labor Negotiations With City

Thursday’s announcement that San Jose’s Firefighters union, Local 230, had tentatively agreed to a 10 percent cut in total compensation was the first domino to tip in labor negotiations with the city. On Friday, the city received a proposal containing concessions from five other unions.

The San Jose Coalition that made a proposal to the city on Friday represents the following five unions: Association of Building, Mechanical and Electrical Inspectors (ABMEI), Association of Engineers and Architects, Local 21 (AEA), Association of Maintenance Supervisory Personnel (AMSP), City Association of Management Personnel, Local 21 (CAMP), and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 332.

Acceptance of the proposal would allow the city to make a 10 percent cut in the five unions’ employees’ total compensation through June 2013, while also providing second-tier pension reform.

The firefighters’ agreement included the same cut in compensation but did not address pension reform or sick leave payouts. Those negotiations will be worked out at a later date.

See the entire San Jose Coalition Settlement Proposal here.

An excerpt from the proposal:

San Jose Coalition
ABMEI
AEA, LOCAL 21
AMSP
CAMP, LOCAL 21
IBEW

Settlement Proposal
March 4, 2011

This is a PACKAGE PROPOSAL. This PACKAGE PROPOSAL is submitted in an attempt to reach a settlement in these extraordinary economic circumstances facing the City of San Jose.

In the event this PACKAGE PROPOSAL is not accepted by the City of San Jose, the foregoing labor organizations and coalition reserves the right to modify, edit or amend any future proposals, including but not limited to, the effective dates of the specific changes.

TERM AND COMPENSATION
2 Year Term
July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2013

We propose to make permanent and ongoing the 10% total compensation reduction agreed to in the 2010-2011 MOA’s, inclusive of health care concessions. The 10% reduction would be deducted from member paychecks in the same manner as it is now.

City to estimate the percentage of the Health Care Savings by including Premium Cost Sharing, Health Care Increased Co-Pays, Payment In-Lieu of Health and Dental Insurance and Dual Coverage Reduction. (City Estimate)

For ABMEIAll terms of the previous expired MOA dated December 11, 2007 December 10, 2009 shall be included in the 2011-2013 MOA. ABMEI would match the same formula as the rest of the coalition members and make permanent and ongoing a 10% total compensation reduction. Should any City employee bargaining unit not covered by Charter Section 1111, represented or unrepresented, reach an MOA with the City that provides less than a 10% total compensation concession, as directed by the San Jose City Council, the lower compensation concession, in any form or manner, will be applied to the bargaining units in this Coalition Package.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

30 Comments

  1. Wow, the Wa1martification of America is one step closer. Soon workers will no longer receive benefits at all and will be forced to wait in lines for health care and, if the City had its way, food too.

    It is quite sad to see some many people happy at the demise of negotiation and bargaining. I am as conservative as any other conservative, but I feel there must be a balance. The “bully pulpit” must be balanced.

    Mayor GReed and his cronies have set the city up much as the country is attempting to do, rich vs poor. Once the middle class has been exterminated I fret for America.

  2. When is the City Council, Mayor, and City Manager going to take another paycut? When is someone on the city council going to propose making the council an unpaid position like every other city around here? When is someone on the city council going to propose Pete Constant goes back to work at the police department at a desk job rather than collect a city disability retirement AND a city paycheck AT THE SAME TIME? If he collects a $50,000 a year disability for the next 40 years or so that work out to about a $2 million dollar unfunded liability.

  3. It’s nice 2 C that some unions are accepting reality.  That is not the case everywhere.

        You might have noticed that there’s been a little turmoil in
    Madison, Wisconsin, of late.

        With the public employee unions making themselves heard in a fight
    against Governor Scott Walker, we thought this would be a great time to
    talk to Steven Greenhut.

        Steven is the author of “Plunder: How Public Employee Unions Are
    Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives, and Bankrupting the Nation.”

