Monday, July 11, 2011

Hold Onto Your Wallets, Sacramento

The city may be horribly broke, it may not have an economic future without runaway government spending, and an addiction to overpriced union labor may be largely to blame, but Sacramento is determined to keep driving itself into a ditch: according to the Sacramento Bee, more than 200 city employees, including its management support and administrative assistants, have elected to form a union called the Sacramento City Exempt Employees' Association. The city's highest-ranking managers, who currently enjoy pensions funded exclusively by taxpayers in addition to their salaries, have elected not to participate, but hundreds of other managers, attorneys, and media spokespeople will vote in the coming weeks on whether to join this union as well.

Given what's gone on in recent months in cities across California, it's hard not to see the trend at work: employees of broke cities taking steps to guard their taxpayer-funded pensions. As at-will employees, these workers were facing the risk that the City Council could change their pay and benefit packages at any time; now, through the magic of collective bargaining, their pensions will become vested benefits, and Sacramento's taxpayers will have to foot the bill if the union chooses not to give concessions. Insofar as the grim economy in the city shows no signs of abating, we're guessing this won't end well.

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