Tuesday, November 8, 2016
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- Alert for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election
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- Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins
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Tag Archives: CalPERS
May 4, 2016 Election Update Final Election Results Certified at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting The old El Segundo City Council conducted minimal City business and adopted a resolution certifying the April 12, 2016 General Municipal … Continue reading
Here is where to find out what El Segundo pays its City employee union members and managers. Make sure to see the explanatory information below to understand what the data represents. By far, the police and firefighter employees have the … Continue reading
Doesn’t Agree With Officers’ Statements
As a resident of this community for many years, I am having a difficult time understanding the statements emanating from the ES Police Officers, or the wife of one of the officers, regarding contract negotiations. She accused the Council of being focused on “money, money, money” and suggested the group is “hell bent on bringing down the police department.” However, neither she nor any of the officers have mentioned the unfunded pension liability of $106 million owed to PERS, and that to eliminate it would cost each household in the City of El Segundo $44,000 dollars. Or that the officers last contract required them to pay 3% of the pension costs, that other officers previously to her husbands hiring had paid in 9%.
Other cities are experiencing the same problem with unfunded pension liability, (example Torrance owes $300 million), and five cities within the state have declared bankruptcy, because they were unable to make any pension payments to PERS, and this affects everyone within the retirement system.
No one speaks about the healthcare benefits, which the city pays from the time of his hire, until the day he leaves this world. It is not known if these funds are also unfunded.
The City Council is not trying to destroy the police department or put the public safety at risk, and I feel that such statements are inflammatory, and the attack on Council member Fellhauer or any other is uncalled for.
– Loretta Frye
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
The police and fire union labor contract negotiation offers and counter-offers, released by the City of El Segundo after reluctant and delayed permission of the unions, will be provided here as soon as time permits.
No on Measure A
Mayor Fisher claims the “business community” supports Measure A, and the City Council has no control over employee pension costs. Not true.
Most El Segundo businesses oppose Measure A. Ninety percent are not Chamber members, and the Chamber board did not allow its general membership to vote before supporting the tax hikes.
City Council controls pension costs in three ways: (1) Amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “special compensation”; (2) Percentage of total pension contributions employees are required to pay; and (3) Pension plan options the city provides.
Firefighter and police pensions pay 3 percent of their single highest year salary for each year worked, up to 90 percent. Fisher supported firefighter and police pay raises of 11.25 percent to 32.3 percent over three years, plus additional 5 percent annual “step” raises, approved 4/7/09 and 12/2/08, jacking up pension costs.
The council can save more than $3.3 million yearly by requiring city employees to pay half their total pension contributions, as allowed under state law effective 1/1/13. The city now pays 71 percent to 94 percent of total pension contributions.
The council can save several million more yearly by eliminating automatic additional 5 percent annual “step” raises, and “special compensation” for things that are existing job requirements or unrelated to the job.
These savings must be negotiated with the city unions later this year, after the April election. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings.
See PublicSafetyProject.org for more information. Vote “no” on Measure A.
El Segundo Continue reading
No on Measure A
Mayor Fisher claims the “business community” supports Measure A, and the City Council has no control over employee pension costs. Not true!
Most El Segundo businesses oppose Measure A. 90% are NOT Chamber members, and the Chamber board did not allow its general membership to vote before supporting the tax hikes.
City Council controls pension costs in three ways: (1) Amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “Special Compensation”; (2) Percentage of total pension contributions employees are required to pay; and (3) Pension plan options the City provides.
Firefighter and police pensions pay 3% of their single highest year salary for each year worked, up to 90%. Fisher supported firefighter and police pay raises of 11.25% to 32.3% over three years, plus additional 5% annual “Step” raises, approved 4/7/09 and 12/2/08, jacking up pension costs.
The Council can save more than $3.3 million yearly by requiring City employees to pay half their total pension contributions, as allowed under state law effective 1/1/13. The City now pays 71% to 94% of total pension contributions.
The Council can save several million more yearly by eliminating automatic additional 5% annual “Step” raises, and “Special Compensation” for things that are existing job requirements or are unrelated to the job.
These savings must be negotiated with the City unions later this year, after the April election. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings.
Vote “No” on Measure A.
– Mike Robbins Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 25, 2014
Below is a list of City of El Segundo, California employees who retired with California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) pensions paying them $100,000 or more per year. The highest annual pension for El Segundo is $198,272.04. El Segundo is a small City with about 5.5 square miles of land area and about 16,849 residents in 2012.
CalPERS pensions are Defined Benefit Plans that guarantee retirees their full pension payments, regardless of how much was paid into the pension fund and regardless of the performance of the pension plan’s investment portfolio, with taxpayers obligated to make up the difference. In contrast, 401(k) plans, which are common in the private sector, are Defined Contribution Plans, where the benefits paid out to retirees depends on how much was paid into the retirement plan, and on the performance of the investment funds the employees individually selected from the available choices.
