Firefighters Union Backs Prop 15 Instead of Forestry Reform

By Edward Ring
Thousands of firefighters continue to battle blazes across California. In Orange County, two firefighters are in critical condition after suffering major injuries battling the Silverado Fire. Every year around this time, firefighters risk their lives, and some of them lose their lives, protecting the rest of us from these catastrophic fires. Deep respect for what firefighters do,...

TAGS: California forest fires, forest management, pensions, Prop 15, public sector compensation

How Much Do California’s County Workers Make?

By Edward Ring
In April, with the pandemic shutdown sending California’s economy into free fall, Gavin Newsom convened a Zoom meeting with the four living California ex governors. He asked them to describe the biggest crisis they faced while in office. As reported by the New York Times, according to Pete Wilson, it was the 1994 Northridge earthquake. For Gray Davis,...

TAGS: public sector compensation, public sector pay

Unions Run the City of Santa Ana

By Edward Ring
With rare exceptions, most cities in California are run by public-sector unions. There is the appearance of democracy, with public employees accountable to elected officials, who in turn are accountable to voters, but appearances can be deceiving. Because political campaigns to attract voters require money, and public-sector unions have money. Lots of money. In California...

TAGS: pensions, public sector compensation, public sector unions, Transparent California

A King’s Ransom for ‘Public Servants’?

By Jon Coupal
Editor’s note: During 2015 the average pay and benefits for a full time state worker in California was $104,867. County workers averaged $108,856, and city workers averaged $121,430. These averages do NOT include members of public safety. The 2015 average pay and benefits for full time state highway patrol and corrections employees was $136,828, for county...

TAGS: pension fund contributions, public sector compensation, total compensation

Public Sector Pay: Transparency and Perspective

By Jon Coupal
Public sector labor leaders in California would rather that the public remain relatively ignorant about how well their members are compensated. But they are fighting a losing battle. Because of California’s massive unfunded pension liability and other scandals, the public is demanding answers. Interests as diverse as taxpayer groups, business organizations, the media and some...

TAGS: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, John Chiang, Jon Coupal, public sector compensation, Public sector pensions,, unsustainable pensions

Forming a Bipartisan Consensus for Public Sector Union Reform

By Edward Ring
Across the United States there is an escalating political conflict over the role of labor unions in society. But it is inaccurate to characterize this conflict as one between Republicans and Democrats. There are members of both major political parties, as well as independents of widely diverse ideologies, who are concerned about civil liberties, the...

TAGS: construction unions, private sector unions, public sector compensation, Public sector pensions, public sector unions

BART Strike is a Teachable Moment

By Edward Ring
Reactions from the press and public to the BART strikes this year have been overwhelmingly negative. In one of the safest Democratic strongholds in the U.S., there is serious talk of outlawing future BART strikes. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 19th, “That discussion has already begun, in letters from California lawmakers...

TAGS: public sector compensation, public sector unions

How Public Sector Unions Skew America’s Public Safety and National Security Agenda

By Edward Ring
It would be redundant to summarize recent revelations concerning just how big America’s national security state has become. Two reports, both written in the last two days, do a really good job: “The Making of a Global Security State,” by Tom Engelhardt, published by The Nation Institute, and “5 Alarming Things We Should Have Already...

TAGS: public sector compensation, Public sector pensions, public sector unions, Reason Foundation

Should Police and Firefighters be Exempted from Union Reforms?

By Edward Ring
Advocates of public sector union reform point to fundamental differences between unions in the competitive private sector vs. those unions that organize government workers. Briefly stated, private sector unions must moderate their demands or the companies they bargain with will go out of business; private sector unions exercise little influence over who is going to...

TAGS: Hamtramck Michigan bankruptcy, police unions, public sector compensation