From Wisconsin to San Francisco

Jeff Adachi's proposed pension reform is far from progressive


Public Defender Jeff Adachi is scurrying all over town trying to explain how his version of pension reform is really "progressive." It would be laughable if its implications weren't so devastating for working people employed by the city and those living in and around San Francisco.

Adachi is rightfully worried that the events in Wisconsin and the national movement to defend union rights they have inspired will hurt his campaign. He is eager to say that he, unlike the Republicans in Wisconsin, supports unions' rights to collective bargaining. But while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature eliminated collective bargaining for their public employees to slash their wages, health care, and pensions, Adachi is slashing San Francisco's workers pay and pensions through the ballot, effectively taking those items off the bargaining table. What's the difference?

In both Wisconsin and San Francisco the deficit is the excuse to require cuts in public worker retirement and community services. Walker created Wisconsin's deficit by granting huge tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich. In San Francisco, the deficit that cannot cover the city's pension fund contributions was similarly brought on by three decades of tax cuts for corporations and the rich in California, compounded by former Mayor Gavin Newsom opposing nearly every revenue measure proposed throughout his seven-year reign — and by the city not contributing its share to the pension fund for all the years the stock market was doing well.

In determining how "progressive" Adachi's measure is, we should, as always, follow the money. Here's who's is backing his proposal:

 Michael Moritz, the billionaire venture capitalist (and No. 308 last year on Forbes' list of wealthiest Americans) who hosted fundraisers for Prop. B — Adachi's first attempt last year at pension reform that was soundly defeated — and is a major financial backer of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Republican Party Central Committee.

 Howard Leach, the billionaire financier who raised almost $400,000 for the George W. Bush campaign and was rewarded with the position of ambassador to France. He also contributes to the Republican Governors Association, whose major objective was the election of the new crop of conservative governors pushing anti-worker measures in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, New Jersey, and other states.

 David Crane, who is a paltry multimillionaire former investment banker and close friend of and former top pension adviser to Republican former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You have to wonder why these super-rich are suddenly so concerned about the parks and senior and youth programs, the mental health and drug abuse programs Adachi cites as being cut because of pension costs. If these billionaires were so moved, they could take the money they are sinking into Adachi's measure and donate that to the programs. Or they could support some kind of progressive revenue measure that makes the wealthy downtown financiers and investors — who can afford to pay — ante up to protect the programs they claim to be concerned about.

No one is more concerned with the viability of the pension fund than those who plan to retire on it. That's why the city's unions are engaged in discussions with the city to develop real pension reform that is fact-based, principled, and compassionate to those trying to raise families in this economic climate.

So when Adachi's high-priced signature gatherers (paid as much as $5 per signature to get Prop. B on the ballot) come to your neighborhood grocery store, just say "No!"

No, this is not what we call progressive policy. Not in Wisconsin, and not in San Francisco.

Roxanne Sanchez is president and Larry Bradshaw is San Francisco vice president of SEIU Local 1021.


The ultimate cause of the Wall st. implosion was you and I - the little people who wanted cheap mortgages and ever-increasing house prices. The bankers merely gave us what we wanted.

And those "rich" were really institutions and funds i.e. the collective savings of all of us - not a handful of speculating billionaires.

"Tax everyone who is richer than me" isn't a really coherent or credible political strategy. If taxes go up, we all pay.

Posted by Chad on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 5:55 am

The causes of the collapse were bankster and speculative greed. Cheap mortgages bundled and serialized, mixing good with bad were the main cause moving that shit off of any bank's books and a webbing of $500,000,000,000,000 in derivatives on top of all of that and hundreds of billions in 30-40:1 leveraged casino bets is what got us here.

Most Americans were responsible with their personal housing finance.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 6:54 am

Personal responsibility, not for the rich. It is only for everyone else, just like Leona Helmsley said "only the little people pay taxes."

Welcome to a libertarian capitalist dystopia.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 7:04 am

Roxie Sanchez is a paid union rep. Of course she spins the problem her way.

The facts:
Pensions will consume 25% of San Francisco's general funds soon...

...meaning more budget cuts at SF General, no more summer school for our kids, shorter Park & Rec and library hours, fewer street cleanings, and a dirtier city.

City workers need to be shifted to define-contribution pension plans. You get paid what you put in, plus interest and dividends, no more.