The CalPERS pensions are so high because the City employee salaries are so high, especially for the firefighter and police employees, and because the City provides the employees with the maximum allowable pension formula. The annual pension income from firefighter and police CalPERS pensions is 3% of the single highest year salary for each year they worked, up to a maximum of 90%, with retirement at age 50 or 55. Upon retirement, firefighters and police live just as long as miscellaneous (non-safety) employees – about age 83 for the men and 85 for the women – and the life expectancy keeps increasing over time with medical advances.
Thus, the taxpayers end up paying for at least two fire and police departments – the ones doing the work, and the ones enjoying long lavish retirements while receiving multi-million dollar pensions.
The salary upon which CalPERS pensions are based includes all those “Special Compensation” add-ons in the union contracts, that average an additional 33% on top of base salary for El Segundo police and firefighters. “Special Compensation” is paid even for things that are already existing job requirements or are unrelated to the job, including wearing a uniform and having a driver license.
For example, fire engineers (second-level firefighters) whose job description includes driving the fire engine are paid additional “Special Compensation” under their union contract to have a driver license to drive the fire engine. All “Special Compensation” increases the salary counted towards the pension payout and the pension cost to the City’s taxpayers.
The elected City Council controls pension costs in three significant ways: (1) Amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “Special Compensation”; (2) Percentage of total pension contributions employees are required to pay; and (3) Pension plan options the City provides.
Firefighter and police pensions pay 3% of their single highest year salary for each year worked, up to 90%. El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher supported firefighter and police pay raises of 11.25% to 32.3% over three years, plus additional 5% annual “Step” raises, approved 4/7/09 and 12/2/08, jacking up pension costs.
The El Segundo City Council can save more than $3.3 million yearly by requiring City employees to pay half their total pension contributions, as allowed under state law effective 1/1/13. The City now pays 71% to 94% of total pension contributions.
The City Council can save several million more yearly by eliminating automatic additional 5% annual “Step” raises, and “Special Compensation” for things that are existing job requirements or are unrelated to the job.
These savings must be negotiated with the City unions later this year, after the April 8, 2014 election. Measure A is on the ballot for that election. Measure A bundles ELEVEN TAX HIKES in one ballot measure. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings. … Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 14, 2014
El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher, and City Council Members David Atkinson and Marie Felhauer who give Fisher his Council majority, claim the City Council no control over City employee pension costs. They claim that is all determined by California state law. This is not true. They make this claim to deceive El Segundo voters into approving the massive Measure A tax increases on residents and businesses on the April 8, 2014 city election ballot.
This article explains how the City Council has significant control over employee pension costs, how the City Council increased employee pension costs, and how the City Council can save $3.3 million per year in employee pension costs.
The City Council controls employee pension costs in three significant ways:
- The amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “special compensation” add-ons;
- The percentage of the total CalPERS pension contributions employees are required to pay; and
- Which pension formula and other pension options are provided to City employees.
Every pay raise increased the City’s CalPERS pension costs.
City employee annual pension income is a fixed percentage of their single highest year salary, including all those redundant and non-job-related “Special Compensation” union contract add-ons, for every year they worked. Firefighters and police get annual pension income of 3% of their single highest year salary for each year they worked, up to a maximum of 90%, with full retirement after 30 years at age 50 or 55. This corresponds to pension benefit formulas of 3% @ 50 and 3% @ 55, respectively.
Mayor Fisher supported wildly excessive and unsustainable pay raises for the already over-compensated firefighter and police unions that helped launch his political career with lots of campaign support, and for their managers to prevent “salary compaction”. Fisher supported pay raises ranging from 11.25% to 23% for the firefighter and police unions, in three or four installments over three years, and single pay raises ranging from 14.9% to 32.3% for their managers, during the first three years of the Great Recession. All of the raises were approved well after the Great Recession started, and many included retroactive pay raises effective up to 6 and 9 months before the union contracts were approved. The firefighter and police union contracts included additional 5% annual “step raises”, and additional periodic “longevity raises”. … Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
August 17, 2010
SWORN POLICE OFFICERS
Generally, El Segundo sworn police officers, from lowest level Police Officer up to Police Captain, are by far the highest paid city employees except for sworn firefighters. Police Chief David Cummings was by far the highest paid city employee in calendar year 2009.
Highest Paid El Segundo City Employee in Calendar Year 2009
Former El Segundo Police Chief David Cummings, who retired in 2009 with about eleven weeks left in the year, had total 2009 compensation of about $596,657, including his city contract and CalPERS pension income while he continued working as the El Segundo Police Chief after his retirement. Cummings’ post-retirement City employment contract acknowledged that he would be receiving his $210,000 per year CalPERS pension income while he continued working as the City’s police chief after his retirement.
