Saturday, April 25, 2009
I can't help but think how things could be different today, if a person with integrity were the mayor of San Diego. I have some personal knowledge I would like to share about the current mayor of San Diego. He was once chief of police for the San Diego Police Department. As with any chief there were those who liked him and those who did not. I was one of those who for the most part liked the man. My first encounter was when the mayor was a Lieutenant working the Watch Commander's Office. I filled in as his aide. I learned a lot about this person. I moved on and my next encounter occurred in 1984. I was a patrol officer in 1984, working an overtime gig at the National League playoff game when the Padres beat the Cubs. I was standing at the edge of the field, in uniform, when a reporter came up and asked why the police were not keeping the fans off the field after the game was won. I laughed, looked around and asked if she was serious. I then, as usual put my foot in my mouth and said, "First off we only have about 25 officers working the game. Second, the fans in San Diego are not animals and will come off the field after celebrating." If you remember back then, when Detroit won their series, the field was rimmed with officers on horse back and another 75 officers standing shoulder to shoulder protecting the field. This same reporter found the mayor, then a Lieutenant and asked about my statement. He talked to the reporter and then had a piece of my ass for making my comment. I asked if there was anything about my comment that was not true. His reply was, "It does not matter Steve. Keep your mouth shut, this is politics." WOW..... 1984!!!!
Fast forward to Mayor Murphy stepping down and the ex-chief throwing his name in the hat to run for mayor. I am a director for the Police Officer's Association. I start searching the Internet for a possible web page spelling out his views on the issues and in about 5 minutes I find his official web page seeking election. In his words, he details his stand on employee benefits and the retirement system, DROP and many other issues. He indicates he is going to seek elimination of the DROP, reduction of retiree benefits and rein in employee contracts. This from a man who was once the chief of the Police Department, benefited from these same benefits and knows what is being said in the press is inaccurate.
I shared the information with the other board members and made it known I would not support the man for mayor and if I had any say, neither would the association I served. In short order I hear from those who supported the man. "How could I say such a thing" "He was your chief, you owe him" "He does not mean what is in his web page; it's just political speak" "The stuff in his web page is not directed at the police" and on and on and on... Those staunch supporters were all part of a fraternity of SDSU grads who were often refereed to as "Gerry's Kids." "Gerry's Kids" often got the preferred jobs and assignments and most people viewed this as nepotism, favoritism or incestuous. This core group of individuals all rose quickly through the ranks while he was chief.
I have a conversation with the man himself about my statements of non-support. I shared my thoughts of the postings I read on his web page. I told him to his face; "Gerry, of all people to post this type of information, playing to the masses, when you could be the person who kicked the band wagon over that the Union Tribune had started and stand on top, telling the truth about employee benefits, DROP." He looked me in the eye and said; "Steve, it's politics. I would not get elected if I told the truth." I stood there trying to process in my Commodore 64 brain what I just heard. If you know anything about a Commodore 64, you know I sat there for some time, slowly playing and re-playing the words I just heard. The thoughts running through my head started with; "THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH POLITICS AND POLITICIANS!!!!!" There was much more in my mind at the time; none of which would be appropriate for printing even here.
I had heard enough and was more convinced than ever, this was not the man the City of San Diego needed as mayor, with the serious problems ahead. More than his words about politics; his stand on pay and benefits of employees; he was not a very good leader. He could not make a decision to save his life, let alone someone else's. He lead by committee. EVERYTHING decided within the San Diego Police Department during his reign was done by committee. EVERYTHING was turned into a political decision. How would it make HIM look. He ended up in the hospital a couple of times due to the stresses of decisions he found so troubling. He had trouble leading a department of 1800 people and now he wants to be mayor of the 7th largest city in the nation with over 10,000 employees and all the problems facing the city??? Surely he jests.... Let's hope the voters see through this three dollar bill.
There were several candidates seeking to fill the mayor's seat. The SDPOA held interviews with candidates seeking an endorsement. The mayor shows up and immediately makes a flip comment that he did not come to seek an endorsement; he did not want our endorsement either. WTF??? What did this arrogant ass say? Who the hell does he think he is? What the hell is he doing here if this is true? The people in attendance were shocked to say the least at his attitude and stand on issues. He showed his true self that day. Several of his supporters openly said he was not the person they knew when he was chief. I gave people the address to his web page and told them to read for themselves what his stand was on the issues.