We are tired of you people dipping into the General Fund at the expense of the needy and disadvantaged. This is why Adachi started his reform efforts.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2011 @ 11:56 am

"All of the money going into these plans belongs to the workers because it is part of the compensation of the state workers. The fact is that the state workers negotiate their TOTAL COMPENSATION, which they then divvy up between cash wages, paid vacations, health insurance and, yes, pensions. Since the Wisconsin government workers collectively bargained for their compensation, all of the compensation they have bargained for is PART OF THEIR PAY and thus only the workers contribute to the pension plan. This is an indisputable fact.” --David Cay Johnston

Posted by Lisa Pelletier on Apr. 07, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

Lisa, your pensions now have built-in 8% annual increases negotiated during the rosey days (1980-2000) when the stock market rose 10% annually.

The stock market rose 0% in 2000-2010, but you got your pension spikes anyway. That is why we are in this mess.

If you had 401-K style pensions (defined-contribution), we wouldn't be in this mess.

YOU are stealing from the poor. There will be more cuts to all services next year in order to meet your built-in pension needs.

Posted by Barton on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 9:07 am

The reason why the pension fund is in bad shape is that appointees charged with overseeing it failed at their fiduciary responsibility, buying into the bubble mentality, losing money as always happens when bubbles pop.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 9:16 am

It's certainly not the absolutely ridiculous level of benefits that were until recently available after working only five years for ccsf.
The entire door is about to be blown off the pension scam. People who have been out of work for years are not going to take kindly to the average San Francisco pensioners extremely bloated benefits plan.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 9:35 am

The bloated benefits are for the MEA, MAA, POA, Firefighters and department heads like Ed Lee.

Average City workers can expect to pull the princely sum equivalent to less than unemployment benefits after 20 years of service at age 50.

The reason why the pension fund is out of whack is incompetent investment and bloated salaries at the high end.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 9:50 am

Funny, you just said earlier that it was due to bad investments by the plan admins.
I guess when you are the smartest person in the world, you can change your mind as frequently as you wish.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 10:04 am

So if I don't express an exhaustive list in one post, I am prohibited from including additional contributing causes in the next post?

The City should have planned for financing retirements as promised. They did not. The cost driver on that was the higher paid employees generous retirement packages. That they did not plan means that we have to cut those sweetheart Fong-ish retirement packages, the cost drivers that the fiduciaries fucked up on.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 10:19 am

Newsom isn't around and won't be around to blame anymore. This is our problem.

The Controller has released it's 3 year budget projection. There is red as far as the eye can see. Here is the link:

Page 2 contains some killer stats. If facts count in local politics, and there is ample evidence to be skeptical about that, dip into the report for some sober reading.

Simply to keep the existing level of City services, ones that have been cut since the fiscal stress began in 2008, San Francisco must come up with an additional $642 million over the next two years.

The 64K question is whether a town with set political fault lines, a political class defined by intense individual competition and an all too often lazy press corps that rewards soap opera style conflicts, can figure out a way to deal with this heavy shit or will avoidance, intellectual dishonesty and hack dynamics preclude a meaningful solutions. Hope lies eternal, and that's about all we have left now.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

Good grief- reread this editorial in the context of the City's structural deficit at $650 million, with revenues "projected" to increase 5% and City employee compensation contracted to increase....20%! over the same period from the current high levels. Gee whiz, where did all those labor "concessions" go we've been reading about in the SFBG and elsewhere??

Yes, it's those bilionaires' fault.

Yes, City employees are robbing the general fund, plain and simple. But give them credit, they've been duping the public for quite some time with the type of drivel you see in this editorial. Gotta figure the public will catch on to the scam someday- the math is not going away...

And this is the City Controller's projection which means this deficit is worse:

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

Is it just me, or are comments on this board getting way too long? A few short paragraphs are often more clear and persuasive than an essay. Just sayin.

Posted by The Commish on Apr. 07, 2011 @ 8:54 pm


If the unions hold onto their bennies by kicking the can down the road and the Chamber passes a repeal of the payroll tax then the City will send out 3,600 pink slips this July 1st. That's with a 380 million dollar deficit.

Then, another 8,400 pink slips effective July 1st 2012. With 700 million deficit.

And, another 10,200 pink slips effective July 1st 2013. With 850 million deficit.

The City will lose over 22,000 of 26,000 workers and the tasks will all be privatized.

On the upside, Heather Fong will still get $279,000 a year for life and Marc Salomon will have his $36,000 yearly free health insurance.

How's that for brevity, 'Commish'?

Go Giants!


Posted by Guest h. brown on Apr. 07, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

Perfect length under the Commish's brevity scale of April 7, 2011.

And every time I see the Fong pension number, it shocks me.

