Union Bosses Raid Pensions

Union Bosses Raid Pensions

Taxpayers are footing the bill and business is getting the blame for the pension crisis in California but the real culprit is the union bosses of the Golden State, the Investors Business Daily reports: Reports from a variety of media reveal California state employees are spiking their pensions to stratospheric levels, leaving nothing for their brother employees. Sorry, can't blame Wall Street for this one. In a laudable instance of the mainstream media doing its job, the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, Bloomberg News and City Journal have all exposed "pension spiking" by California public employees. Basically, they manipulate rigid unionized pay and promotion systems to raise their pensions well above what they earned during their working years. The Los Angeles Times on Saturday pieced together tough-to-get data from Kern and Ventura counties and found a fiscal horror story: In Kern, 77% of public employees with pensions greater than $100,000 actually get more than they did during their working lives. In Ventura, the figure is 84%. Kern has a $761 million pension shortfall, in part due to the practice. Both the practice and the lack of transparency are signs of a rotten system. Bigger counties like San Diego and Los Angeles also permit pension spiking.

Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich to overhaul state employees collective bargaining rules

Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich to overhaul state employees collective bargaining rules

Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich intends to overhaul current state employees' collective bargaining rules (passed by Big Labor-financed state legislators and signed by a Big Labor-financed Governor) that he says allow unelected third parties to force the state of Ohio its counties and towns to raise taxes without any say by taxpayers.  Kasich also intends to dismantle federally imposed wage rules that drive up construction costs.  A better idea would be to give all workers in Ohio the right to choose to pay or not pay union dues or fees, rather than being forced to pay dues and fees as a condition of employment.  Ohio needs a Right to Work law to protect all employees. Reginald Fields of The Plain Dealer wrote: COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Public employees who go on strike over labor disputes should automatically lose their jobs, says Gov.-elect John Kasich. "If they want to strike they should be fired," Kasich said last week. "I really don't favor the right to strike by any public employee. They've got good jobs, they've got high pay, they get good benefits, a great retirement. What are they striking for?" Kasich has made it clear that dismantling Ohio's collective bargaining law will be a top priority of his administration. The 1983 collective bargaining law, which gives public employees a right to unionize, was implemented by a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Richard F. Celeste. In particular, Kasich is going after binding arbitration rules … "You are forcing increased taxes on taxpayers with them having no say," Kasich said. The Middletown City Council recently tabled a resolution asking the Ohio General Assembly to revise the state's collective bargaining law. City Councilman Josh Laubach, who authored the resolution, said the city had to dip into reserves to pay police and fire costs this year and is expecting a $2.5 million increase in safety personnel in 2011 despite adding no new positions, according to the Middletown Journal. The 1983 collective bargaining law, which gives public employees a right to unionize, was implemented by a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Richard F. Celeste.

'Too Bad For Recently Hired, Talented Teachers'

'Too Bad For Recently Hired, Talented Teachers'

(Source: June 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Union Bigwigs Make Sure Public School Layoffs Are 'Quality-Blind' In recent years, forced dues-funded teacher union lobbyists and union negotiators played a major role in convincing public officials to increase the number of instructional employees at K-12 public schools at a blistering clip. Nationwide, the number of K-12 public school instructional employees (full-time equivalent) grew roughly 3.5 times as much as the number of school-aged children (15.9% vs. 4.5%) from 1998 to 2007. This spring, Gaylene Hayden was one of just six Indiana K-12 public school teachers to be recognized for their "outstanding service." Teacher union boss-perpetuated seniority rules have since cost her her job. (Fox 59 News, Bloomington, Ind.) Since an estimated 65% of U.S. public schoolteachers are under union monopoly bargaining, and more than 40% are forced to pay union dues or fees as a job condition, K-12 employment growth that far outpaces the growth of America's five to 17-year-old population represents a huge windfall for Big Labor. However, in the wake of the severe 2008-2009 recession, many strapped states now have no choice but to pare back a small portion of the K-12 instructional staff increases of the previous decade. Hoosier Teachers Recognized For 'Outstanding Service,' Then Laid Off When school officials have the power to restrict layoffs to employees they have identified as the least effective, then occasional recession-related reductions in force of 5–10% are not necessarily detrimental to student achievement, according to education experts like Stanford University's Eric Hanushek.

'Too Bad For Recently Hired, Talented Teachers'

'Too Bad For Recently Hired, Talented Teachers'

(Source: June 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Union Bigwigs Make Sure Public School Layoffs Are 'Quality-Blind' In recent years, forced dues-funded teacher union lobbyists and union negotiators played a major role in convincing public officials to increase the number of instructional employees at K-12 public schools at a blistering clip. Nationwide, the number of K-12 public school instructional employees (full-time equivalent) grew roughly 3.5 times as much as the number of school-aged children (15.9% vs. 4.5%) from 1998 to 2007. This spring, Gaylene Hayden was one of just six Indiana K-12 public school teachers to be recognized for their "outstanding service." Teacher union boss-perpetuated seniority rules have since cost her her job. (Fox 59 News, Bloomington, Ind.) Since an estimated 65% of U.S. public schoolteachers are under union monopoly bargaining, and more than 40% are forced to pay union dues or fees as a job condition, K-12 employment growth that far outpaces the growth of America's five to 17-year-old population represents a huge windfall for Big Labor. However, in the wake of the severe 2008-2009 recession, many strapped states now have no choice but to pare back a small portion of the K-12 instructional staff increases of the previous decade. Hoosier Teachers Recognized For 'Outstanding Service,' Then Laid Off When school officials have the power to restrict layoffs to employees they have identified as the least effective, then occasional recession-related reductions in force of 5–10% are not necessarily detrimental to student achievement, according to education experts like Stanford University's Eric Hanushek.

Ticking Time Bomb

Ticking Time Bomb

  USA Today examines the financial ticking time bomb that is the public workers pension system.  Thanks to the handiwork of the union bosses America's fiscal ledger is starting to look like Greece: Even the most casual observers know the federal government has a serious debt problem that's propelling the USA toward the same cliff as Greece. Less well known is that certain states and localities are even worse off. Or at least their problems are coming to a head sooner, as they have fewer options for kicking the proverbial can down the road. States can't print money, and they have limits on borrowing. Much of their shortfall, moreover, is the result of pension obligations that are binding contracts, not just political promises. The looming shortfalls were hidden in recent years through a combination of outright deceit and overly rosy projections for annual investment returns. But the truth is now emerging. Last month, a panel from Stanford University concluded that California's public employee pensions were underfunded by $500 billion. That's about $35,700 per California household. Nationally, the American Enterprise Institute estimates that state pension funds are more than $3 trillion short.