California’s minimum wage is set to gradually increase to $15 by 2022, following in the footsteps of minimum wage pioneer city Seattle.
Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of Seattle’s minimum wage experiment are starting to show, both in deteriorating restaurant quality and in decreasing wages for low-income workers.
According to the latest study, Seattle’s 2016 minimum wage hike approved by the Seattle City Council appears to have pushed restaurants to deal with rising labor costs by cutting corners in hygiene. Researchers at Ball State University in Indiana concluded that overall restaurant health code violations increased by 6.4% and less severe violations increased by 15.3% with each dollar increase of the minimum wage.
Bad hygiene is gross, but it isn’t the only serious consequence of Seattle’s minimum wage increases. Researchers from the University of Washington published in June their finding that Seattle’s increase from $11 to $13 coincided with a decrease in actual wages for low income workers – the exact opposite of the policy’s intended result.
According to the study, the 2016 increase to $13 led to a 9% decrease in hours worked at low-income jobs, while hourly wages rose by 3%. This means that on average people in low-wage jobs earned around $125 less per month than they earned before. Instead of helping people in low wage jobs, significantly raising the minimum wage in Seattle has actually hurt their earning ability!
Retired LA schools chief Ramon Cortines received pension benefits totaling a remarkable $238,383.67 last year, possibly through a controversial pension-spiking practice known as “air time” – the purchase of credit for time not worked.
Twenty-five University of California retirees receive more than $300,000 annually in retirement, the California Policy Center has learned. The information, contained in documents released to CPC through a public records request, comes amidst controversy over excessive compensation at the UC system and revelations of a secret slush fund at the system’s headquarters. CPC’s findings were broadcast by KPIX San Francisco and other CBS affiliates on May 5.
The highest paid pensioner is Professor Lewis L. Judd, a UC San Diego Psychiatry professor. He receives an annual pension of $385,765.
Lewis surpasses previous pension champion, Dr. Fawzy I. Fawzy, a UCLA Psychiatry Professor who retired in 2014 on a $354,469 annual pension. Assuming annual cost of living increases of 2%, Dr. Fawzy is now estimated to be receiving around $369,000 annually. But Fawzy also draws a UC salary, one of several hundred UC retirees brought back to teach after retiring. “Recalled” retirees, such as Fawzy, are eligible to draw both a salary and a pension. Fawzy’s total university income exceeded $650,000 in 2015.
Behind the shocking numbers is a six-month battle with university administrators who tried to block release of compensation. CPC Director of Policy Research Marc Joffe originally sent the UC president’s office a Public Records Act request for pension data in December 2016. After numerous delays and negotiations with CPC General Counsel Craig Alexander, the university released a limited amount of data to Joffe today. CPC made the request in connection with its 100k Pension Club project, a website database that contains a list of 50,000 retired California public sector employees who receive annual pensions greater than $100,000. That website is at http://www.100kclub.com.
Ultimately, UC provided a list of 2015 and 2016 retirees, eight of whom are receiving $300,000 or more. The remaining 17 names were included in UC’s previous pension disclosures, last updated for 2014. UC did not provide precise cost of living adjustments for each retiree. CPC estimated their current pensions by adding 2% per year since their date of retirement.