Below are two tables, one showing how former El Segundo Police Chief David Cummings was paid a total of at least $596,657 in 2009, and the second showing how Cummings’ salary, vacation and sick leave payout, and pension were all spiked by the 23% raise he was given about a year before his retirement. Following these two tables is a list of links to related documents.
The following is an in-line HTML table containing the formatted spreadsheet data of former El Segundo Police Chief David Cummings’ calendar year 2009 total compensation and pension income.
Note: This Public Records Act request data was provided by the City of El Segundo, California on December 15, 2010 in response to a PRA request made by Michael D. Robbins on December 5, 2010. It is provided here as a courtesy of Michael D. Robbins and the Public Safety Project, P.O. Box 2193, El Segundo, CA 90245, PublicSafetyProject.org. The estimated (calculated) data and additional data annotations were provided by Michael D. Robbins.
|David Cummings – El Segundo, California Police Chief
Paid in Calendar Year 2009
|Pay and Income for the first 41 weeks (289 days) of 2009
|Special Compensation (Uniform Allowance)||480|
|Regular Earnings + Special Comp||226,107|
|Leave Payout (Vacation and Sick Leave Payout)||199,668|
|CalPERS Pension – Employer Contribution – Paid by the Employer (City)||48,894|
|Percentage of Regular Earnings + Special Comp – Paid by the Employer (City)||21.6%|
|CalPERS Pension – Employee Contribution – Paid by the Employer (City)||16,755|
|Percentage of Regular Earnings + Special Comp – Paid by the Employer (City)||7.4%|
|CalPERS Pension – Employee Contribution – Paid by the Employee||0|
|Percentage of Regular Earnings + Special Comp – Paid by the Employee||0.0%|
|CalPERS Pension – Employee Contribution – Total Amount Paid||16,755|
|Percentage of Regular Earnings + Special Comp||7.4%|
|TOTAL CALPERS PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS PAID BY THE EMPLOYER (CITY)||65,649|
|Percentage of Regular Earnings + Special Comp – Total Paid by the Employer (City)||29.0%|
|NOTE: CalPERS pension contributions were made for the period 1/1/09 – 10/16/09 (41 weeks)|
|401(a) Deferred Compensation Plan|
|401(a) Deferred Compensation Plan – Amount Paid by Employer (City)||11,592|
|401(a) Deferred Compensation Plan – Amount Paid by the Employee||0|
|401(a) Deferred Compensation Plan – Total Amount Paid||11,592|
|Annual Regular Earnings + Special Comp for period 9/27/08 – 9/25/09||231,839|
|Percentage of Regular Earnings + Special Comp||5.0%|
|Total Insurance Benefits Paid by the Employer (City)|
|A D & D||17|
|Long Term Disability||692|
|Executive Long Term Disability||1,031|
|Post-Employment Health Insurance for 11/09 & 12/09||2,302|
|2009 TOTAL EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION||508,233|
|Pay and Income for the last 11 weeks (76 days) of 2009 (10/17/09 – 12/31/09):|
|Estimated Contract Employee Pay||43,956|
|(At $111 per hour x 36 hours per week average x 11 weeks)|
|Estimated CalPERS Pension Double-Dipping Income||44,468|
|(At $210,213.36 per year for 11 weeks)|
|ESTIMATED TOTAL 2009 EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION AND PENSION INCOME||596,657|
|(All pension income was obtained while “double-dipping” by working as a contract employee El Segundo City Police Chief)|
Regular Earnings, Leave Payout, and Pension Benefit Spike
Police Chief David Cummings received a 23% pay increase effective October 1, 2008, about a year before his retirement, which spiked his 2009 total earnings and leave payout, and his annual pension. The raise spiked his regular earnings by $42,190 (from $183,437 to $225,627), and his accumulated vacation and sick leave payout (cash-out) value by $37,336 (from $162,332 to $199,668), for a total earnings spike of $79,527. His annual pension was spiked by an estimated $39,308 (from $170,905 to $210,213).
Police officers and firefighters are credited and allowed to accumulate and roll-over from year to year huge numbers of vacation and sick leave hours, which can be cashed out at a higher pay rate in later years and upon retirement. His total 2009 earnings was $425,775 – consisting of $225,627 Regular Earnings, $480 Special Compensation, and $199,668 Leave Payout. He retired in 2009 with a pension of $210,213.36 yearly ($17,517.78 monthly) according to CaliforniaPensionReform.com, plus medical insurance, for the rest of his life.
The following table summarizes Police Chief David Cummings’ spikes resulting from his 23% raise.
|Regular Earnings||Special Comp.||Overtime||Leave Payout||Total Earnings||Yearly Pension|
|Before 23% Raise||183,437||480||0||162,332||346,248||170,905|
|After 23% Raise||225,627||480||0||199,668||425,775||210,213|
The reason given for Cummings’ 23% pay increase that spiked his pay, leave payout, and pension was salary compaction, also known as salary compression, caused by large pay increases given to the police union members.
Links to Related Documents: … Continue reading