Posted by The Commish on Apr. 07, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

One of Adachi's newest ideas is to cap all pensions at $85,000 annually.

No one should be getting more than that from a government pension. Would Herr Bruce and The Guardian complain about that?

Posted by Barton on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 6:30 am

Don't forget: Heather Fong retired AT THE AGE OF 53 on that $279,000 a year for life.

Thanks to public pensions, we can all say bye-bye to...

...homeless drop-in centers, summer school, outpatient services at SF General, and street cleaning.

Posted by Barton on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 6:38 am

If she's healthy and lives into her 90s, that pension will cost a mere $11,500,000. How many people have that much in their 401k to support such an income stream?

Posted by The Commish on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 6:48 am

And let's not forget Chief Heather's healthcare benefits.

Until January 2009, anybody who had worked for the city for as little as five years received health insurance for life on the public dime.

Chief Heather will be getting full coverage until death, too.

Bankruptcy looms...

Posted by Barton on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 7:07 am

COBRA not= "health insurance on the public dime". No one who leaves the City can afford it.

The practice of salary spiking (Fong) not= normal pension. Spiking must be stopped.

The practice of MEA (as a union--which they should not be) hiking their own compensation, and inflating the ranks of managers, at the direct expense of services, must be stopped. Question ALL management positions in the City, all extra Departments, Directors, etc.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

The hazzas from the left over the first female Asian police chief, then she retires and we need to "fix the police department," etc...

The SF lefts view on the spoils system.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

Cap salaries at $100K, cap pensions at $50K. Problem solved.

I like the flexible contribution idea, because it was mine, that has contributions rise when the fund falls, and has contributions drop when the fund fills.

The Chronicle is unclear as to the nature of the sliding scale:

"Under Lee's plan, employees' contributions would be set year-to-year, depending on what percentage of salaries the city had to pay toward pensions, according to participants in the meeting with the unions. The mayor's office isn't divulging how high the employees' contribution could theoretically reach, but said the plan means employees will share in the good times and bad.

Competing plan

"The employee contribution provision is in stark contrast to a plan promoted by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who is attempting to get his own version of pension reform on November's ballot via a signature drive. Adachi's plan would require all employees to pay at least 7.5 percent and for public safety officers to pay 10 percent.

"Those numbers would rise when the pension fund is performing poorly, but would do so on a sliding scale. The lowest earners would never pay more than 7.5 percent, while the highest earners could pay as much as 15 percent. Lee is opposed to a sliding scale, saying high earners are already paying more money toward their pensions because of their larger salaries.

This is unclear because it seems like one of Adachi's proposals is a fixed contribution at higher levels, while Lee's seems to be sliding scale. Yet the article concludes that Lee opposes the sliding scale because--get this--high wage earners like himself would have to pay more.

This is the best argument for not cutting Lee slack on post-employment restrictions as Mayor because he is self-dealing on pensions in a manner from which he will benefit personally and financially.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 7:28 am

Yes, he is "self-dealing" on his own high pension.

Adachi is off the "fixed" contribution now and like Lee, wants the contribution each year to depend of what the City has to pay in (with a collar). Adachi just wants higher paid employees to pay more than the Lee plan.

It's unfortunate we have to rely on the crooked Controller's office to "score" the savings of these plans. The savings estimate for Prop D pension reform in June 2010 were exaggerated by the the Controller's office to make it seem as if the reform were significant.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 8:50 am

"Cap salaries at $100K, cap pensions at $50K. Problem solved."

Good idea.

The argument one hears from UC provosts and the like (and will hear from the police and fire dept. and overpaid city managers) is that higher six-figure salaries are needed to attract qualified personnel.

They fail to acknowledge that every single one of them is overpaid.

Posted by Barton on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 7:49 am

Sure, there are over-compensated city employees. Lots of them. But insofar as the City needs to hire lawyers, doctors, senior managers and other professionals, market rates are needed.

I worry more about the 100K p.a. street cleaners.

We need to up the retirement age, up the employee contributions and lower the benefits, with a view to eventually migrating to a DC scheme. I doubt that can be done in a single step, but it should be part of the master plan.

There is little chance that the unions will agree so I would quite simply ignore them if they don't play ball, and impose the changes on them. While if they strike, great - gives us the perfect excuse to fire many of them.

Posted by Chad on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 8:26 am

I'm not so sure that we're getting our $186K worth out of the MAA (Municipal Attorney's Association) members. I am convinced that we're being ripped off by the MEA (Municipal Executives Association), which represents the itinerant class of highly paid managers who parade from institutional fuck up to institutional fuckup without consequence.

