City of Concord Fact-Finding Representative Rejects Proposed 12.3% Single-Year Increase in Employee Pay

January 8, 2013 15:37 pm · 99 comments

The following press release is from the City of Concord:

In early test of state-mandated fact-finding process, panelist recommends major increase in employee compensation despite on-going City deficit

In a written statement, Concord’s representative on a state-mandated fact-finding panel has rejected a recommendation by the panel’s chair that city employees receive an average single-year compensation increase of 12.3 percent.

Two bargaining units of Concord City employees, represented by Teamsters Local 856, have been at impasse with the City since their contract expired in June. As a result, the Teamsters and the City have engaged in a new, state-mandated impasse process.

The fact-finding process includes a three-person panel: one City representative, one union representative, and one third party member appointed by the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), who chairs the panel.

On Monday, Carol Vendrillo, the chair of the fact-finding panel, issued an opinion that calls on the City to disregard its 10-year fiscal planning process, shift funds from its fiscal reserve and increase employee compensation by 12.3 percent this fiscal year, with the potential for even more increases in the next year.

City officials rejected the recommendation, noting that a double-digit increase in compensation is out of line in this recessionary era, especially in the public sector where the recent economic crisis has seen cities file for bankruptcy under the weight of rapidly increasing employee costs. Ultimately, an increase of that magnitude would jeopardize both city services and city jobs.

“The chair’s recommendations are so out of touch with the reality of Concord’s finances that we were shocked,” said Kay Winer, the City’s representative on the panel and interim Assistant City Manager. “The City already faces a $5.5 million structural deficit. It would be fiscally reckless to give our employees a 12 percent raise in one year.”

If the City implemented the chair’s recommendation for all of its non-sworn employees, it would increase the structural deficit by $2.5 million to $8 million.

In 2010, Concord voters passed Measure Q, a five-year, half-cent sales tax increase, specifically designed to plug the City’s structural budget deficit and protect city services from severe cuts while the economy recovered. Unfortunately, Concord’s economy has not yet recovered from “The Great Recession.” In fact, assessed valuations in Concord are in a continued decline, resulting in lower property tax revenues. Meanwhile, Measure Q revenue will cease in just over three years.

“We value our employees, their hard work, and their dedication to this city,” said Mayor Dan Helix. “We recognize that they have given up raises, agreed to furloughs, and continue to make contributions to their retirement and pension costs to help the City get through the fiscal crisis. This is respected and appreciated. But the bottom line is that the City simply cannot afford to give them a 12 percent increase in compensation without jeopardizing the fiscal stability of the City.”

Since 2009, Concord reduced its workforce by 119 positions, with only eight layoffs, and was able to give the union no-layoff guarantees in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

“We’ve always sought to protect the interests of our employees,” said interim City Manager Valerie Barone. “That’s why the City Council chose to use attrition, an early retirement incentive program, and reserve funds to protect both services and jobs through the recession. We understand why employees are pushing to regain some of the ground they have lost in recent years. But adopting the view that the City should give them a 12 percent increase in compensation in a single year would mean that the deficit will continue to grow and Concord will face its own Fiscal Cliff in just a few years when Measure Q revenue runs out.”

This was Concord’s first test of the fact-finding process. AB 646, which went into effect statewide last year, can only be triggered by employee organizations. If local employers and their employees are unable to reach agreement through negotiation, the employee organization (but not the employer) “may request that the parties’ differences be submitted to a fact-finding panel.”

Although AB 646 mandates that the city participate in fact-finding if the union requests it, the panel’s chair can only make recommendations; her findings are not binding.

“In this case, the City and the Teamsters entered fact-finding far apart,” Barone said, “and unfortunately, this out-of-touch recommendation will do nothing to bring us closer together. We will continue to work with our employees in hopes of reaching a resolution.”

Fact-Finding Report
City’s Dissent

Em Dubya January 8, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Insanity. The problem with spending other people’s money is that you eventually run out of it.

Always Right January 8, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Greedy government unions and their servants in Sacramento have no use for prudent fiscal planning and reserves.

They want to take every dime every time.

2% ? Maybe. 12% ? That is absurd.

Peter January 8, 2013 at 3:57 PM

On no someone has to contribute to their retirement…thats called reality.
Get over yourselves.

Wow! January 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM

I only get 3% a year.

