Skip to comments.Did the police and fire departments sink Stockton?
Posted on 07/12/2012 7:13:50 AM PDT by Hojczyk
Ill gladly pay you Tuesday doesnt seem like such a good idea on Wednesday: how public worker pay and pensions doomed Stockton. http://vlt.tc/d7y
How does a bankrupt city pay its public safety workers twice the median household income of the areas residents? More important, why havent the city manager and council stopped this wage bonanza? In Stockton, California, public safety workers earn on average 126 percent of the maximum salary and at least 200 percent of the minimum wage for their respective wage categories.
The California State Controllers Office has all the data, and its not pretty. Stocktons median household income was $50,011 in 2010. In contrast, the average total wage paid to a city police worker was $93,111. For employees of the fire department, it was $110,303. Admittedly, these are dangerous professions, but surely they are not so dangerous as to require pay of double the median household income of the entire community
Stockton, in its bankruptcy filing, admits that the city has had little-to-no success in getting the pay of its public safety workers under control, and these expenses consume about 76 percent of the general fund. Spreadsheet of the public worker compensation is here. http://vlt.tc/d7z
(Excerpt) Read more at thetransom.org ...
Up from 17 to 8 from 2008....
So how is this possible with new trucks and all the safety regulations in place.....?
Every public employee belongs to their public union, and they run the city, not the other way around. Who can afford it?
If you feel police of fire work is to dangerous to do for less than 100K, then you need to find another career because there are a whole lot of people who don't feel it is for a lot less, and the only reason they aren't doing the job at this point is because it's a tightly closed shop.
Working as a night-shift convenience store clerk put you more in danger of being shot than being a cop does.
Dollars to donuts several megabuck Stocton firefighters live in Honolulu or Tucson or someplace like that. The Cleveland fire administration back in December was scrambling to wipe the egg off their faces when the Plain Dealer revealed that one of the city’s six-figure firefighters lived in San Diego:
Ten most dangerous jobs...
4. Iron/Steel Worker
5. Garbage Collector
8. Electrical Power Installer/Repairer
9. Sales, Delivery, and Other Truck Driver
New first time (inexperienced) drivers because of low driver retention on the road with many other new, inexperienced drivers of all sorts...
Speaking entirely from a California perspective, police unions have very little, if any power within a city and certainly do not “run the city”. In most cities, the police “union” only exists because the city needs a face to negotiate with at the time of contract issues. Most cities run on a two year budget and at the time the budget is compiled the city will determine it’s stance at the negotiations and have maximum expense that will be of issue during negotiations.
The problem with police salaries is simply a matter of supply and demand, which is exacerbated by a limited labor pool, namely those who would choose to be police officer.
Also in California, police officers recieve a certifcate from the state, a sort of license, which allows them to transfer laterally to any department in the state. Additionally, most cities contract with CalPers, which allows the officer to maintain his/her pension benefit, when if they choose to transfer.
So to stay competetive a neighboring city must have comperable salaries and benefits, if not, officers are often enticed to go where the compensation is better.
As to who can afford it, that is also being taken care of, as hiring in local agencies has ground to a halt. Contracts will be changed and departments will get smaller.
Competent police and fire protection is expensive, period! Pay and benefits are calculated based on the pay and benefits of surrounding municipalities (similarly situated).
Although, perhaps, the fatality rates are not immediately as apparent as those of fisherman; you can do without that Alaskan King Crab leg. Can you do without firemen, when your home is on fire? Instead of looking at fatality rates, perhaps, you ought to look at life expectancy after separation from the job. There are too many issues involved to reach summary conclusions about any of this. Nothing is ever as simple as it appears. Stockton, like so many other cities run by liberals, got drunk on spending; and when the housing bubble burst got caught in the lurch!
Of course, the other widow will simply forget and move on.
That's how T.I. built their semiconductor plants in Dallas and Houston, years ago. I worked in a CAD development department on the first floor where they had lucite 'hats' for the computer racks because the computers had previously been destroyed by burst pipes in the ceiling, serving the second floor (support level) and third floor (semiconductor production level).
About 500 firefighters die a year from job related injuries. It’s very consistent over time.
And what were they spending because of crimes committed by illegals? (And welfare and free medical care and public schooling for illegals’ kids.)
At least the employees provide soem level fo service. besides beign scapegoated.
Yes, this is true, but being “scapegoated” is not.
BTW a close family member recently trained for vol. firefighter and first responder; he makes a tiny amount of $ for his work, not really enough to pay for gas driving to the station. So I learned about the 500 firefighter deaths a year from the materials he studies.
PS - public employee unions should be illegal.
How do you know that?
I used to be one. In two years we went to two false alarms. However, it can be dangerous. I lost a high school friend who ran into a burning building and never came out. That was before air tanks and our training never mentioned the absence of air to breathe in many burning buildings.
I don't have statistics to prove my point but I do have my own experience and that of friends and family members who are/were also firemen. We were a medium size city with about twenty fire stations.