Front line health care professionals, however, should get an exemption because real lives are on the line in the course of their workday.

But clearly we're overpaying the cops who are not doing very much when our lives are on the line if their lack of risk taking on our behalf is measured by their low rate of enforcement related injury and death.

"I worry more about the 100K p.a. street cleaners." There's an app, er, meds for that.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 9:14 am

@Marc the problem with the logic that health care professionals should get an exemption is that in that no other country do health care workers get paid nearly the amount they get in the US, and yet they have better health outcomes.

It would make more sense to base health care compensation on outcome according to international standards, rather than some fantasy "free market."

ha ha ha are you a health care worker?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 10:52 am

Not a health care worker, but they actually have to try hard because society still values losing a life higher than losing a lawsuit. Good attorneys lose lawsuits all the time, so there's really not that much of a difference to me between an attorney working for $186K or for $100K.

A dregs doctor or nurse, on the other hand, can actually kill people.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 09, 2011 @ 10:22 am

The people that fix the brakes on my car can kill people.

Health care workers in every other country in the developed world are paid far less and have better health outcomes than in the United States.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 8:30 am

Many of the lawyers, doctors, etc. couldn't make in the private market what they make working for the city. And not many lawyers or doctors could afford to save as much for retirement in a private plan as some of the top heavy pensions. See Heather Fong, above.

And firefighters make too much money in this town. There is a lot of demand for those jobs so the pay isn't needed to attract applicants.

Posted by The Commish on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 9:50 am

at last there IS a candidate for Mayor who shares our concerns

check out or

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2011 @ 9:31 am

universal retirement for Everyone, strip bulked up retirement money stashed by the rich and put that $$ into cleaning up the planet..

Posted by margaret Krefting on Apr. 09, 2011 @ 6:18 am

Can I build you a bridge to hopelessness with public money?

Posted by Chad on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

Injecting an ounce of realism here the pension and healthcare benefit cost issues facing SF government can not be wished away on the blogosphere.

While not an Ed Lee fan, the assertion that the tentative plan he put forward this week to control benefit costs was motivated by his own financial circumstances is unjust and unfair. It also defies the political reality he faces.

The reason a solution to this problem is elusive, and why Adachi went to the ballot in the first place is it's impossible to get experienced political talent representing large bargaining units, people who know intimately how City Hall works to make concessions. In fact they are paid to make the opposite happen. One lesson from Prop B is overreach happens, and collectively Labor has kick but until that campaign few people outside City Hall knew what were the key sources of today's budget crisis.

This is now Lee's problem. It's one Newsom left town to avoid. For years the Controller in characteristic understatement in report after report has issued dire warnings about benefit cost increases for healthcare and since 2008 the pension system that sound much like this release from the Mayor's office this week:

"in order to protect the long term fiscal health of city government, we must continue our work to address the unsustainable growth in public employee health and pension costs in order to protect vital public services in the years to come.”

SFERS was not negligent in its investment strategies, the equity markets tanked after 9/12 and SFERS like other investors saw a 25% of its portfolio evaporate. This happened to every public investment fund. Yes had $16 billion been pulled out in August 2008 and stuck under mattresses that would have saved the fund billions but but taking the long view market investments can be a good way to make money which SFERS has actually done since 2009. It is impossible to remove entirely the element of risk from any investment.

Solving these cost drivers is difficult when the stakeholders -- aka vested interests on top of their game-- are represented by topshelf political consultants with resources to spend. Tourke works with the POA. Jaye works with the Firefighters. Stearns works with SEIU and the Labor Council. The challenge before Lee isn't like accepting federal grant money or easing a conditional use vote through the Board of Supervisors. In other cities like Los Angeles, it's led Mayor Villaraigosa to do battle wtih his fellow union representatives that he has known for decades.

It's pathetic to see paranoid, conspiracy arguments that saturate the American right's "understanding" of our politics mirrored on this site. Lee is one of the few San Francisco politicians in years (Adachi, Elsbernd), and the only Mayor, to leave the political safety zone of doing nothing and try to address the problem. He deserves credit for doing so.

Having said that, a key problem with Lee's initial plan is that it makes generous concessions to police and fire that don't want to see sliding scale pension employee contributions. Philosophically they are down with the flat tax movement, and in the day probably might have opposed the 16th amendment. This is why Lee's employee some contribution schedule looks the way it does but that could be changed with support risk averse politicians currently silent and sitting on the sidelines who have a responsibility to speak up as opposed to playing "duck and cover."