But It's Just Politics January 8, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Who in their right mind would think a single-year compensation increase of 12.3 percent is a good idea, Oh yes an elected official. Wanting to perpetuate the you give me a raise and I’ll vote for you and give you campaign contributions. Believe in the real world, that behavior is considered criminal.

bduns January 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I performed well in my corporate job last year and got a 2.4% raise…

Does anyone still wonder why we are broke as a city/state/country?

NoMoreFreeRide January 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Time to pitch the Unions and make all the jobs non-union. Does it make sense to pay someone $20.00 plus and hour to pull weeds?

the last American January 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Sweet Mother of God! I’m going to make the wild and totally unfounded speculation that this Carol Vendrillo character has interests and associations within the greater public employees community than we can infer from this article. There are plenty of negative things that can be said of our city government, but being insolvent is not one of them. The city has made painful cuts so we don’t wind up like Vallejo.

This can only be a shameless attempt to high ball the city, and hope that meeting somewhere in the middle will still net a 6% increase. How about a 0% increase? We are still in a recession, and we need to budget on the assumption that that .5% sales tax increase will be allowed to expire. I urge the city council to stay the course and maintain the same resolve that kept us afloat during the recession as we emerge from it.

Shuley January 8, 2013 at 4:19 PM

How much $$ was spent to come to this obvious conclusion? Playing devil`s advocate, lets say in light of a few years of no increases and furloughs, a good raise is merited (if possible), maybe 6%? Thats assuming waste can be eliminated to afford it.

Jojo Potato January 8, 2013 at 4:41 PM

More government madness. Unelected officials put into “mandated” processes. Carol Vendrillo has been a union flak her whole career. I was so confused reading the headline and then the article. Good job Ms. Winer for standing up for some sense in Concord.

James January 8, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Since there seems to be some confusion please note that the actual elected officials, the Concord City Council, rejected the recommendation. The recommendation was made by an appointed official, Carol Vendrillo, member of the Public Employment Relations Board. If you check the PERB website you will see that Ms. Vendrillo was appointed by a Republican, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in January 2008. So if you want to blame anyone for involving bureaucrats beholden to public employee unions, you might start with Arnold.

mike mac January 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM

These people are unbelieveable!!! Total disregard for the public. Perhaps we need to withhold any funds for this crazy fact-finding panel. If that does not work, just fire them all.

GoodGrief January 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Yeah I got 3%

Howard K Mullins III January 8, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Another fine demonstration of the corruption of politicians and the evil politics of this state and country.

A new face of evil is Carol Vendrillo. Berkeley nut job willing to bankrupt the city in order to over pay city workers.

You people keep voting in these politicians who’s corruption beyond your imagination, there is no one else to blame but yourselves when it all falls apart. And if some of you are gullible enough to think things are going to be just fine, gullible you are to the extreme.

Rich C. January 8, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I don’t understand how she could be the chair of this committee or even on it given that her loyalties lay with unions.


Assistant Counsel, National Field Representative

Represented federal employees and local union chapters in grievances, arbitrations, unfair labor practices, and representation disputes. Drafted contract proposals and served as regional spokesperson at bargaining table.

Bought and Paid For politicians January 8, 2013 at 5:03 PM

You think this is bad voters in their stupidity have given democrats in state legislature a super majority, what they’re going to pull in the next two years will make this insignificant.

Sick of unions January 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Why do people with no college education get paid more than most college graduates, along with much better benefits and retirement? I say dump the unions and offer a reasonable wage and compensation for people with high school educations. We would have tons of people jumping for those jobs, because of the security, and we could pay half of what we pay now. People with college and graduate degrees work tons of overtime with no pay, have very expensive medical insurance, and no retirement. Welcome to the real world people.

What the Hell January 8, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Is a structural deficit? Please explain.

NotPC January 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

This is bad except for the fact that the employees – would have more money to pump back into the economy -, but I guess that matter’s to those in the city structure who would lose their bonus for saving a buck ot two this quarter reguardless of the long term benefit to the city overall. (No, I’m not a city employee, wish I were. . . .)

