Thursday, August 5, 2010

Public Employee Pay & Benefits

The leading issue for cutting the cost of government will be public employee pay and benefits. Today's WSJ story about the outrage and shock over exposure of ludicrous pay levels in some California cities and towns is simply a starting gun being heard.

From the WSJ: "LOS ANGELES—The state controller on Wednesday ordered that all California cities post employee salaries on a central website, the latest reaction to revelations that a tiny city south of Los Angeles was paying its city manager nearly $800,000."

"The upheaval over salaries in Bell has had an outsize impact, city managers and activists say, prompting residents around the country to demand salary information about their city officials. "

The secrecy of these pay & benefit levels has permitted them to grow and grow for decades until now they far exceed those available in the private sector.

I remember in the 1980s when a strikes by the subway workers and the railroad workers were threatened or occurred. Nowhere in the press was compensation levels discussed. Why ? Because both management and labor wanted it secret, to hide the gross overpayment at all levels. Fare increases were imposed on the working poor, while the employees got more gravy and cushy benefits.

This is a new battleground and the fights will be long and protracted.

Word of the Day

"Ponce" - noun & verb [$10] British slang.
Ponce means (noun) 1. a man who lives off a prostitute's earnings, a pimp; 2. (offensive) a homosexual, an effeminate man; (verb) to act as a ponce. Ponce about means to move about effeminately or ineffectively.
Poncey (adjective, also poncy) means to act in the sense of #2 of ponce.
Sentence: Watching US network TV, one gets the impression the world is littered with ponces of both meanings.


Bunkerman said...

another lousy jobs number.

479,000 new layoffs.

A Dart Rider said...

its already been done at - this should be done independent of the city, regardless. how transparent is government if they control what you see, anyways?