      Here’s how our interview went…

        Gary Gibson: Are public employees really bankrupting states and
    local municipalities? Are they getting paid that much and are the
    pensions that good?

        Steven Greenhut: We’ll start with the easy one. Yes, the pensions
    are amazingly good. In California, there are 50,000 members of the
    “$100,000 pension club”, cost of living adjusted, and these are
    guaranteed pensions, often in the six figure region and higher in
    certain categories, especially for public safety workers, such as
    police, fire, prison guards, milk inspectors. It’s an ever-growing
    category of employees that get 3 percent net 50. That’s 3 percent of
    the final year’s pay times the number of years worked. Which means a 90
    percent final year’s pay retirement forever. And that’s before all the
    many pension spiking gimmicks. For example 82 percent of California
    Highway Patrol managers retire with disabilities, which further
    enhances this.

        They purchase something called “air time”, where they can buy
    additional service credits on their pension at 50 cents on the dollar.
    So we have, in many cases, public employees making $150,000, $200,000 a
    year in retirement. And it’s not just the managers. These are regular
    police and firefighters, different sorts of mid-level managers, making
    enormous pensions. And they get paid quite a bit of money. The old deal
    used to be that public employees were paid less and they got somewhat
    better benefits and protection from firing and things that we didn’t
    get in the private sector. Now they get more money, in many cases, much
    more money, and they get an enormously higher level of pension benefit.

        Nobody I know in the private sector gets these guaranteed defined
    benefit retirement plans anymore. And they’ve been being increased
    retroactively, which means going back to the day that the employee
    started. So to answer your question: yes, pensions are that good. They
    are getting paid that much.

        The union studies, the reports show that public employees are not
    getting paid as much as their private sector employees. I’ve looked at
    those. They’re full of holes. They adjust for things like education,
    and they leave out categories that they don’t want to have included in
    there. They don’t count the overtime, even though public employees
    abuse the overtime system through planned overtime and other ways to
    build in higher salaries.

        So are they really bankrupting states and local municipalities? For
    instance, in the City of San Diego, which has not been the only city
    that’s struggled throughout California. I mean Los Angeles, they’re
    talking about bankruptcy, and the City of Vallejo in California went
    bankrupt, largely because of the pay and benefit packages of public
    employees. But in the City of San Diego, 70 percent of their payroll
    budget goes to retired workers for pensions and healthcare benefits. I
    mean you just do the math on that.

        There’s a new report from the Little Hoover Commission, which is a
    government agency, an oversight agency in California. It’s a
    nonpartisan, “good government” commission. Here’s its conclusion:
    “Pension costs will crush government. Government budgets are being cut
    while pension costs continue to rise and squeeze other government
    priorities.” So yes, they are going to push the cities and states to
    the brink, and it is that serious.

        Gary: Now before we get to just how serious that is and how we
    can’t afford it, what about the argument that the things that public
    employees do are vital? We can’t do without them, right? People have
    told you, “Pay them whatever they want.”

        Steven: It’s a crazy argument. At what point did our country start
    to value government work, non-entrepreneurial, protected from firing? I
    mean there are certain jobs that are needed. We need certain public
    sector jobs. But at what point did we start believing that bureaucracy
    is so highly valued, that we should pay people who work in the
    bureaucracies whatever they want? Usually when people make that
    argument, they’re talking about police and firefighters and teachers
    sometimes too. But now we’ve created a bureaucratic system that doesn’t
    always result in having the best teachers, firefighters, or police
    because this is not a free market.

        This is not a market system. Here’s a good example. 72 percent of
    the firefighters in the country are volunteer firefighters. So there
    are many people who will do this job for service to the community. When
    firefighters are hiring for the few positions that are opened, they
    sometimes will open arenas because of the thousands of applicants. So
    this idea that we should pay them whatever they want is ridiculous.