As he left the building, he threw an accusation toward the director's, that someone connected with board had somehow accessed his personal file (Sealed in Personnel) and leaked a story of discipline associated with his drunken pursuit by CHP. For those who are not familiar with the incident; the mayor got tanked up and while driving on the freeway CHP attempted to stop him, he fled north bound I-5, failing to stop. Rumor has it throwing empty beer cans out the window along the way until he decided to stop at the check point in San Clemente. He received discipline from the incident. Back then "Professional Courtesy" saved his ass from county jail. He threw this blanket accusation out as he left the room. The President of the POA, Bill Nemec, followed him out and challenged him on this accusation. The bottom line; the information was uncovered by a smart reporter who was mining court records and pulled all the papers from one of the law suits the mayor had filed while a police officer. You see, the mayor had trouble getting promoted to Sergeant and Lieutenant. The Captains, Commanders and Chiefs at the time saw who he really was and finishing first in a written test did not make him most qualified to LEAD or get promoted. Thus he sued twice to get promoted. In these law suits, was the information of his discipline and thus it was uncovered. Think there was ever an apology from him???? Right.
The SDPOA stayed neutral during the election. In hind sight, we should have gotten more involved and taken a stand. We would not have the mayor we do today if we had participated in the election and not sat on the sidelines. Live and learn. When it became apparent he was going to get elected, Nemec and I met with him to offer our support to help fix some of the problems facing the city. When we show up at his campaign office on Banker's Hill we are surprised to see a Lieutenant from the police department (one of the mayor's hench men or "Gerry's Kid" from his PD days) there with him acting as a body guard. Something out of the movies. Here is this idiot wearing shorts, flip flops, t-shirt and sitting in a chair in the corner of the room; slumping in the chair, leg over the arm, arm thrown back over the back of the chair, head back, smirk on his face, looking down his nose at us as we took our places at a table. The mayor elect sitting on one side of the table and the two of use on the other. Does not make for a relaxed meeting. But then, who expected anything less from this man? He has a history of being vindictive and retaliatory. It only got worse. It keeps getting worse. This may help explain why he has shown a desire to screw police officers at every opportunity.
During the first round of negotiations (2006) with him as mayor, he leaked FALSE information to the press and one of the city council people. The information he leaked was a complete lie intended to rile the SDPOA. He knew if we heard the information we would first do some checking and then challenge him on the information. The press came to us for answers and a response to the information and we were caught off guard, made our inquiries and believed the information to be correct. The mayor was contacted and he first denied any knowledge. That night there was a dinner function for "Officer of the Year" where agencies from the county honor their best. The mayor shows up with his mouth piece Fred Sainz. They are laughing and having a good time, thinking how funny it is to leak false information to the press and watch them run; have a labor group get this same information from the press and spend time verifying the information and then challenge him over it only to find out it was a joke. This from a man who thinks he is a professional. It was an early glimpse of what was to come from this person.
More later.... headed to the Padre game....
The relationship with the mayor never got any better. Negotiations this year (2006) were NOT negotiations. The city came in demanding cuts, crying poor and seeking take backs from officers. The department is suffering from extremely high attrition. Officers are leaving in droves for other agencies in the region and the department cannot keep up. The department is falling further and further behind in recruiting new officers and retaining those already here. New hires are coming here ONLY for the training and then leaving for departments offering better pay and benefits. What angered those of us remaining behind was the press continued to convince the public, city employees are over paid and have "Cadillac" benefits that are bankrupting the city and costing the taxpayers millions. To add insult to injury the mayor continues the rant and only adds to the spin, further painting the city employee as a greedy, over paid, thief for somehow stealing from the taxpayer.