Tommy January 8, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Don’t most city, county and special district employees already get an annual 3% cost of living increase? And it isn’t considered a raise – it’s an entitlement.

ptpauly January 8, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Give them the 12% and end all retirement benefits. In fact cut all public employee retirement benefits. Tell they have to contribute to their own 401K like the rest of us. Save some for the rainy day.
What does she care about Concord. Effing liberal, not her city, probably wants to further a political career. These stupid politicians need to wake the eff up before it is too late. And if the stupid people who vote don’t understand who has to pay for these type of expenditures we are all going to pay and pay.
You keep voting in politicians who just give away money. Wake up folks, the only people who are going to be living in California in the future are going to be free loaders, public employees, and the super rich, and if you think the super rich are going to pay wise up. They will just move to a state with less taxes and take their money with them. Then the state employees are going to scream because they have to pay more to support themselves and the free loaders. Pay for free college education, forgiven college loans, unpaid taxes, corporations will bolt due to high taxes too, The gravy train is over for public sector and they can’t stand it. They will have to stand on their own. Maybe even work a job for someone who demands that you respect you co workers and the public, an honest days work for an honest days pay, etc.
Now young people want a free college education and want the government to pay for it. Well the government doesn’t produce a profit so taxes will be collected to pay for it. Then once they start working a job and their taxes are through the roof to pay for everyone else to go to college, paying for their favorite politician retirements and perks and the public sector money train, lets see how they feel then.
It is fun to talk to people of the 60’s and 70’s complain about judges, criminals, prisoner rights, light prison sentences, etc and then remind them that this is just a product of the politicians they voted for back then. They wanted to all be touchy feely, rehabilitation, educate for the criminals. etc.Now they are upset because those politicians appointed the judges of today and they don’t think they are tough enough. Remember, you reap what you sow. If everyone drinks for free, eventually you will run out of money!!!

Anon January 8, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Give them the twelve percent, then fire 30% of them.

frustrated January 8, 2013 at 6:04 PM

they act like they are entitled to fair pay or something??? they know as city servants they arents going to be paid generously and should be thanful to have a job. this is as bad as the city employees who had a punlic tempertantrum last week because city managment/ finance made an ERROR and forgot to pay them for 5 days! self people??

Elwood January 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Deficit, shmeficit! Just give them the money!

Bankrupt? The new dimmiecrat super majority will make it illegal for cities to go bankrupt.

Dorothy January 8, 2013 at 6:09 PM

That is a big increase. It fits right in with letting the homeless urinate wherever they want as a right.

That being said, I want, as a right, a 25% increase in my Social Security, a 20% decrease in my health care and Medicare premiums, a 30% decrease in the property taxes on homes, and…

anon January 8, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Pretty soon not just the Republicans are going to want to do away with the unions. This is utterly ridiculous.

Mark January 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Look where union pay demands got Hostess.

Vindex January 8, 2013 at 6:22 PM

I agree a 12% increase is not a good idea. I am concerned however that the city of concord puts out a press release during negotiations with these bargaining groups. Not a way to bridge the gap. Terrible management at the city. Incompetent.

Dave January 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM

12%, really??? Be thankful you’re working… They should freeze it for a few years and use that money to at least fund H.S. sports or something…

Anonymous January 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Insist that the City compare the positions and total compensation (including benefits) with the private sector before they grant any raises. Administrative assistants in our local cities are making 20 to 30 thousand more than their private sector counterparts who work in Walnut Creek and even San Francisco. And, many City employees don’t pay Social Security so add another 6% to the City employees’ base salaries. Yes, I know they don’t collect Social Security when they retire but it’s just another bankrupt program that won’t be there when the rest of us who have paid into it all these years are ready to retire.

Insist that the City and Ms. Carol Vendrillo run salary and total compensation comparisons with the private sector and vote out any public officials who increase compensation without doing their homework first. Insist that Ms. Vendrillo disclose her salary and benefits that are a total waste of our tax dollars.

Anonymous January 8, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Years ago, back when Elihu Harris was in charge, the City of Oakland hired consultants to complete a salary survey. The consultants concluded that City employees were underpaid. The City didn’t just increase the salaries, but made the increases retroactive. The corruption is nothing new.

anonamiss January 8, 2013 at 6:42 PM

We need to clean house and get rid of those greedy buggers. Thank goodness someone has the cojones to stand up for what is right. Who in the hell do these people think they are??? Money doesn’t grow on trees. Don’t these corrupt fools know that???

@ David January 8, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Perhaps they are closing all the Fire stations so they can pad their wallets???