        This is going to bankrupt us. In the case of the firefighters, it
    pushes out often people who really want to be firefighters. If you or I
    really want to be a firefighter, we have to compete with all the many
    people who want to be a firefighter simply because of the [artificially
    exorbitant] pay and benefit package, and the work hours are so cushy.
    So it’s not like in the marketplace.

    • Well stated. I am a public employee but totally get that the system is overburdened and that there is a pervasive system of exploiting what I believe was intended to be a stable, reasonable pension system. Case in point…why on EARTH should pensions (in Police and Fire) be based on their max salary including overtime pa?(…and there is a system of collusion in place to allow those closest to the retirement door w/the highest salary to work all the overtime.. That alone has grossly bloated the size of many ‘public protection’ pensions and it is disengenuous. Anyway, your points are well made…it may be too late, but if public servants want to save the public employment system we will have to be forthright in making concessions. But because the greedy who came before really milked the system to a ridiculous advantage…well, the crises looms large.

  4. PART 2
        But this idea that we should just pay them anything you want…other
    than it bankrupting us all, it’s not resulting in better public
    services either. And teachers are not even getting the level of pay and
    benefits that police and fire are. But that’s just not a good argument
    in my view.

        We see in Wisconsin and Ohio, old rust belt states, the heart of
    the union movement, and now it’s a public sector movement. And there’s
    disagreement. There are many people in the private sector union people
    who agree with me on these public sector union issues. You know, the
    private sector union people have to make sure that their company
    remains healthy and in business. Where the public sector can — these
    guys will take the government off the cliff.

        Gary: Now your book talks about how this all happened in
    California. It’s where you focus your attentions. But I’ve got to ask
    you about Wisconsin now.

        Steven: Well, I mean they’re both very progressive states, very
    liberal states. The same thing that happened in California happened in
    Wisconsin, the power of the public sector unions, the ability through
    collective bargaining and through tapping the dues of members without
    necessarily getting their permission, has enabled the employees to buy
    their bosses. They elect their bosses. It’s the same thing that’s
    happened, and the book goes into, not just — it’s California heavy.
    It’s focused because of my experiences in California, which I draw
    from. But it does talk about the whole country.

        And it’s a similar thing. It’s just California often is at the
    edge, cutting edge of all trends, good and bad, and we just happen to
    be further along this route. But Wisconsin’s extremely liberal, heavily
    union democratic state. So there are a lot of parallels. Both with a
    parallel progressive history, in fact. So ironically, one of the core
    tenets of progressivism, the initiative and the process that we have in
    California that might be the solution to take on these unions who have
    become the new robber barons.

        And it was the progressives who tried to take down the power of the
    railroads and the robber barons, and now they’ve become what they
    fought against.

        Gary: Now these government employee unions, did you say — you said
    that they’re turning, they could turn us into a third world nation, or
    a nation of third world cities.

        Steven: Yeah, when I say it, and I’m not talking about the
    demographics or anything of the cities, I’m just talking about how it’s
    this group of folks who were just out to enrich themselves, and using
    their power for raw political gain. The cities are becoming
    impoverished, as we increasingly have to spend more and more, as the
    Little Hoover Commission report pointed to, there’s not enough money
    for other services. Even people in progressive San Francisco, some of
    the liberals there have been supporting pension reform efforts,
    recognizing that their city’s becoming increasingly tawdry.

        And as you spend more and more money on these pensions, pay and
    benefit packages for public employees who are really the affluent
    elite, the parks are becoming decrepit. The streets are not being
    fixed. The schools are getting worse. So that’s the context of that.

      Gary: I see. Is this a partisan issue?

        Steven: Well, it’s become one to a degree because the republicans,
    the new republicans are taking on the unions, and the democrats are the
    party of unions, of government unions especially. So to a degree
    republicans certainly helped create the problem. You know, I just wrote
    about here in California, how three republican assembly members joined
    an SEIU rally opposing cuts to a particular program. I watched as a
    writer for local government, watched as republicans increased pensions
    for government employees, especially for the people in uniforms.
    Republicans tend to be very law and order in their philosophy, and
    they’ve caused a lot of the problems.

