Lopsided approval shows SEIU had its way on contract

July 10, 2013

By Chris Reed

The assertion that public employee pay and benefits aren’t excessive compared with the private sector is efficiently demolished when one looks at employee turnover rates. It’s tiny in government ranks compared with the business world. That reflects deep satisfaction with compensation.

Now guess who is demonstrating how thrilled they are with their government pay? The largest state employees union.

seiu

“Ninety percent of SEIU Local 1000 voters approved a new contract with Gov. Jerry Brown, the union announced late Tuesday.

“The Legislature ratified the contract last week, and the union says it expects Brown to sign the deal on Wednesday. It includes a 4.5 percent pay raise for SEIU members by 2015. It also bans furloughs for the length of the contract period and increases travel and business reimbursements.

“‘Our new contract delivers on each of the four top priorities identified by our members,’ union president Yvonne R. Walker said in a prepared statement. ‘It protects retirement, preserves our 80/20 health benefit premiums, prohibits new furloughs or PLP days, and includes a wage increase for everyone.’

“The union, which has about 95,000 members, is the largest representing state workers.”

That’s from Jon Ortiz’s The State Worker column in the Bee. Notice how Ortiz doesn’t mention that SEIU members also often get “step” raises just for showing up. It’s 2013, and few in the public understand the “baseline” budget theory that holds government spending must always increase. Maybe if Sacramento reporters routinely mention the automatic raises so many government workers get just for showing up, people would understand state finances better.

But I realize that’s a lot to ask of Sacramento reporters — providing obviously important contest.

17 comments

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  1. @SoquelCreek
    @SoquelCreek 10 July, 2013, 11:18

    Let’s not forget that SEIU and its affiliates spent millions to pass California’s Proposition 30 tax hikes, which provides a great return on investment (ROI) for SEIU members in higher salaries and pension benefits.

    Meanwhile, now that highly “electioneered” Proposition 30 passed, California’s taxpayers “enjoy” …

    * the highest state sales tax rate in the nation.

    * the 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd-, 5th-, and 7th-highest state marginal income tax rates in the nation.

    Hopefully, now that SEIU and others have their big tax increase and their salary hikes, perhaps they’ll now stoop to work with other Californians to solve our REAL problems.

    Thank You, Proposition 30 Supporters
    http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/2012/11/wecandobetter.html

    California Proposition 30: Governor Jerry Brown’s Big-Government Tax Hike
    http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/2012/07/california-proposition-30-governor.html

    Reply this comment
  2. Sean Morham SIlver
    Sean Morham SIlver 10 July, 2013, 12:30

    Confgrata Yvonne, go eat a a barbecued hog, all of it.

    Reply this comment
  3. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 10 July, 2013, 18:28

    Interesting charts on the highest “rates”.

    In the interest of full disclosure where are the charts on per capita sales tax and per capita income tax paid by Californians?

    I understand we are in the top twenty percent of states and the top ten percent, respectively. 

    I realize when one says “we are among the highest taxed states” (Jon Coupal), it is not as dramatic as “WE HAVE THE HIGHEST RATES”. but it almost makes it appear that you have some ulterior motive. 

    AND, just for giggles, if you look at the TOTAL state income, sales, local, and property tax  burden of the top five percent of earners is California,  as a percent of income, how does that compare to the national average for ALL income groups?

    Hint: 

     The glass is at least half full.

     Even for California millionaires. 

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 10 July, 2013, 19:07

    Dougie and his spin never ends!

    Reply this comment
  5. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 10 July, 2013, 19:16

    “The assertion that public employee pay and benefits aren’t excessive compared with the private sector is efficiently demolished when one looks at employee turnover rates.”
    ……………….
    Only if your standards of proof are from the dark ages. 

    Turnover rates in retail, services, and entertainment are 22to 35%. 

    They are often seasonal or part time jobs with little room for advancement, and very low hiring and training costs are very low. 

    Rates for utilities, trades, professions, government, and high tech, are 8 to 11%.  These industries usually require more highly skilled or educated employees. 

    Governments (9% turnover rate) often rely on contractors for much of their work. They keep their core work force and increase or decrease their workforce as needed by hiring or releasing contracts. 

    Or maybe it’s just that “excessive pay” thing. 

    Reply this comment
  6. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 10 July, 2013, 19:31

    “Maybe if Sacramento reporters routinely mention the automatic raises so many government workers get just for showing up, people would understand state finances better.”
    …………………………
    For most of us, the “automatic raises” were for the first two years only. One for completing probation in that position, and another takes the worker to the top step. After my last promotion, I had “automatic raises” for two years, and no more  for the next thirty years.

    Some positions have more than two “steps”, but “automatic annual raises” is misleading to the max. 

    Reply this comment
  7. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 10 July, 2013, 19:48

    “Now guess who is demonstrating how thrilled they are with their government pay? The largest state employees union.”
    ………………
    You cited the State Worker column, if you read many of the comments on that column you would have noticed much dissatisfaction. 

    The gist I got from those comments is that the ”raise” fails to even keep up with  cost of living increases, but may be the best possible in today’s economic and political environment. Hardly “thrilled”.

    “Ninety percent of SEIU Local 1000 voters approved a new contract.”

    Does NOT mean ninety percent of SEIUs 95,000 members. 