Left unchanged general fund departments will be gutted once the employer contribution rates for the City's payroll hits 28%. That assumes continued market growth in line with historical returns. It's now 14%, and pension costs already exceed the $306 million budget deficit. Given the complexity of this issue and some of the realities described above Lee is right to try and tease these reforms along the way he has done. Hellman's checkbook is leverage. Lee has been aided by Adachi and his backers efforts to publicize the scale of the problem since prior to November 2010 the number of people who read Ben Rosenfeld's reports couldn't fill a Peet's.

Of course, San Francisco like every level of government needs new revenue sources and a larger tax base. However, the November 2012 election is the only real time it makes sense to put a strong revenue package on the ballot because such a vote would take 50% and there is a large Presidential election turnout in play so 2011 is the year to get the benefits question done. Getting taxes right will also require a skilled Mayor because those with money won't give it up without a fight, and they can hire topshelf consultants to make sure that doesn't happen. Last fall a modest hotel tax increase that is paid by people who do not even live here -- which means they aren't voters -- and that should give everyone an idea of just how hard it will be to bring $200 million or even $100 million in new revenue to San Francisco especially in an environment when politicians at City Hall are talking about elminating the "job killing" payroll tax without ever suggesting where the $360 million is going to come from to replace payroll tax revenue.

In short, Lee is making an honest stab at his job now and IF folks care a whit about the town as opposed to seeing returns on their snark investments he deserves support to fix this one.

Posted by naan bread on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

"Lee is making an honest stab at his job now."......Which is why Ed Lee is trying to repeal the payroll tax. We're not too broke for tax cuts to big corporations.

"Wisconsin is Republican broke, but it's not broke," said Mordecai Lee, a UW-Milwaukee political science professor and former Democratic state lawmaker.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

Don't forget that unions spent a lot more to defeat Adachi's measure last year than he was able to raise to try to pass it.

Posted by watchgator on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

Classic error to blame the rich, now THAT's RICH!

Was able to raise from billionaires or was able to raise once the billionaires saw the polling?


Posted by marcos on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 6:51 am

A good slash and burn political narrative may be fun, but to compare choices San Francisco now faces to Wisconsin means you have to deny the following facts:

a) no one is taking the ability of public sector unions to bargain collectively for their members off the table.

b) no elected officials here are moving to change benefit packages to change the political composition of SF -- i.e. from blue to red. Locally, this is a checkbook balancing step that a Controller approved by a 11-0 vote at the Board of Supervisors has been warning about literally for years.

c) Wisconsin unions were happy to make concessions to hold onto public sector jobs and public services but Walker went ahead with his collective bargaining legislation anyway to please the Teaparty and position himself for higher office within the GOP. I don't see Ed Lee or Jeff Adachi or Sean Elsbernd ever doing that.

Even if local reforms being discussed are knocked down with easy framing , the money issues SF faces do not go away. Unlike Wisconsin they will gobble up a majority of the general fund, and also unlike Wisconsin, San Francisco because of state law can't raise income tax rates to cover the gap. Walker chooses not to do that in Wisconsin -- which faces a relatively small deficit -- due to ideological constraints. Walker unlike Ed Lee has the authority to actually raise income taxes on the affluent. .

p.s. "Guest" it is possible for even a critic to agree with Lee on one area of policy while not liking how he came into office and/or disagree with his embrace the Newsom team's Twitter tax break, especially signing off on it before the CBA was done, including the entire TL or rolling the IPO payroll tax holiday into the deal involving all payroll expenses. Nice link to Wisconsin politics but note the article's quote from the Democratic minority leader which if you want to chase parallels is an implicit endorsement of the Twitter deal:

"Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said he supports targeted tax relief tied to job creation."

In short there are limits to analogies much less copy and paste efforts to understand the nuanced reality.

Posted by guest on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

SF is not too broke for payroll tax cuts.

SF is 'Republican' broke. We're not 'broke' broke.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 8:40 am

Republican Broke = we broke it, you bought it.

Now make like good citizens united and shaddayup you face and start paying.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 10:02 am

Republican broke is 350 million in payroll tax cuts and 350 million in 'pension' reform.

"April 11, 2011

FCJ: Prop B lost last November. Why are you still pushing for pension reform?

JA: Because the problem of escalating pension costs is still here and it’s getting worse. Pension costs are going up nearly $100 million between this year and next year. In four years, pension costs are projected to climb another $243 million. We will experience cuts in services like we’ve never seen before, and job layoffs of city workers. That’s not something that anyone would want."