Anon January 8, 2013 at 7:02 PM

So did Carol Vendrillo get paid for this waste of time? Maybe she can refund that to help cover some costs. Like others have said how about the fire stations…

Ray January 8, 2013 at 7:02 PM

I’m still waiting for any group of government employees to take an hourly pay cut, like many of us in the private sector have had to do over the course of the past 4 years. These people reaped the benefits over the past 15-20 years and have taken very little of the reprecussions. How did/do these people get anything above the cost of living, when they do not bring in revenue and do not do anything above and beyond what they are paid to do? They do the same thing, day in and day out. Lets bring back the 1990 salary schedule and adjust for cost of living up until 2013 and that is what the new salary schedule should be. All of a sudden, there would be no need to cut services as the salaries would be more in line with the work being performed and the taxpayers might actually get a refund.

East Concordian January 8, 2013 at 7:03 PM

It is hilarious when liberals don’t heed the advice of other liberals when reality comes home to roost. The workers are supposedly underpaid and Barone (a bleeding heart liberal) is dodging the issue when it comes to the city’s responsibility to “protect the interest of its employees”. It looks like their interest is to have higher salaries.

Do what Obama did and raise taxes on the wealthy like yourself Ms. Barone.

jtkatec January 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Unfrigging believeable

KJ January 8, 2013 at 7:06 PM

On page 21 of the Fact Finding Report under the heading “Recommendations”: “Bargaining unit members should be given a given increase of 3 percent in exchange for payment of the full member contribution to PERS retirement… The panel also recommends that employees be given a 3-percent wage increase as a first step to restoring the wage concessions they accepted in 2010 and 2011…”

How do those recommendations become a 12.3% wage increase?

After reading the report, I think the panel’s recommendations are not out of line. In fact, they make sense.

( I do not belong to a union, nor do I work for the City of Concord, or any other government agency. I am a taxpayer living in Concord.)

@david 34 January 8, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Different government agency and funds don’t co-mingle.

The Pitts January 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

All that those employees want is back what they have gave up.
Here’s the facts
City employees have given up nearly 13% of pay in the last few years
So all that they would be getting back is what they had before
And plus 5% of the 12.3 % is just be able to come back to work for the
13 furlough days.

The city of concord a few years back asked the employees to give up to help balance the buget and they gave up . NOW THE City is stable and the employees just want back what they GAVE UP!!

@ray January 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM
Joke January 8, 2013 at 7:26 PM

This is an early April Fools joke, yes?

FYI January 8, 2013 at 7:39 PM

The city of Concord pays nothing towards the fire department. Your property taxes (which have been reduced) are paid to the county funds the fire department. It’s a good deal for the city council who have no responsibility for fire service, hence their lack of concern when the downtown station closed the second company last year and the closing of the other stations. The Clayton station covers portions of Concord.

Of course January 8, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Let’s give them…25% or maybe more.This is what the Bonilla/Ammiano/Brown team has in mind .

?????? January 8, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I think most of the people are being unfair, they were referring to the non-sworn employees of the city. First the CPD, more specifically, the police officers are paid an above average wage for the work they do and deserve that pay. However, over the last 10 years the average city employee has not be compensated fairly; and often times they have not received a pay raise.

Always Right January 8, 2013 at 8:22 PM

@FYI – You are correct. The biggest difference between Concord and Vallejo and Stockton is the fact that the city of Concord does not have to pay for a massively overstaffed and overpaid fire department. As it is, most of the Concord City budget (close to 60% now) goes to our over paid and under utilized police department.

In Vallejo and Stockton prior to their bankruptcies, over 80% of their operating budget was going to fund these excessive police and fire wages, union pensions, and medical benefits.

foonman January 8, 2013 at 8:26 PM

You’re being set up people. This how they make 6% look good. Release this 12% to people and then sneak in a 6% and we wont squak too much.

As Will Rogers said in the 20’s….
“If you dont read the newspapers, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you’re being misinformed”
Its all BS..

DrDuran January 8, 2013 at 8:33 PM


Where did you get that idea? I have not recieved a raise in 8+ years, no cost of living increase or salary increase at all. Plus having to pay more each year for benefits amount to a pay cut overall.

Insane is right January 8, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Why are the Martinez Court/State employees still getting fat raises?

JustMe January 8, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Are they crazy?!

Increase in pay should be something along the lines of 3% give or take, depending on the situation in a single year.

Em Dubya January 8, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I am very sad and fed up with all of this. I’m young enough to have a couple more working decades and I am a native to the area. I am taking my six figure tax payment out of this state. I’ve already started looking at real estate elsewhere.