        So the mess was created on a bipartisan basis, but I have seen
    very, very little effort by democrats to even acknowledge the problems.
    A handful of exceptions to the ones I pointed to in San Francisco. And
    they’re a minority of democrats for sure. But it doesn’t need to be a
    partisan issue, let’s put it that way. It really doesn’t because the
    right should recognize that these pensions are unfair and they’re going
    to cause enormous financial problems, and they’re going to lead to
    massive tax increases.

        And the left should realize that this is destroying the progressive
    agenda because if you’re spending all your money on $150,000 per year
    police retirees, then you’re not spending money on the programs that
    you claim to care about. And it’s going to be the programs for the poor
    that get cut. The pensions are a senior obligation of the state.
    Programs for the poor are not. So I know progressive democrats who are
    very concerned about this. And I’m just — I’ve got a copy here of
    Reason Magazine, the cover story by Tim Cavanaugh called Farewell my
    Lovely — How Public Pensions Killed Progressive California. I mean
    these pensions are at war with the whole progressive idea.

      And that’s because they’re running out of money.

  5. When?! When will this mayor, who has sat on the council for years, be held accountable for his decisions. He blames Gonzales and everyone else for past missteps yet refuses to ackowledge ANY mistakes he has made. His arrogance is disgusting, not to mention his cronies. These councils spent like college freshman when time were good. Now the economy tanks and they blame unions. If it were not so sad it would be laughable. I cannot wait for the day the books are opened and all the cash is accounted for. Perhaps that will occur when the CSJ and POA go to arbitration. A team of forensic accountants will be needed to find all the “dedicated” dollars that, “Oh no, can”t be used in the General Fund, that’s special project X,Y, or Z”.

    Well do not expect the POA to take a 10% cut. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We are hated, scorned, resented, and misrepresented despite the fact that SJPD officers are amongst the hardest working in the area. Despite cuts, population increases, and staffing shortages, proactivity has always been good. Proactivity, and a strong desire to catch criminals before they victimize innocents, has always been cultural at SJPD. These days, it is hard to muster. I’ve said it before, and again, I hope the mayor does lay off officers. When there are 100, 200, 300 of us fewer and the $#@& hits the fan then perhaps people will understand that this city’s greatest commitment is to the safety of it’s citizens.

    • You want Reed to accept responsibility for decisions made while he was on council and Gonzalez was mayor but its very interesting that none of the labor cronies seem to want to hold council members that THEY bought and paid for (Kalra, Campos, Chavez et al) accountable for the decisions they made that will leave our city bankrupt.

      Why is it that Labor backed council members past and present seem to get a pass for accountability for this financial mess?  They drove the disaster by accepting terms with unions that cannot be met.  Talk about unfunded mandates. 

      Reed and Liccardo are our best bests to clean up this mess with pensions, unions and city salaries.

      SIck and tired of being sick and tired?  Use your sick leave. Oh yeah but then that means you won’t be able to stick it to the people when you retire at the ripe age of 50 and cash out all that leave. 

      What a scam. We’ve heard all the threats by the PD.  Yeah, you hold the city hostage.  Didn’t you HEAR us, the general public?  That resounding passage of measure V & W seems to have gotten through to the SJFD, the people can’t afford your demands.  IF you’re sick and tired, step aside.  Plenty of young, able bodies men and women who would love the opportunity to become SJPD.  Thanks for your years of service.  Oh, and you’re welcome for the years and years of exorbitant pay and benefits.

      • I don’t hear “Labor” candidates dodging any bullets. Besides, to blame a GLOBAL financial meltdown that started several years ago, and the resulting “Great Recession,” on government pension obligations is moronic and/or a buy-in of CSJ propoganda. What YOU consider to be exorbitant salaries and retirements have been agreed by councils for decades now to keep pace with the economy and industry standards. I apologize to you that I refuse to risk my life for a 401K and a security guard’s salary. Impose that standard and see what you get. 