    Reply this comment
  8. Tom Hooper
    Tom Hooper 10 July, 2013, 19:53

    I would like to know what is going to happen. When the 1/4 cent sales tax dissappears. One more time jerry brown is going to stick it to the average citizen. I am being nice with my vocabulary. ….
    I am definitely going to move my business out of this state. And taking my millions in taxes with me. These fricking democrats haven’t learned a damn thing yet. The only difference between nobama and brown is the damn color of their skin. But both are trying to rape the citizens.

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 10 July, 2013, 22:33

    I would like to know what is going to happen. When the 1/4 cent sales tax dissappears.
    ==
    It is NEVER going to “disappear”, the “temporary tax” line is just a bait and switch, there is no such thing as a temporary tax. There is NO funding mechanism to replace the sales tax hike, and no mechanism for employment cuts-which means the idiots will keep it in place. There was never a plan to have it go away. Ever.

    Reply this comment
  10. Sean Morham SIlver
    Sean Morham SIlver 11 July, 2013, 07:22

    Eat, Yvonne, eat,,,feed the rump.

    Reply this comment
  11. Queeg
    Queeg 11 July, 2013, 13:30

    Taxes and fees going through roof as well as minimum wage…prevailing wage….living wage……while you doomers hide under your surplus army blankets wearing your high school sports letter jackets!

    Reply this comment
  12. @SoquelCreek
    @SoquelCreek 11 July, 2013, 16:31

    S Moderation Douglas, thanks for making my point.

    Apparently your data is vastly out of date. In fact, even the latest comparisons using pre-2012 tax rates. Before then, California’s top rate of 10.3% was only 2nd-highest in the nation. Thanks to Proposition 30, we now have three tax brackets above that at 11.3%, 12.3%, and 13.3%, the three highest in the nation. The old 10.3% bracket, once reserved only for millionaires, now affects those with $250,000 or more in taxable income.

    This old comparison shows that California has the nation’s 4th-highest rates overall.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2012/10/28/state-taxes-states-highest-lowest/1654071/

    This old comparison shows that California is 2nd-highest.
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/20/state-income-tax-rates-personal-finance-taxes-ten-highest_slide_3.html

    You also forget that your comparisons are “per capita”, which erroneously assumes that the tax burden is spread equally among all Californians. In reality, California has one of the most income-progressive tax systems in the nation that over-relies on taxes for capital gains from Wall Street and real estate.

    Here’s an easy comparison showing the incomes, taxes paid, effective tax rates, and voting power of the bottom 2/3rds of California taxpayers and the top 2%. This data comes directly from the California Franchise Tax Board. Thanks to Proposition 30, the situation is even more lopsided.

    CHART: The Bottom 2/3rds of California Taxpayers vs. the Top 2% on Income, Income Taxes Paid, Contributions to General Fund, Effective Tax Rate, and Voting Power
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HglmS2Z_jQM/Tt7A2LYJIiI/AAAAAAAAAyw/RiIERkJe2zA/s1600/share_of_ca_taxes_and_voting_power.png

    Reply this comment
  13. @SoquelCreek
    @SoquelCreek 11 July, 2013, 16:35

    Rex the Wonderdog! and Tom Hooper, unfortunately, history seems to show that tax rates generally only march in one direction in California–UP!

    The following chart shows the history of California state sales tax rates.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fdbRS_UGP98/UTADYdaYOFI/AAAAAAAACWM/R_m0hWbH5F0/s1600/History+of+California+Sales+Tax.png

    Reply this comment
  14. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 11 July, 2013, 18:25

    S Moderation Douglas, thanks for making my point. Apparently your data is vastly out of date.
    ==
    Dougie is ALL SPIN, don’t expect legit argument from him.

    Reply this comment
  15. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 11 July, 2013, 20:24

    Its good that you whiners have these forums to serve as buckets, to collect your tears! Unless you have been living in a cave, you would know you are lucky to be alive, and should be thankful, if your loved ones are all safe. Four and one-half percent, over four years, is pretty lean, and step raises every year, for just showing up are a figment of someone’s imagination! If you hate CA so much, find another state to live in–there are 49 others, from which to choose.

    Reply this comment
  16. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 11 July, 2013, 22:56

    Soquel, I know we’ve done this before. RATES is only one factor in determining total taxes paid.

    Simply put: forget about per capita. Typical California family of four in the lowest quintile pays over 10% of its income in state and local taxes (sales, property, etc)

    Typical family of four in the highest quintile pays less than 9% in state and local taxes.

    And, despite the “rates”, neither of these families pays the “highest taxes in the nation”

    ………….
    http://m.ocregister.com/totalbuzz/tax-502309-state-highest.html

    I never argued that the highest quintile didn’t account for the lions share of state tax revenue. I said that, as a rule, they pay a LOWER PERCENTAGE of their income in state and local taxes than the lowest quintile.

    Several studies verify this. Tax Foundation quibbles about ITEP methodology, but their differences are relatively minor. Washington DC study samples of typical families of various income groups in major cities corroborates these figures.

    If you are in the highest quintile in California, on average, you will pay a MUCH higher percentage of your income in state and local taxes than will the highest quintile in any other state.

    BUT your taxes, as a percent of income will be roughly equal to or lower than the national average for ALL quintiles.

    All things considered, being rich in California is better than being poor in California. (In my opinion)

    The glass is at least half full.

    Reply this comment
  17. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 11 July, 2013, 23:02

    SeeSaw,

    Forgive them for they know not what they do.

    Reply this comment

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