I get vilified for being successful (100% self-made), I get soaked on tax payments, and I have to lawfully accept seeing tax money get paid out as payola.

We won't hear January 8, 2013 at 9:33 PM

From Bonilla or Desaulnier .The unions got them in but watch them hide from this silly idea.

Safety Second January 8, 2013 at 9:34 PM

All public employee unions are enemies of the free market. They are self serving , lazy ass, over paid punks.

Alan January 8, 2013 at 10:15 PM

I am generally a pro-union person, but this is just ridiculous. Self interest and greed like this make me want to give them all a 12 % DECREASE in compensation this year.

What private company gives across the board increases like this in such down times. Yes, surely there are a few, but they are very very far at the periphery.

The public can be on your side if you just be reasonable. Everything needs to be taken in context, and a 12% one year increase is ridiculous in almost all circumstances, and ESPECIALLY in context.

Wake up public unions before you ruin unions for all of us. Already unions are hanging on by a thread and public unions are the last real bulwark. With expectations like these, you will turn even more public sentiment against us. Wake up and look to your long term best interest. Labor needs to stay reasonable and stay together and keep the public largely on our side.

bluebird January 8, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Social Security and Veterans compensations only went up something like 1.2% or 1.3% recently. I am shocked that someone would even propose a pay increase of 12.3% when everyone has had to cut back so much and there are still so many people out of work. This is why we need to monitor those who handle our tax money and monitor them closely. Look what happened with the revenues from state parks and how well that was handled.

Guess who January 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Dubya, I feel for you man, 100% self made
man. Six figure tax bill, sounds ruff
Pal , how did you do it, dig it out of
The side of a friggin hill by yourself?
Or did you use cheep labor and foreign
workers you could pay cash to so you did not
have all those damn rules to follow.
No credit for your wife, parents, or
Educators . No partners, just all by
Your self. Taxes on the wealthiest
Have gone down .
I really meant it when I said take your
Money and go to Russia.
You aren’t even grateful enough
to give credit to any one but yourself.

old concord January 9, 2013 at 12:29 AM

This city has become known for stupid stuff and it is getting worse. Remember our spirit poles the city wasted piles of money,couple of years ago we had the ugliest christmas tree of any city. My first time at city council ever , happened this month and it was ugly. I saw the city council take everyones right to grow medical marijuana in there back yard away,saying it’s for the childern. They made me and others in concord a part of the problem putting a drug eliment label on the sick and elderly. This council is the worst ever.Please if your out there and agree let’s get together and do something. =)

old concord January 9, 2013 at 12:36 AM

AMEN BLUEBIRD I get 850.00 a month social security. I was thinking maybe I am 1 of those have nots after being middle class for so long. Is city council a payed position or volenteer ? =)

Mr. Bassman January 9, 2013 at 1:08 AM

Mayor, I’m rather disappointed in your reporting on this one. You completely left out the fact that the city employees, over the last few years have had a 13% overall cut to their pay, not including the higher percentage all must pay for increasing health care costs. This 12% or 12.3% wouldn’t even bring their pay back to what it was. It is true that the city management had approached the employees with these cuts, claiming they were temporary, and they would prevent layoffs. Then, the city management comes up with measure Q, telling us taxpayers its needed to maintain the services these employees preform. Instead of using the money from this measure as they said they would, they banked it all and demand the employees, having already taken a 13% PAYCUT, continue to not receive raises, have a continuation of unpaid furlough days, and not have skilled retiring employees replaced so even more work is done by fewer and fewer people. All the while, the administration continue to receive their raises, and add new employees for the city offices. Oh yes, and the people who actually do the work of maintaining our roads, traffic islands, parks, pick up the broken glass, razors and used needles out of the children’s play areas, are still doing their jobs with less manpower and continue to receive 13% less pay.

Your reporting here is, in my opinion, very one sided. Please continue to report the facts as you always have, but please report all of the facts as you normally do so very well. No, I do not work for Concord or any union, for that matter. Thought I’d mention that, before anyone suggests otherwise.

Thanks for putting up with my long winded rant, and for reporting on our local news.