        Oh BTW, I am home on sick time. I use it as needed, like a large majority of officers. The pay-out benefit was proposed by city hall in lieu of a cash raise. Have you simply not kept track of the issue or are you simply filled with that much hate towards unions. Unions, btw, are people. Thanks. The people can’t afford our demands!? LOL, the people, aka Reed the Terrible?! He is not the people and again, passage of the measures does not tell the whole story. Measures V and W aside, the POA my friend, is going to arbitration. BTW, I pay 22% of my salary towards my retirement! That is more than any other department in the country. Regarding my years of service, for bitter, hatred filled individuals like,…you’re welcome. Even angry morons require protection when criminals lurk.

        • The real criminals are the cops, firefighters and union honchos who are fleecing the city taxpayers. 

          Even bitter non appreciative union workers deserve a pat on the back.  Consider this yours.

          22% for your retirement?  Let the violins start.  Its your retirement.  Not mine, not my neighbors, not the guy down the street.  You should fund 100% of YOUR retirement. 

          The general public doesn’t feel sorry for you.  Get used to that already.  It will help you cope when the cuts come.  Its like knowing the bactine is gonna sting but you brace for it and get on with it.

        • Thanks for the violins.  Now let’s start playing them for you,your neighbor,and the guy down the street when you start crying about being crime victims because there’s not a cop when you need one

        • Can I ask what you plan on doing when the city’s financial crisis keeps getting worse despite layoffs, pay cuts and pension changes?  You see, Reed and his ilk are rolling the dice that if they can keep the general public focused on that paper tiger that is the unions long enough, their inept fiscal policies will not come to light and the economy will rebound.  As stated though, they are gambling with high stakes.  What happens if after all the demonizing of unions and city workers, the economy does not recover and the city finances are still sour?  What if an external audit, say a civil grand jury, finds that the city money management has been so fatally flawed for years, that taxpayer money has been badly mismanaged, and that the real culprits have remained hidden?  Who will you then throw on the sacrificial altar?  Will you be willing to track down the present and former politicians or will you just pick on the current under qualified new city workers that were unable to find jobs in the private sector but were willing to work for peanuts for the city?

      • You will get the chance to step up and show your commitment to your comments when the city will need to hire police officers again at the price and benefits you suggest. In the not to distant past the police department could not fill openings with enough qualified people and now you suggest that when the economy turns people will suddenly line up around the block for substantially less money and benefits.  I hope your right, because the city will have to hire in the future and the results of these negotiations will play a big part in attracting qualified people. I guess you could lower the hiring standards if you need to.

    • It’s difficult to believe that the Mayor and Council and City Manager will fire a single cop before eliminating sinecure positions like the entire Office of Cultural Affairs.

      Arts may be nice, but I’d rather have a cop on the street.

  6. This proposal by the five unions is actully their second offer of a 10% total compensation cut.  The first offer they put in a couple of weeks ago was not how the City wanted the 10%.  They wanted their dollar as 4 quarters when the unions offered 10 dimes.  They were actually the first group to offer the City 10%, not the FD.  Set the record straight.

  7. These are the same unions who offered a 10% TOTAL COMPENSATION cut last year. They are the same ones who were the first to make an offer this year. The first was for a 2 tier retirement system offered on Feb 23:

    http://www.sanjoseca.gov/employeeRelations/CoalitionNegotiations/2010-2011/2.23.11PensionReformProposalForNewHires.pdf

    The second was to extend the current 10% reductions for 2 more years. That offer was on Feb 25th.

    http://www.sanjoseca.gov/employeeRelations/CoalitionNegotiations/2010-2011/2.25.11UnionTermAndCompensationProposal.pdf

    It seems the City doesn’t make employees who are willing to help much of a priority. Both were good offers, yet the City has not accepted them yet. Why not? We offered everything the City asked for.

