Unions are run by Democrats. They are consistently the biggest financial contributors to Democrats and RINO’s (Republicans In Name Only) in federal, state and local elections. The money is raised via huge union dues paid by government employees and deducted directly from their paychecks.
When those candidates get elected, they see to it that government workers receive the best health care benefits, the best retirement benefits and the best additional perks packages.
Huge union dues are taken from union employees, and a great portion of that money is funneled back into the coffers of the politicians who get re-elected to repeat the cycle over and over again.
It is the largest legalized money laundering scam going in America today!
Locally, we saw the unions and our City Council get together and devise the Measure E sales tax increase. Employee unions fronted all the money for the ad campaign to convince us to pass Measure E. If we didn’t, we were told police and fire services would be drastically impacted.
The residents of Tracy felt threatened. This has been an age-old ploy of government employee unions and elected officials for decades.
I had the opportunity to be on stage and debate this measure prior to the election. Steve Abercrombie and Mike Maciel of the City Council were in favor. Tracy Tea Party Patriots Jim Freeman and yours truly were opposed.
During the debate, I made the point that city employees had to make concessions on their lavish retirement and health care plans. Why should taxpayers have to pay for such luxurious benefits, when 90 percent of the taxpayers who pay their salaries can only dream of such lavish plans?
The opposition made it clear that pay rates and benefits were determined by “collective bargaining.” They made it distinctly sound like they, the employees, had absolutely no control over the matter. My comments were merely shrugged off by the measure’s proponents.
Now comes the dirty little secret that was never disclosed to the taxpayers by the mayor, the City Council, city management nor the unions: This year, the Public Employees Retirement System is requiring California government agencies to up its contributions for employees to 27 percent of the employees’ salary. In 2016, they jump to 42 percent of the employees’ pay, including bonuses.
Currently, the unfunded liabilities for PERS just in California is $500 billion. That is a half-trillion dollars. This money is needed to provide plush retirement plans and benefits.
Did you know that more than half the City Council is in PERS? They are direct beneficiaries of PERS.
My entire point in the debate was that we do not need to lose police or fire services. If union members made concessions in their lavish health and retirement benefits, we may not need to cut or impact services.
What adds to making these employees’ retirements so lavish is another dirty little secret much of the public doesn’t know. A great number of employees receive promotions two to three years before retirement. Since PERS bases retirement income on the highest three years of compensation, the employee receives a very handsome raise when he or she collects retirement.
While I’m at it, dirty little secret Number 3 is that Tracy continues to hire high-priced consultants to do research and make recommendations to the City Council. This goes on top of the high-priced salaries we pay to various employees from the various departments, who you would think should be doing this very same work.
However, a main reason for the consultant is to remove accountability from the government employees. This way, the employees are not to blame if the results are bad.
Accountability and blame are removed.
It is also very important to note that when the City Council recommended Measure E to citizens, our mayor pro tem at the time, Suzanne Tucker, did not endorse Measure E. Thank you, Mrs. Tucker.
• Editor’s note: Measure E, which voters passed in November 2010, raised the local sales tax rate a half-cent for every dollar spent. The increase, which will expire in five years, took effect April 1 of this year.
• Tim Michael Case has lived in Tracy since 1982.