Average man January 9, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Being able to ” grow your own”
Upsets the revenue stream to Government
Coffers. Mexican Drug lords have funneled
Tens of Millions of dollars into the Anti Marijuana
Campaigns as have the drug Companies.
We went through this with prohibition .
Educating our kids about the perils of life,
Drugs, over eating, driving irresponsibly,
Etc. early is imperitive . But most of our
” Graduated” students like cant even ,
You know , talk . You know what I’m
Sayin . Please Good People, Einstein
said the definition of insanity is doing
Something over and over again and
expecting different results.Cannibis
has been used for many things, including
fun for thousands of years.
It is just one more distraction while the
Power hungry steal from our future.

Average man January 9, 2013 at 1:54 AM

To Sick of unions:
WHAT! People that have Colledge
Degrees dreamed this all up, and implemented
This mess. Some of the most successful
People in History had little or no education
at all. When was the last time an MBA
repaired your car or trimmed your shrubs.
We turned hard work and perseverance
Into something to be disdained. While we let
These people lead us to believe we need them
To survive. After the crash I would like to see
Them build a house or repair a car. Then they
Will be compelled to do something other than
Sit on their asses and tell how us how to get
Something done . It’s a Greedy Fraternity
Where they learn how to screw the
Average working man to the wall.

Don't Censor Me Bro January 9, 2013 at 4:55 AM

@Tommy #20 — AFTER you substantiate your assertion, let’s discuss?

Always Right January 9, 2013 at 7:10 AM

I received a 5% pay raise the first of the year. But 12%!!??? thats crazy! The city council and our firefighters are gonna bankrupt our WORLD!!!!!

Listen "Old Concord" January 9, 2013 at 7:15 AM

If the City Council has done anything right it’s keeping you silly pot heads from growing dope for “the sick and elderly” For Petes sake it’s for dopers like you. Proof of the results of using marijuana can be seen by looking at how you write and spell.

Pleasant Jenny January 9, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Have not had a raise in two years. Work for a family owned small business and I don’t know how they keep going with it all. Taxes, regulations, vendors raising prices monthly…

bj January 9, 2013 at 7:33 AM

@Guess Who
You are not suppose to tell people how you voted.

Employee January 9, 2013 at 7:41 AM

Sure does council members make $1300mo plus retirement and medical. Life time medical if they do two terms.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 7:51 AM

@ Mr. Bassman #60
City employees should have been contributing more to health insurance and CalPERS and 401a plans for years. Concord finally got it right to require a contribution for benefits. The fact-finding group shouldn’t recommend a raise to cover the employees’ share of health and pension benefits.

Private employees contribute 12 to 20% to their 401k plans with very little matching from private companies. They also pay 6% social security which is matched by their employers. Even at those significant contribution levels, private employees can’t retire in 30 years with anywhere near 60 to 90% of their final salary (and be guaranteed they will receive that pension regardless of how the stock market performs).

If you can demonstrate that city workers make 18 to 26% less salary than private employees in comparable positions, then we have something to talk about. But, the reality is that many public employees (administrative assistants, engineers, planners, etc.) make more than their private sector counterparts and they have far more job security.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 7:55 AM

@ Mr. Bassman #60
City employees should have been contributing more to health insurance and CalPERS and 401a plans for years. Concord finally got it right to require a contribution for benefits. The fact-finding group shouldn’t recommend a raise to cover the employees’ share of health and pension benefits.

Private employees contribute 12 to 20% to their 401k plans with very little matching from private companies. They also pay 6% social security which is matched by their employers. Even at those significant contribution levels, private employees can’t retire in 30 years with anywhere near 60 to 90% of their final salary (and be guaranteed they will receive that pension regardless of how the stock market performs).

If you can demonstrate that city workers make 18 to 26% less salary than private employees in comparable positions, then we have something to debate. But, the reality is that many public employees (administrative assistants, engineers, planners, etc.) are already receiving a higher salary than their private sector counterparts and they have far more job security.

On the other hand, I think some city employees may be underpaid (i.e. maintenance workers). Why should they make 40 to 45k a year when a secretary/administrative assistant makes 65 to 75k a year (or more)? That’s why we need to see a salary survey that compares the City’s salaries to comparable public and private sector jobs (with an emphasis on private sector jobs since compensation for so many public sector jobs are already over-inflated).

That'sNuts January 9, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Wow….what a ridiculous proposal. No wonder the cities are broke. I’d say 0 – 2% increases across the board. No money, no increases. The gov’t nincompoops mismanage our money anyway AND they do not have to earn it…they just get it and spend it.