    The Mayor is also not very forthcoming to explain that his 10% is in reality an 18% pay cut. Not only did we take a cut for our own benefits, but we had to pay the cost for the benefits that would have been paid for those staff who were laid off. Again, not something the Mayor or the Merc talks about.

    There are many staff willing to do our share. The Mayor doesn’t seem to care.

  8. I sure people will be very happy that whose greedy fireman gave in.  But they are supposely going to give up 172 positions also.  Somehow i don’t think you’ll be smiling when you get your next homeowner’s insurance bill.  You really don’t think the insurance companies aren’t going to raise your rates when the fire dept. will be short over 200 positions.That’s the same as the city slapping a new tax on you.

    • The 172 positions would have been the target without any concessions or without any administrative cuts.  The 10% total comp cut, increased health care payments, retiree medical pre-funding and pension reform/cost cutting that SJFF agreed to will provide a substantial amount of the money needed to prevent these 172 layoffs.  The new Fire Chief will also be proposing substantial administrative reforms and staffing/deployment changes that will also save substantial money and combined this should prevent any layoffs.  There will also be attrition that will help as well.

      • Im glad to hear the fire chief is looking at strategic deployment.  How many times have we seen two fire rigs and 5-7 firefighters repsonding to a call for a skateboarder that sprained their ankle.

        • How about putting the blame where is should be. Maybe if people did not call for really lame things like a skateboarder with a sprained ankle or leg pain they have had for 2 weeks the FD and AMR would not have to respond in the first place and thus be available for the calls they are really needed on.

      • I read the offer and there was no “no lay off” gaurentee in it like the Police contract last year.  In fact several counsel members and the mayor have publicly stated that there will still be layoffs even with concessions.  If there is a back room deal, that would not be very sunshineish would it Mr. Reed?  And even if there was a back room deal that would require fire to “trust” the city.  That did not go well last year for Police after concenssion. It took what, a week to introduce V and W.  Where was the sunshine on that one?

  9. The City uses a Total Compensation (Base Pay, Overtime, Health Insurance and Retirement Contributions) approach when looking at employee costs, but the Retirement Contribution portion of the math is fatally flawed.  Essentially San Jose tells current employees that retirement costs associated with separated (think people who leave before they are ready to retire) and RETIRED employees are part of the compensation for current employees.  They do this by taking the entire annual bill from the retirement funds and dividing it over the current payroll to come up with a percentage.  That percentage is applied to each employee and that is how they calculate the ‘retirement contribution’ the City pays on behalf of the employee.  At this point we have over 5,000 retirees and 5,500 current employees, almost a 1-1 ratio, add this to a very large unfunded liability, and now the math gets very skewed.  If the retirement fund asks the City for $150 million for this years contribution, and more than half of it is to compensate for the unfunded liability, and half of all employees are retired, you get a pretty big portion going to pay the retirement checks for people who no longer are on the payroll.

    So, if the City owes a debt to all the retired employees, why are they claiming that this money is part of current employees total compensation?  And then they want 10% of that amount out of current employees salaries.  EPIC FAIL.

  10. I am hearing that SJPD Officers pay about 22% into their own pension. When this is added with their union dues and medical expenses the number pushes 30%. If they are able to contribute to a city deferred compensation plan with the peanuts that are left behind they may have 46% taken from the approximate $107k compensation.

    Now, if they have given 5% already and the city pushes for another 10% would this mean that they take home a little over $40k.

    I also hear the city does not pay for uniforms the officers are required to wear and dry cleaning.

    I’d say that’s poverty by Bay area standards.

  11. Many of us are open to believing what labor has to say on SJI that labor unions are giving back and making good offers to solve budget shortages but City Manager, Mayor and Council are playing games and not accepting 10% and other cuts that labor offers

    There is way too much misinformation, partial truths, half truths, only some of the truth that supports one sides political agenda that public does not know who to believe any more so believes no one without clear discussion and facts backed up by clear references available on web .