The complete list appears below:
|Retiree Name||Appointment Type||Last Employer||Annual Pension Benefit||Date of Retirement|
|JUDD, LEWIS L||Teaching Faculty||San Diego||$ 385,765||Jul 1, 2016|
|MATTHEWS, DENNIS L||Non-Teaching Faculty||Davis||370,880||2012|
|FAWZY, FAWZY I||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||368,790||2014|
|DE PAOLO, DONALD J||Non-Teaching Faculty||Lawrence Berkeley||359,922||Jul 1, 2016|
|HOLST, JAMES E.||Staff||Los Angeles||358,428||2006|
|RUDNICK, JOSEPH A||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||344,925||Jul 1, 2016|
|VAZIRI, NOSRATOLA D||Teaching Faculty||Irvine||340,410||2011|
|GREENSPAN, JOHN S||Teaching Faculty||San Francisco||339,243||2014|
|GRAY, JOE W||Non-Teaching Faculty||Lawrence Berkeley||335,482||2011|
|SCHELBERT, HEINRICH R||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||333,247||2013|
|BRESLAUER, GEORGE W||Non-Teaching Faculty||Berkeley||328,476||2014|
|MARSHALL, LAWRENCE F||Teaching Faculty||San Diego||324,067||2010|
|KRUPNICK, JAMES T||Non-Teaching Faculty||Lawrence Berkeley||323,957||2012|
|DISAIA, PHILIP J||Teaching Faculty||Irvine||323,839||2010|
|GRUNSTEIN, MICHAEL||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||322,150||Jul 1, 2016|
|SIEFKIN, ALLAN D||Non-Teaching Faculty||Davis||322,101||2014|
|KENNEY, ERNEST B||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||320,608||2012|
|DARLING, BRUCE B.||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||320,403||2012|
|DONALD, PAUL J.||Teaching Faculty||Davis||317,156||2011|
|CHERRY, JAMES D||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||315,449||2013|
|ROLL, RICHARD W||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||315,418||2014|
|TILLISCH, JAN H||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||311,732||Aug 1, 2016|
|CYGAN, RALPH W||Teaching Faculty||Irvine||306,734||Jul 1, 2015|
|BRAFF, DAVID L||Teaching Faculty||San Diego||306,407||Feb 1, 2015|
|EISENBERG, MELVIN A||Teaching Faculty||Berkeley||305,012||Jan 1, 2015|
Over a fourth of El Monte’s residents live in poverty, but, among public-sector workers poverty is unlikely. Retired City Manager James Mundessen told the LA Times that he personally receives $216,000 a year in retirement – an amount that finances a lavish lifestyle that includes golfing trips in Scotland. Mundessen is one of eight city officials collecting over $200,000 per year.
|Name||Title||Pension System||Last Employer||Total Amount Received||Pension Amount||Benefits Amount||Disability Amount||Years of Service||Year of Retirement||Reporting Year||notes|
|Charles Mehringer||Los Angeles County Pension||COASTAL CLUSTER-HARBOR/UCLA MC||419665.92||395466.6||24199.32||0||41.62||2015||2015|
|Michael D Johnson||CalPERS||COUNTY OF SOLANO||388407.56||388407.56||42.9||2011||2015|
|William Habermehl||CalSTRS||ORANGE COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION||354643.38||354643.38||47.15||2012||2015|
|Fawzy I Fawzy||Teaching Faculty||University of California||Los Angeles||354469.44||354469.44||40.44||2014||2014|
|Robert Morin||Los Angeles County Pension||COASTAL CLUSTER-HARBOR/UCLA MC||344079.72||319880.4||24199.32||0||52.67||2015||2015|
|Leroy Baca||Los Angeles County Pension||SHERIFF||342849.36||328410.24||14439.12||0||48.08||2014||2015|
|Dennis L Matthews||Non-Teaching Faculty||University of California||Davis||342635.88||342635.88||39.08||2012||2014|
|Stephen R Maguin||CalPERS||LOS ANGELES COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT NO. 2||340810.7||340810.7||41||2012||2015|
|Joaquin M Fuster||CalPERS||UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES||338412||338412||45.2||2002||2015|
|Marvin Marcus||Teaching Faculty||University of California||Los Angeles||337346.16||337346.16||40.57||2011||2014|
|Thomas Tidemanson||Los Angeles County Pension||PUBLIC WORKS||336988.56||312789.24||24199.32||0||38.75||1994||2015|
|Larry Waldie||Los Angeles County Pension||SHERIFF||336838.08||319170.12||17667.96||0||44.08||2011||2015|
|Thomas Orloff||District Attorney||Alameda County Pension||335865.84||335865.84||2015|
