The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, November 19, 2015 in the Letters section on pages 2 and 14. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.
Union Offers and Counter-Offers
The police and firefighter “associations” (unions) spent more than $10,000 in their dishonest labor contract campaign since 5/28/15, including 11 half-page newspaper ads, two city-wide mailers, and mobile billboards driven around town, attacking Mayor Suzanne Fuentes
and our City Council for doing their job to protect our city from bankruptcy.
The unions claimed (7/30/15 ad) “We don’t want raises. We just want to stop the cuts.” False. The Police Union Contract Offers and Counter- Offers finally posted on the City website shows they want 9% in general pay raises (3% per year for 3 years), including retroactive raises, in addition to automatic 5% annual step raises, periodic longevity raises, and various special compensation raises hidden in their union contract. They want the City to pay most of the CalPERS Pension Employee Contribution, in addition to the full Employer Contribution. They want taxpayers to fund nearly all of their three to six million-dollar pensions and their healthcare. And they want to work only three days per week.
There’s no budget surplus as the unions claimed. The City must replenish the Reserve Fund, repay money borrowed from the Equipment Replacement Fund, and fund the backlog of tens of millions of dollars in deferred infrastructure maintenance.
Police and firefighter total compensation has been about $150,000 to $385,000 each per year, due to union campaigning to elect City Councilmembers. The unions are not being mistreated. It is they who are mistreating us with their Culture of Entitlement, Ingratitude, and Corruption.
– Mike Robbins