    So doesn’t believe anyone – labor, City Manager, Mayor, Council or especially what we see in Mercury, Metro or on SJI unless

    1) Public debate is backed up by clear references available on web so we can verify what is being said is true, not more political twisted number s and half truths
    2) Labor leaders should regularily blog under their own names not anonymous names
    3)  Where is Cindy Chavez, Bob Brownstein and Presidents City Labor Unions especially Police and Fire unions standing up and telling public what is going on like Mayor, City manager and Council ?

    Public sure don’t want any new taxes, fees, licenses service charges or any other creative names for government required tax payments imposed on taxpayers without voter approval in weak economy with 12% unemployment

    Labor has lost the political debate in San Jose and if labor want to regain public support needs to help public understand their side of political debate by clear discussion and facts backed up by clear references available on web which it has not done or has done badly which is why labor has lost

    It is easy for well off government employees in trying to justify the gross unfairness of their pay and pensions to talk about how the private sector which has to be competitive should be like unsustainable non competitive public sector jobs but reality is that government employee unions and their elected politicians have not helped to improve private sector employees jobs only gave government and politician jobs more unsustainable pay and pensions

    Politicians and government employees live is a very different financial and economic world that average public with better job security , pay , benefits, pensions cost of living raises, less work hours or overtime for over 40 hours, little job outsourcing. and until recently few layoffs

  12. lets talk about Sam licardo working for the same law firm that is representing the people who want to bring a ball park here while we are cutting the same fire, police, and general services that we would need IF we were to ever get a ballpark. and he is getting payed six figures for a part time job.

  13. Well I personally think it makes sense for San Jose FF to take a cut. I was an engineer for 19yrs in a city that rhymes with San Francisco. We went to structure fires regularly and were put in harms way often. These guys are lucky to actually work a few personally a couple of times in their whole career. We had 4 alarms and All-Calls often. These guys spend over 80% of their time handing out band aids. The other 20% is spent inspecting starbux or playing volleyball. They aren’t required to make life/death decisions unless they are atleast a captain. To pay them more than $75k a year is insulting. Especially when their work schedule allows them to all have a second career. If I was 10 years younger I’d go apply to SJFD.

    • You could try but you probably wouldn’t get hired.  For one, they aren’t hiring, second, you probably didn’t go through paramedic school, but most importantly, they don’t allow drinking and criminal activity on duty.  Maybe when the city pays them like rent-a-cops they can start acting like SFFFs and SJPD because no one will care.  San Jose will get what it pays for.

  14. Here’s an idea that I think is a WIN – WIN – WIN proposition:

    1.) Help out the city’s budget problems by cutting union salaries and benefits ten percent; then:

    2) Offset the loss of union salaries and benefits by giving union employees vouchers that can be redeemed for carbon credits.

    3.) The union members can then sell their carbon credits to Al Gore or trade them on the European carbon exchange.

    4.) The city of San Jose could either print its own carbon credits, or buy cheap carbon credits from former traders on the Chicago Climate Exchange, which has recently gone defunct.

    The unions win!
    The city wins!
    The environment wins!

    In all modesty, I think this idea deserves one of those Tech Museum Humanitarian of the Year awards.

  15. Sam having a conflict of interest by working for people wanting to have Council pay for land and paying for low or free services for local and LA baseball millionaire owners – say it isn’t so –

    Council having conflicts of interest spending city taxes or helping friends get favorable Council decisions is normal in San Jose but Mercury will not report their favorite Council member and future Mayor

    Sam will not excuse himself from baseball vote so everyone can see his ethics

    Why are you surprised ? 

    The only difference is Sam the attorney is being paid up front which is illegal rather than after leaving office to influence Council votes or between political offices which is legal

  16. I believe that two of the unions in the original five-member Coalition—IBEW and ABMEI—parted ways with the Coalition and do not have a tentative agreement with the City, as of yesterday.  The remaining three—AEA, AMSP, and CAMP—do.

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