|Carol Meyer||Los Angeles County Pension||HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION||329218.8||300886.56||28332.24||0||41.37||2011||2015|
|Ruth E Stringer||County Counsel||San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA)||County of San Bernardino||328945.95||328945.95||33.44||2011||2015|
|Michael Judge||Los Angeles County Pension||PUBLIC DEFENDER||328867.2||311199.24||17667.96||0||41||2010||2015|
|John S Greenspan||Teaching Faculty||University of California||San Francisco||326070.12||326070.12||38.17||2014||2014|
|Harry Stone||Los Angeles County Pension||PUBLIC WORKS||324113.04||312666.24||11446.8||0||40.58||2001||2015|
|Rinaldo Canalis||Los Angeles County Pension||COASTAL CLUSTER-HARBOR/UCLA MC||320766.6||296567.28||24199.32||0||36.67||2010||2015|
|Stephen Cooley||Los Angeles County Pension||DISTRICT ATTORNEY||318530.88||304091.76||14439.12||0||40.04||2012||2015|
|Donald R Gerth||PRESIDENT||CalPERS||CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY AT SACRAMENTO||317324.12||317324.12||47.3||2003||2015|
|Hye Kyung Kim||EXEMPT MED STF PHYSI||Contra Costa County Pension||CONTRA COSTA COUNTY||316886.42||316886.42||0||32.69||2011||2015|
|George W Breslauer||Non-Teaching Faculty||University of California||Berkeley||315720.48||315720.48||43.23||2014||2014|
|David Goldstein||Los Angeles County Pension||NORTHEAST CLUSTER (LAC+USC)||314553.48||292811.16||21742.32||0||35||2012||2015|
|Albert Niden||Los Angeles County Pension||NORTHEAST CLUSTER (LAC+USC)||314364.36||302917.56||11446.8||0||39.92||2013||2015|
|Heinrich R Schelbert||Teaching Faculty||University of California||Los Angeles||314026.56||314026.56||40.54||2013||2014|
|Raymond Fortner Jr||Los Angeles County Pension||COUNTY COUNSEL||313884.6||289685.28||24199.32||0||39.33||2009||2015|
|Richard Bray||CalSTRS||TUSTIN UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT||312921.24||312921.24||43.83||2011||2015|
|Michael Peterson||Captain||Alameda County Pension||311967.96||311967.96||2015|
|William Garrett||CalPERS||CITY OF EL CAJON||311364.84||311364.84||38.5||2004||2015|
|Edward Hernandez Jr||CalSTRS||RANCHO SANTIAGO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT||310269.3||310269.3||40.31||2010||2015|
|Allan D Siefkin||Non-Teaching Faculty||University of California||Davis||309593.04||309593.04||36.17||2014||2014|
|Ramesh Verma||Los Angeles County Pension||SFV CLUSTER-OLIVE VIEW/UCLA MC||308935.08||291267.12||17667.96||0||36.62||2011||2015|
|Nosratola D Vaziri||Teaching Faculty||University of California||Irvine||308320.08||308320.08||36.75||2011||2014|
|Virginia Shattuck||CalSTRS||NORWALK-LA MIRADA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT||306346.86||306346.86||47.94||2009||2015|
|Daniel Ikemoto||Los Angeles County Pension||AUDITOR - CONTROLLER||306270||294823.2||11446.8||0||38.58||1993||2015|
|Albert Yellin||Los Angeles County Pension||NORTHEAST CLUSTER (LAC+USC)||305836.32||281637||24199.32||0||39.67||2002||2015|
|Vena Ricketts||Los Angeles County Pension||SFV CLUSTER-OLIVE VIEW/UCLA MC||304440.24||298736.52||5703.72||0||35.67||2013||2015|
|Sharon Harper||Los Angeles County Pension||SHERIFF||303913.44||290600.64||13312.8||0||40.5||2010||2015|
|Joe W Gray||Non-Teaching Faculty||University of California||Lawrence Berkeley||303855.96||303855.96||38.56||2011||2014|
|Alfred Zucker||CalSTRS||LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT||303624.99||303624.99||35.82||2015||2015|
|Richard W Roll||Non-Teaching Faculty||University of California||Los Angeles||303170.28||303170.28||34.8||2014||2014|
|Richard A Beemer||Undersheriff||San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA)||County of San Bernardino||302917.17||302917.17||38.82||2010||2015|
|Dewitt Clinton||Los Angeles County Pension||COUNTY COUNSEL||301882.8||280815.84||21066.96||0||36.92||1998||2015|
|James F Stahl||CalPERS||LOS ANGELES COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT NO. 2||301801.96||301801.96||37.7||2007||2015|
|Robert Mann||Los Angeles County Pension||SHERIFF||301174.32||276975||24199.32||0||33.42||1999||2015|