During the negotiations, the Chief moves to eliminate "Compensatory Time" from Police Officers. To be fair to the Chief, none of us at the SDPOA believe the Chief wanted to initiate this take away. The department was facing extreme difficulties with meeting minimum staffing in patrol and some officers were using compensatory time as a means to get a break when the use of annual leave was denied. To explain, for those who do not understand the system we have; Compensatory Time (comp time) is leave time that is earned from over time. An officer is paid time and a half for each hour of overtime worked. An officer can, at his/her option, accrue time off at the same rate, to be used by the employee at his/her discretion. The rules at the time was comp time could be used at any time the OFFICER chose and this time off could not be denied. Annual leave could be denied for staffing reasons and cancelled after approval for staffing reasons. Comp time could not be cancelled or denied. The Chief wanted to control the use of comp time. We knew if we gave in to the changes being proposed, comp time would no longer be a benefit to the employee. The department wanted to control when and how comp time was used. The belief from the beginning was the mayor told the Chief to make the proposed changes. We refused and comp time was suspended.
This was all while in negotiations and the city demanding cuts and take backs. NOTHING on the table was a benefit to employees. EVERYTHING on the table was a demand for cuts, take backs and elimination of benefits. This was not negotiations. Under the law (Myers, Milias, Brown or MMB) negotiations are suppose to be "fair" and the negotiations are suppose to be a discussion and give and take of ideas. There was NO SUCH give and take and NOTHING about the negotiations was fair.
The mouth piece hired by the city was a dolt, who knew nothing about public employee negotiations. He did things that were violations of MMB almost daily. When called on the violations he would take a break, come back and withdraw the illegal act and the next session would re-introduce the item in a different manner. The city had an agenda for what was going to be eliminated and cut and there was nothing the SDPOA could do about it.
The current law does not protect law enforcement associations during negotiations. The other unions and associations have PERB (Public Employee Relations Board) protections and can file unfair labor practices when the city screws them in these types of negotiations. The police officers have NOTHING. The SDPOA filed a multitude of law suits in 2005 after years of abuses at the hands of the city. There were so many violations of law perpetrated on officers at the hands of the city; the SDPOA sought legal council to assist in stopping the many acts that had become natural. Some of the problems were institutional, some were born out of survival. The bottom line was the mayor was furious over the law suits and was going to get even; in keeping with his prior acts of retaliation and vindictive revenge.
I ended my term with the SDPOA Board of Director's in December 2006.
In 2007, the public was starting to get the impact on their safety and security of the loss of officers and inability to recruit and retain qualified persons. The mayor relents and provides a two year contract to police officers to stem to tide of officer attrition.
We are now in April 2009. Picture the purchase of a run down house that you spend tons of money on to renovate and fix up. You put a new roof on the house; new windows; new carpet; kitchen appliances; paint the house and re-do the landscape; only to hand it off to the fire department to use as a training venue. The house is burned to the ground and you have nothing to show for your investment. Well, that is where the Police Department is today. We are that house.
During the latest round of negotiations (2009) the mayor demanded employees make up the ENTIRE 60 million dollar deficit facing the city. The mayor continued to perpetuate the myth about the cost of DROP and how the pay and benefits of city employees is the problem in the city. http://sdfire.org/items/DROP_012005.pdf (Evaluation of DROP the mayor refuses to do)
Something I did not address before. The mayor of San Diego is a Republican. He has bought into and has carried the republican agenda with the vengeance of a rabid dog. He has broken once from their agenda regarding an issue centered around his daughter and chief of staff, Fred Sainz. Sans this ONE issue, the mayor has carried the water for the Republican party like a good little boy. I am a Republican and often ask myself why. I was elected to three terms as a school board member for the Poway Unified School District, as a Republican. I know politics and the Republican way here in San Diego. I attended meetings with the San Diego Republican Party as well as the Lincoln Club (Wealthy Republicans). I was part of this crap long before the mayor. I had aspirations of running for City Council. That all changed when this mayor entered the picture. (I will talk about this in a separate post)
I watched 8 years of hell with George Bush as president. The Republican agenda is what got this country in the position it is in. The greed, power and demands of doing as I say not as I do got us to today. The mayor of San Diego is no different. The mayors pat refusal to seek increases in fees, taxes and bringing into line citizens paying for services they use and receive have allowed the deficit to increase. Blaming the employee for the failures of his policies as well as the failure of prior administrations is criminal. He highlighted his failure of ethics, honesty and leadership when he began taking his salary as well as his retirement payments and hid this from the public. When outed about this he uses the excuses of paying for his daughters college and mounting bills. NO SHIT mayor!!!! He looks city employees in the eyes and demands 6% across the board cuts, cuts in benefits, elimination of vested retirement benefits, elimination of retiree medical benefits and a reduction of the work force and then goes back to his office to pay his bills with the increase in his compensation; secure in the knowledge his benefits are secure.