Jim January 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

@ average man….I worked for an investment banker before the crash…and some of us know how to turn a wrench….Just because some of us went to college and got an educationa and tried to better for our families does not make aus bad people…besides…I’ve remodeled my entire house, without a contractor, I do all the maintenance on my vehicles…In additon I do all the cooking at my home…ask my wife, she says she’s never met anyone like me….AND some of us do not screw the average man to the wall as I learned a long time ago before I was successful that even if I make it big I’m still just like everyone else….thanks for letting Obama’s class warfare of the rich versus the poor become a reality…right here on Claycord…disappointting…as to the 12% increase…the city finally did something right in rejecting it…guess they learned their lesseon last time they gave money away and the city almost revolted

DoReMi January 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

finally, they did something right. Now, they need to trim the fat off of the union and civil servant managers/executives/pentioners. No one should get more than $200,000 including perks for a start.

anon January 9, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I’m amazed how many here say the get a raise each year even if it is 2%. I remember when Concord was raking in the money, property taxes and sales taxes, and they would give nothing for years, then 1%. Then they couldn’t find professionals because the pay was so low, even with the “good” benefits.

Look at where they started from before the recession ,how much they gave up in salary and where they are now in comparison. If you have been getting annual raises, these people have not. Once again the private sector is moving ahead of public and whine all the way.

Am I alone? January 9, 2013 at 9:19 AM

I would have taken a 12% cut in pay to keep my job and benefits

Em Dubya January 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Hey Guess Who – actually my colleagues and I invent, develop, and commercialize medical devices that address the complex problems of cardiovascular disease. We have always done this here in CA. We’ve created scores of high paying jobs for engineers and hourly workers. We have created millions in take home pay for people and billions in taxable revenue. There is a high probablity that you or someone you know has been treated with one of these products. The problem is that this state is determined to transform itself into the Woodstock Festival and actively discourage what had made CA one of the strongest economies on Earth. When I relocate, send your kids out. If they have better attitudes than you, I might hire them.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 9:51 AM

We read some folks are upset that we voted for a sales tax increase and the city balanced the budget and are actuallly saving some money in a reserve fund.How irresponsible! We should raise taxes and spend it immediately on employees represented by the Teamsters.

anon January 9, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Give them the 12%, file bankruptcy, suspend union contracts, get out from under the retirement payments and start over and reduce, cap, increase employee contributions for medical, retirement, etc. to be more in line with the private sector companies. Take a broad sample from may different sectors, average it out and there you go. But that would make sense so it will never happen

M. January 9, 2013 at 10:23 AM

@Sick of unions. Not to mention the crushing debt we are in due to us pursuing the college educations that we have been told since birth to obtain.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

@Alan 55
You are one of the few pro-union types to publicly acknowledge the disparity between private and public unions. Good for you. Now, if other private union employees would see things for what they are – see how much more public unions are demanding for public employees that private employees will never see (union or otherwise), we might be able to vote out some of our “representatives,” and make some progress. If we became a socialist country like France, even CEOs would be represented. Income distribution would be much more equitable but the group that will have to take the biggest hit in the redistribution of income will be public employees.

Sacto Rob January 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM

This is the legacy of 40-plus years of collective bargaining by government employees, which has destroyed the relationship between the value of work being completed and the compensation that’s necessary to sustain same. What’s needed is a healthy dose of common sense. When your current employees have left the job because they’ve found higher paying jobs elsewhere, and when no qualified applicants apply to fill the available positions, that’s when you know there’s a need to raise salaries.
Government is not an employment agency. Government exists to priovide goods and services to its constituents at the lowest cost possible. Anything less is an irresponsible waste of public funds.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

The Teamsters, now there is reputable group to bargain with.

anon January 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Bottom line, NO.

Mark January 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Private sector folks have endured layoffs, pay cuts, benefits slashed, lack of raises, workload increases, and lack of job security for several years now. All along we pay our fair share of medical benefits and contribute to our own retirement. And private sector folks WORK HARD. Any increase for lazy union government workers is too much. Get real.

Grumpy Old Man January 9, 2013 at 1:15 PM

WTF? Need to do what President Reagan did with the air traffic controllers…strike and your fired, this is not at time to be whining about wage increases. Thank God you even have a job!

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Dear Teamsters: Go on strike.I dare you.

Public Employee January 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM

I am a public employee. I am not in a union. I have not had a raise since 2008. In fact, I have had a pay cut and taken furlough days. I contribute $220 each month towards my health plan premium. I also contribute a percentage (I say percentage because it changes based on age, length of service, and proximity to retirement) of my salary to the pension fund.