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 11:53 am

Wisconsin framing works!

a) Most San Franciscans are liberals with a fundamental sense of fairness who do not want their retirement and health care insecurity to be the basis for lashing out at public sector employees.

b) Chris Daly was the ONLY vote against the SFPD 25% raise in 2007 that Gavin Newsom negotiated as he was running for reelection.

c) San Francisco's unions, especially SEIU, have made concessions for, what, 7 out of the past 10 years and are to begin to pay 7.5% of their salaries to the pension fund?

Job creation in San Francisco, in and of itself, is not necessarily a good thing as we already have a surplus of jobs relative to residents.

Job creation is a good thing when it employs San Franciscans who need work.

Job creation is a good thing when it pays business taxes, either payroll (or its successor) or sales taxes.

Otherwise, San Franciscans are subsidizing profit making and the export of wages to be spent in other jurisdictions, hardly a win for San Franciscans.

Measured by this analysis, Twitter-down economics is a dud.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 7:35 am

..."San Francisco's unions, especially SEIU, have made concessions for, what, 7 out of the past 10 years and are to begin to pay 7.5% of their salaries to the pension fund?"

Oh, that's rich. You forgot to menton the big raise the SEIU got to pay that 7.5% contribution or the huge increase in taxpayer pension liability as a result the raise.

And that last round of $230 million in labor "concessions," gee- where did that go?

..."lashing out" at public employees? The expression is "attacking" public employees- you're off your talking points...

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 8:58 am

Yep, raises foregone, salary cuts taken, furlough days imposed, the cost of health insurance skyrocketing, SEIU employees have taken none of the burden.

And all of this with having to work under the politicized middle and upper management dregs of Brown's Special Assistants that Peskin ensconced in the bureaucracy.


Posted by marcos on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 10:00 am

The goal is to eliminate the payroll tax and not have a successor, obviously.

Because there is no such thing as too rich.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 8:53 am

"A union leader who asked to not be named said that the union proposals could equate to a 12 percent to 15 percent reduction in the value of employee benefits."

Posted by guest on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

...If you read this board or just a comment otherwise.

Is the SEIU position to just fight any pension reform altogether? This seems like a losing battle as pension reform in the form of increased employee contributions seems all but inevitable at this point.

That being the case, why would the SEIU be criticizing the new Adachi plan instead of the Mayor's plan as outlined? Lee's plan does not exempt low paid employees nor does it employ a sliding scale which would require the highest paid workers to contribute the most.

Adachi's new plan exempts low paid workers (< $50k I believe) and requires higher paid City employees to contribute more to the pension savings via a sliding scale...Why in the world then, in the interest of the people whom you represent would you be railing against Adachi's plan? Dare I ask, isn't Adachi's plan more progressive?



Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 5:32 pm


I think Adachi was too generous. Anyone who needs more than $100,000 a year in retirement should get a god damned part-time job.

Giants just underway ... Mad bum gets slow grounder to third which Sandoval turns into 1st out.

Giants had great program to start game and defuse the tension with the attack on paramedic, Bryan Stow weighing down on us all.

They began by giving Uribe his World Series ring in front of the world and the fans were great with one last .... OooooRiiiiiBaaayyy!.

Then, a member of the family, I believe, talked about Bryan and baseball rivalry and urged love and respect.

As did a member of each, the Giants and the Dodgers.

Class act.

I'd expect nothing less of SF.

Now back to the lying union flaks.


Posted by Guest h. brown on Apr. 11, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

Interesting that those complaining the most about contributing more to their own pensions are the single largest drain on the City's general fund.

Yes, SEIU worker pension costs are going up $44 million in ONE YEAR. Firstly, this is insane. That's $44 million that is not going to schools, public health, the poor, our parks, potholes or public safety. (In fairness, per employee the Fire pension cost is also very, very high.)

Perhaps this was caused by Local 1021 not making employee contributions until July 1 of this year (last year?) or the increase in unfunded pension liability caused by the 6% raise given to Local to cover their first-time contributions. Who knows since SF taxpayers are always kept in the dark when it comes to the City's opaque pension accounting practices. No explanation is ever provided.

The taxpayers of SF are enormously generous to these folks - I guess you'd think there would be a little more gratitude...

Posted by Guest on Apr. 12, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

Also from this author

  • What union democracy means

    Nobody has more at stake in SEIU than the members who pay the bills and whose wages, benefits, and working conditions are being negotiated