The day this blog is discovered by the mayor will be the day of reckoning for me. You would not be able to eat a double-double from In n Out in the time it will take the mayor to demand my head on a platter. Who cares if the information I am writing here is truth or not. The mayor will be made to look as he really is and for the sake of politics, he can't have that!!!! Revenge? Vindictive? Retaliation? OH, you can be sure it will happen. So be it!!!
During the negotiation of 2009, the mayor never changed from his first demands of police officers giving back 6% of salary and benefits during negotiations. The amounts of money he was demanding police officers pony up to close the 60 million dollar deficit facing the city did change. It went up from 8 million to 11 million. When the SDPOA pointed out savings from department vacancies (32 million savings) that was not enough. The mayor had an agenda and the demand for giving back was going to be accomplished at any and all cost. Remember, this is politics and the mayor was working on his political reputation and needed this stand against employees and the unions to get the press working for him. The political machine was well oiled and working overtime.
The mayor loves to use the train analogy. He often says; "The train is leaving the station. If you are not on board with (state the political end game) you will be left behind." The train was leaving the station and no one from the police department was on board. (The chief officers got a bigger screwing from the mayor than the working police officer. More on that later) The problem with trains and this train analogy??? Trains are on tracks. They don't have the liberty of straying from a set course. They cannot correct direction or deviate from the tracks when obstacles present themselves or logic says moving in a different direction will work better. The mayor is narrow minded and inflexible. Once his "committee" has come up with the direction he wants to go, the hell with anything else. The hell with logic. The hell with actions or ideas that differ from his. His agenda is taken from the republican play book. It will not be deviated from!!!!
Off to do some stuff with my bride and enjoy a beautiful Sunday. Back later while watching the Padres. Hope they play better today than last night!!!
Taking offense at councilman's comment
Regarding “Council approves deals with 3 unions” (Our Region, April 22):
San Diego City Council President Ben Hueso speaks of the “enormous gesture” city employees have made by agreeing to a 6 percent reduction in pay and benefits – this, after milking this city dry for decades. The enormous weight of this city's debt can be laid at the feet of the omnipotent city and county employees' unions.
Let's be reminded again of the enormous excesses of the employees DROP program pointed out by the Union-Tribune in a Feb. 13 editorial (“Chop DROP/Pension board must slash payments on city perk”), as well as the double-dipping and dangerous tactics used by the Police Officers Association to deceive the public. We should all be fed up with this. Yes, it's about time. Enormous gesture. You must be kidding.
MARK HOLMES of La Jolla
City Council President Ben Hueso said he hopes the public understands what an “enormous gesture” union employees made on their behalf. As one of the 1.2 million residents Hueso refers to as the recipients of this great privilege to enjoy the city employees' efforts, I have this to say: City employees should get on their knees and thank us for the good jobs and benefits. Ask nonunion and self-employed folks how much we'd appreciate only a 6 percent reduction!
BOB GATES of San Diego
If any of you out there know either of these sphincter muscles, please pass along my blog address.
To Bob GATES; I do not consider it a privilege to work for a @-^%&( like you. Trust me, if any of us city employees had a say in this company (City), we would make sure those who receive our services would be paying appropriately for them. You should be thankful your taxes are as low as they are and you receive the services you do at such a discount rate and in some cases pay nothing for the services you receive. City employees did not hold a gun to any ones head when we sat down at the bargaining table during negotiations. We city employees, who actually live in this city, have one vote at the ballot box just like you. No one held a gun to your head when you elected the idiots who's actions put us in this position. City employees had nothing to do with the collapse of the economy nor did we divert the money away from the Retirement System to fund the National Convention, Petco Park, Convention Center Expansion and the many other pet projects of politicians. Every city employee continued to make their contributions into their retirements; NOT knowing the city was not making theirs!!!!