I had to go to school for 7 years to do my job ( 4 years of undergrad and 3 years of graduate school). I spent over $150k getting the degrees that are required to hold a license for my profession. I regularly work more than 50 hours a week (50 hours of actual work, not just being present at the workplace). Members of my profession who work in the private sector who have similar levels of experience earn anywhere from $50k to $200k a year more than I do.

I do this job because I feel called to serve the public. I didn’t come here for the money, but I will leave if I have to give up more of my salary. At some point, public employers will not be able to hire competent employees who perform complex jobs if compensation is kept too low.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Wow the rocket scientists who voted to join the most crooked union in the country must believe the Teamsters are going to bully the City. Don’t think so.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 5:50 PM

@Public Employee #87
I have no doubt that some public employees are under-compensated. You may fall in that category. On the other hand, far too many public employees are over-compensated. That is why all public agencies should have to obtain salary surveys and compare comparable positions and compensation (base salary and benefits) with the private sector.

Oh, look... January 9, 2013 at 6:26 PM

The City of Concord is hiring. They currently have 11 job opportunities listed on their website. Get off your lazy asses, people, and go make a fortune.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Well now , city employees hows that teamster union dues thing working out?

Aurelian January 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

If corporations spend a huge amount of money buying off politicians, then it’s only natural that they’ll pay people (most likely from foreign nations) to post on the internet demonizing unions. The borg collective of corporations sees organized labor of any kind, public or private, as a threat to their power. Posting comments on the internet is just part of their propaganda machine.

94598 January 9, 2013 at 7:22 PM

EVERYBODY, CALM DOWN! They are just laying the ground work for eliminating the furlough days and getting back to a working 40 hour work week again.

Spindox January 9, 2013 at 7:22 PM

As the Mayor himself said:

We recognize that they have given up raises, agreed to furloughs, and continue to make contributions to their retirement and pension costs to help the City get through the fiscal crisis. This is respected and appreciated.

Maybe 12% is too much for this time, but why can’t they at least give them some furlough days back.

Also, the city is wrong to have a 10 year fiscal planning process. No one can know what things will be like that far ahead. It’s wrong to lock the city workers into a 10 year contract.

Dear Spindox January 9, 2013 at 9:29 PM

A ten year plan is not a ten year contract.Its called planning ahead and it’s what every person and city should do. Congress can plan two months ahead and see what we are stuck with. I think that cockroaches were even with congress in public opinion polls.

Safety Second January 9, 2013 at 9:33 PM

@ Public Union Worker # 90

tired of the BS January 9, 2013 at 10:08 PM

It is hard for me to believe that people believe the BS that the City has put on this report. If you understood it, you actually might understand that it is not a raise, it is just trying to recoup part of the concessions that the employees have given up. The report states-which it came from testimony and financial’s, that the city does have the money (and not just from measure Q) but from frugal accounting and from the employees concessions for the last 4 yrs. the 12.4% was never asked for by the employees-not once. this is what was given to the city for 4 years and it adds up to a lot. Would you be able to survive with what was taken away from their salary.
1- end the furloughs, let them work- 5% that they have given up for almost 4 years.
2. end the wage freeze- which no employee no matter when you started or what step you are, has had a wage increase unless your police, in almost 4 years- another 5% that employees have given up
3. they contribute 5% of the 8% toward their retirement- which they gave up 8% of raises over the years for the city to pick up that percentage. so they lost again- 8%
4 the city is asking for them to pick up the last 3% with nothing in return, so another 3% loss
5. 50% of medical average of $200.00 a month out of pocket
There have been 119 employees lost through retirement, attrition, and employees finding other jobs at better wages. The employees who have stayed are doing much more with a lot less..wages & appreciation from management and now reading this blog..the general public… It’s a shame

Old School January 9, 2013 at 10:30 PM

@sick of unions

B.A. , Masters, and still working for free?
Doesn’t sound very bright to me.

Public Union Worker January 10, 2013 at 5:07 AM


How can you call me a liar when you have no idea where I work? Every word I wrote was true. I’m guessing I hit a nerve with you because you’re one of the lazy crybabies.

Water January 11, 2013 at 6:47 PM

If you would like to hear a bit more of the truth here is the link to the update from the employee’s side.

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