I work hard every day protecting the likes of you and to have to read crap like this causes me to step back and ask myself why. Luckily for you most of us know assholes like you are few and we continue to protect citizens without regard to our own personal safety.
One last thought Bob.... Provide me a mailing address and I will send you the 8 cents you have paid toward my salary and benefits this fiscal year (Yes that's all you have paid me) I quit. I do not need the job of working for someone like you. I find your views and ethics lacking honesty and integrity. If you need someone to help you at a traffic collision or burglary or assault look in the yellow pages under security and hire someone else. I'm sure you can find someone stupid enough to kneel down and thank you for calling and offering them a job!!!
To Tom Holmes;
I will not repeat myself but can't help but laugh at your ignorance. The Union Tribune has not printed factual information related to DROP since it began its drive to create news where there was and is none related to DROP. The DROP is nothing more and no different than what the mayor is doing right now as he collects his salary and receives his retirement benefit. There seems to be no issues with this yet DROP continues to be some sinister fleecing of the taxpayers. FACT; taxpayers pay nothing related to the mayors earned retirement payment. If you have enough time to write a letter to the editor of something you know nothing about, I believe you have enough time to seek out accurate information about what you write. Go to the SDCERS web site and educate yourself on DROP. Educate yourself on its costs, how the benefit works, how it is funded and what effect it has on the City's budget.
The SDPOA is pointing out the dangers facing citizens because of the actions of the mayor. The statements are real and I can assure you crime is going to effect you. City employees did not create this downturn in the economy. No one held a gun to any ones head at the bargaining table. You voted as I did for the representative of your choice.
Let me ask you Tom; did you ever ask for or demand a raise in your working career? Did you ever consider changing jobs, companies, or professions to make more money? What would you have said to your boss when he approached you and said, "I know we promised you medical insurance and a retirement and agreed to match your 401K contribution, but looking at our last quarters profits which are off by 11% we need cut your salary by 6%, eliminate your medical insurance, stop matching your 401K contributions and you need to take three weeks off in the next 12 months with no pay. But, you are one of the lucky ones, you get to keep your job." Would you point out the mismanagement of investments and using the investment earnings for frivolous pet projects instead of putting them back into the company and the excesses in the administration and the fact you are providing services to customers without charging them for these services? How would you feel when you are told to suck it up; at least you have a job and besides you only have to work an additional 10 years to work instead of the planned 5. By the way... your CEO, CFO and other top managers are NOT taking the same 6% cut in pay... their medical insurance is not being cut and they are NOT taking any furlough days off without pay. What would you say or do?
Don't answer because it does not matter. After you become educated about what you write about (AFTER THE FACT) feel free to provide me your mailing address and I will send you the 9 cents (You most assuredly pay higher property taxes in La Jolla, right?) you have paid of my salary this fiscal year; I quit. I no longer wish to work for an idiot like yourself. Get a new yellow pages and find someone there to help you out when your life or the life of a loved one is in danger....
OK... it's time to eat some lunch and do some work around the house. I will be back later to finish my rant about the latest imposed or as I like to say "INSERTED" contract from the mayor. Until then.... have a great Saturday.....
Friday, April 24, 2009
The break discussions all week focused on the recent contract negations. Anger, frustration, dismay, fear, hostility are but a few of the emotions flowing from those who sought answers. Having spent time representing officers as a member of the San Diego Police Officer's Association I was constantly asked questions. Biting my tongue and at the same time trying not to laugh out loud was difficult at best. My personal feelings aside I share the emotions displayed by those who are much more affected by the latest screwing at the hands of the mayor of San Diego. I stand to loose $55 a payday as opposed to $250, like most officers or the $300+ of most Sergeants. People want to blame someone for the screwing the mayor is doing. Their hatred for the mayor is clear, as well it should be.
Many expressed anger, frustration and dismay at the Chief. Many believed the Chief in some way supported the screwing they received. I have never been called a "company man" nor been confused with or accused of being a kiss ass. I can honestly agree the reputation of being an ass-hole, trouble maker, crusader for the little guy, anti administration, union guy was earned and for the most part accurate. I have always loved my job (better than 90% of the time), the people I work with (with a few exceptions), supported the administration (OK, not 100% of the time), was never afraid to speak my mind and always quick to defend an injustice. I saw the Chief's face after returning from City Hall and his knowledge of what was to come from the City imposing the takeaways in the Last Best and Final offer for a contract. The Chief knew what he was in for and it pained him to see what was happening to his officers. The Chief of the San Diego Police Department was NOT the problem or reason for the screwing his officers were about to take.
Attention turned to the Director's for the Association. Young, inexperienced, brash, outgunned, overwhelmed were but of few of the words used to describe the board. Cries for a "Professional" negotiator, new attorney, and a new board of directors were all bantered about. Officers were seeking answers. Like I said, they want someone to blame. They want to "fix" the negotiations some way, some how.
Police Officers are in most cases, problem solvers, fearless, confident, intelligent, type-A persons who are honest and expect honesty from those above them. This includes their Sergeant's, Lieutenant's, Captain, Chief's and those persons elected to serve on the City Council and as Mayor. When any one of these persons violate that trust and lie; break a promise or in some other way betray the trust they have been given by way of their position; Police Officers have to "grin and bare it" so to speak. Unlike the other labor organizations (MEA, 127, Fire Local 145 or City Attorney's Association) Police Officers have NO way to fight back. There is no ability to strike, participate in a "job action" or to seek mediation or arbitration. Police Officers have to bend over and hope and pray some sort of lubrication is used before the imposing or should I say inserting of a negative contract.
I want to go back a few years and talk about history. In the late 70's Pete Wilson was mayor of San Diego. The City and POA were in labor negotiations. The City was not offering a pay raise and the officers were upset. San Diego Police Officers were the lowest paid in the region and were seeking to rectify this. Pete Wilson holds a press conference and tells the citizens and Police Officers he was holding the line on pay and benefits and Officer's should be satisfied with their pay and "Living in Sunny San Diego was worth 10%" (Indicating the sunny weather was worth a 10% pay increase). Officers were leaving in large numbers. Most lateraling to the Sheriff's Department. In 1978, 1979 and 1980 the San Diego Police Department hired almost 500 police officers. Several Academy classes had over 100 officers in them. In my class (April 30,1979, the 93rd Police Academy Class) we started with 113 officers in 3 sections. We graduated 109. Today, April 24, 2009, six days shy of 30 years, we have 13 officers still working for the San Diego Police Department. Come June 30, 2009, five of those 13 will be gone, leaving 8 of us.
Over the years the City and POA negotiated increases to pay and benefits. I served on the POA in the late 80's and early 90's. I then foolishly entered the arena again in 2004. There were years the City offered (actually demanded) to pay a portion of an officer's required retirement contribution in lieu of a pay raise. This allowed the City to provide a perceived pay raise to officers by putting more money in their pocket. The City would take on 1% of an employee's contribution which would only cost the City .60%. The employee actually lost in the deal. The officer's base salary remained stagnant, thus affecting his/her retirement. NOW, the City is refusing to make these payments and NOT providing compensation for the elimination of this promise.
Before those of you reading this begin rants of your own, let me share with you a proposal offered the City on April 18, 2005. Below is an offer submitted to the City from the POA.
- The following is a suggested alternative to the City Proposal submitted April 18, 2005.
July 1, 2005
- Removal of the “Favorite Nations Clause” from labor contract.
- Employee pick up of 3% of Pension contribution currently being paid by city
- Flex money to remain at current level ($5575)
- Employee in DROP to pay City’s 3.05% contribution upon entering the DROP
- Increase “Leave Cap” for employees hired on or after July 1, 1994, from the maximum accumulation of 350 to 500 hours.
- Increase Annual Leave accrual for all employees to:
- One to five year employee; additional .5 hours per pay period
- Five to fifteen year employee; additional 1 hour per pay period
- More than fifteen years; additional 1.5 hours per pay period
December 1, 2005
- Employee picks up additional 3% of employee pension contribution currently being paid by city. (2.7% offset currently being paid by excess funds to run out in or about November 2005)
June 1 2006
- 1.5% pay increase for all employees.
- Employee pick up additional 3% of Pension contribution currently being paid by city.
- Increase Flex Benefit money $500 to $6075.
- No “Cash Pay-out” of Flex Benefit money.
- Set up “Medical Trust” to be used to pay Retiree Medical Expenses.
Medical Trust payments to begin (.5% of salary for employees 1% of salary for city)
January 30, 2007
- Employee pick up additional 1% of Pension contribution currently being paid by city.
May 15, 2007
- Pay increase for all employees of 1%.
- Increase Educational Incentive Pay 2%.
July 1, 2007
- Flex Benefits increase of $500 per employee
- Pay increase of 1.5% for all employees
January 15, 2008
- Pay increase of 1.5% for all employees
Back in 2005, the POA offered the ENTIRE retirement offset being paid by the City on behalf of officers to be taken back by the officer (10% total) and over a three year period receive a 5.5% pay increase. The pay increases coming after the first year and back loaded to year three to "help" the City meet it's goal of lowering the UAAL associated with the Employees Retirement System. The problem created by elected officials who failed to make payments on behalf of the employees, diverted money away from the Retirement System to pet projects and at the same time made promises that could not be kept. In 2005 the POA pushed and prodded the City to join in setting up a Retiree Medical Trust for officers. We saw the need to begin a funding mechanism apart from the City. It was clear the City was not in a position to meet its obligations to retirees and having been removed from Social Security in 1982 with the promise of lifetime retiree medical insurance, paid by the City, the POA wanted to ensure its members were taken care of. (The removal from Social Security is a story itself).
Fast forward to 2009. The City demands officers begin to pay an additional 4.1% of the retirement contribution without an increase in compensation. The City also demands a 1.5% reduction in salary as well. The City adds insult to injury by freezing retiree medical insurance at 2008 levels (knowing of a 13% increase) and unilaterally changing the entry age for entering the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) from 50 years of age to 55 years of age. Effectively eliminating the plan from viable use. The City then sues the POA in an effort to ELIMINATE the DROP.
I am sure some of you reading this are thinking I am a selfish, cry baby who does not get it. To the contrary. I get it. I understand the jealousy and consternation some have with the benefits of City Employees. I also get that the reason most of you have these feelings is you do not understand nor have you been provided accurate information related to the pay and benefits of those who serve you. I find it frustrating to read over and over total lies about my pay and benefits. The exaggeration of benefits and the cost to taxpayers. The misinformation provided to already angry taxpayers paint a picture of greedy, thieving, lazy, selfish employees. Then top it off by having a mayor who continues the lies, exaggerations and misinformation presented to the public and who is left holding the bag of excrement?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So two days later I am sitting in a training class at the Police Academy attending of all things a "Leadership" course when my Blackberry receives a message. I open the message and I learn the mayor of San Diego is now following ME!!!!! What a JOKE!!!!!!
I had to laugh and as all around me learned of my reason for laughing out loud, they too began to laugh. I learned in short order, there is little if anything Sanders (or one of his minions) is putting out on Twitter that matters. I'm not sure what I expected. I plan on giving it a month to see where this all leads. In the mean time I am going to write here and share my thoughts.
Still waiting for the City to provide information on the latest "Imposed" contract. I am on the fence about retiring before June 30. I am sure the delay in providing information is part of the mayor's plan. The longer he waits to provide information, many more senior, experienced officers, detectives and supervisors will file papers and retire. It is all part of a bigger plan by him to ruin the San Diego Police Department.
Monday, April 20, 2009
This past week, the City Council and Mayor imposed a contract on Police Officers that will reduce salary's by 6%, raise medical benefit payments by 13+%, freeze retiree medical payments and raise the entry level of membes into the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) to age 55. This imposed contract is criminal and is the final slap in the face of officers.
I will attempt to write every night my thoughts, obeservatons and activities of the day. For those who blush at crass language, blunt words or ranting... you may be better off not returning. For those who find themselves the focus of my rant I say to you; Go look in a mirror. I make no oppologies for my rants or diatribes about you. You earned your place in my Blog....