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The Farsider

March 22, 2012

 

Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>

 

The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.




 
 

HEALTH & WELFARE

No report.




 

PENSION REFORM NEWS THAT SHOULD BE OF INTEREST TO RETIREES

The following items were sent to all active and retired POA members this week whose e-mail addresses are on file with the Association. If you didn't receive these Membership Alerts, either your e-mail address is not on file, or you are not a POA member...
 


 

Pensiongate Video News Reports — March 19th


We start with this link that will take you to the "Protect San Jose" website and several TV news reports. It will take a few moments to load because it contains several video clips from the past week, so be patient...

<http://tinyurl.com/7z7hj5y>

 

• • • • •




 

POA Legal Update — March 20th


There has been a lot that has occurred over the last few weeks. We wanted to take a moment to catch you up with what we've been up to with regards to the pension fight.

Lawsuit against the Retirement Board: We have filed a lawsuit against Russell Crosby, Retirement Services Director, and others. We sued because Mr. Crosby had an actuarial report prepared to help the City for its budgeting. But retirement funds were used to pay for it even though it was not requested by the Retirement Board. This was illegal.


Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Complaint: This complaint involves the City's use of the $650,000,000 number, but the failure to disclose this number on bond disclosure documents.

Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC): A joint committee of both State Senators and Assemblymembers voted across party lines (Republicans and Democrats voting together) to call for a State audit of the City with regards to the City's finances.

 

Unfair Labor Practice: We filed an additional lawsuit stating that the City has failed to negotiate in good faith. Our case is based on the City's refusal to bargain with us since November 13, 2011, including over the version of the measure that ultimately was passed by the Council to go on the ballot. We are asking the Court to order the City back to the bargaining table and block it from going forward with its election.

 

Petition to Compel Arbitration: We have filed two of these petitions. One on the grounds that we should be arbitrating any changes to retiree benefits, consistent with the Retirement Reform Side Letter and the parties' Ground Rules. The other petition is based on the fact that we are in contract through June 2013 and that the benefits contained in the MOA (see articles 49 and 50) are protected from changes by the zipper clause in the MOA (article 19). We are asking an arbitrator to order the City not to try an end run around the MOA by going to the voters.

 

Challenge to the Ballot Question: In conjunction with other City unions, we filed a pre-election challenge to the ballot on the grounds that the ballot question was not fair and impartial as required by law. On Monday we successfully secured an early hearing (April 3) to have the ballot question recast more impartially. We will be going to court this week on a number of these matters to get expedited hearing dates to try to have matters heard before the ballot measure is printed.


Jim Unland
<president@sjpoa.com> 925.785.8094
John Robb
<vicepresident@sjpoa.com> 408.406.6903

 

• • • • •



Because the following Membership Alert is rather complex, you might find it helpful to shift your reading speed down into granny gear so you can better comprehend what it says. If you cruise along in high gear, you may need to go back and read it a second time like I did...



 

A Message to Retirees — March 20th


If you've been following our emails and the news, you know that our retirement and retiree health care are under attack. Before the ballot measure was passed by the City Council, we proposed one last attempt at a negotiated settlement. It contained an opt-in for active members who wanted to go to the CalPERS 3 @ 55 plan and also included a change to our retirement healthcare. Our plan was not accepted and as you probably are already aware, the Mayor will place his idea of pension reform before the voters in June.

We received some emails from retirees seeking to understand the retiree healthcare issues we are facing. To do that we want to go over some basic information about our plan, and then we will discuss what the City is trying to do and how our proposal tried to blunt this attack on your benefits.

When you were employed as a police officer in San Jose, every two weeks money was taken out of your check. Some of it went to paying your defined benefits pension plan and the rest went to paying for the medical insurance premiums for retirees. Most of you paid approximately 3.8% of each paycheck toward your retiree healthcare. This allowed the plan to cover the expected upcoming insurance premium costs.

Our plan says that retirees will be entitled to the lowest cost healthcare plan available to employees at no cost (except co-pays). That plan is currently provided by Kaiser. Currently, active members of the police department pay 15% of the cost of that plan and the City pays the remaining 85%. When that active member retires, they no longer pay the 15%, the entire cost of that retiree's healthcare plan is covered by the retirement system. For those retirees who live outside the area or use Blue Shield, there is a cost associated with those plans. The retiree pays the difference between the cost of Kaiser and the cost of Blue Shield.

We want to take you back to the 3.8% number. Remember, this was the amount of money taken out of your paycheck every two weeks to cover the cost of retirees' healthcare premiums. 2½ years ago, active members began paying significantly more than the 3.8%. For the last several decades the 3.8% being paid by the active members was enough to pay for the current costs of the retiree medical plan. The reason for this was that we had relatively few retirees compared to the number of active members.

Instead of 1400 officers and a few hundred retirees, we now have fewer than 1100 active members and around 900 retirees. The math doesn't work. What used to be a "pay as you go" plan did not work in this evolving situation. So we transitioned to a plan that, like the defined benefit plan, would set up a fund from which future contributions and investment income would provide for the benefits. There is $657million in retirement insurance premiums owed to current retirees and employees. But this retiree medical plan is only 9% funded. That is not a typo. 9%. We have $61 million in the fund where we need $657million. It is why the active members have been increasing their payments into the plan every year. Instead of the 3.8% most retirees paid into the system for the majority of their working lives, our active members are currently paying 7.01% per year. In less than 1½ years, our active members will be paying 9.5% per year into the system.

As a comparative example, an officer paying 3.8% on a $100,000 income would pay $3,800 into the system each working year. Today's officer will be paying 9.5% on that same $100,000. They will have $9,500 taken from their salary each year. Add to that, ever increasing costs to their retirement plan and add to that at least 3 years of pay cuts and you can understand that the active members are struggling.  

Many of our retirees are currently taking home more money than active members.

This increase from 3.8% to 9.5% is not due to increased benefits for active officers. It is because the retiree healthcare liabilities were never fully funded. But 9.5% still isn't paying the full amount that would be necessary to make the required monthly payments and prevent the liability from growing faster than the plan. Today, if nothing changes, officers would need to contribute 16% and the City would need to contribute a full 16% as well. The City's costs have risen in proportion to the employee's rate. The extra money the City would contribute is being negotiated out of current employee's salaries, benefits and even jobs.

Don't think for a second that because you are retired that the City has forgotten about you. They haven't and they want you to suffer right alongside the active members. During negotiations, the City asked us to agree to allow them to place a "high-deductible" plan on the list of available healthcare plans. They made it clear that active members would not have to take this plan. Active members would still get the Kaiser plan for 15% of the cost. We told them no.

The reason for this was that they would then be allowed to offer the "high-deductible" plan to the retirees as the "free" plan. It was a substantially cheaper plan. What it would mean to retirees is that they would have to pay approximately 25% to keep the Kaiser plan they now get for free. We still think the City will pursue this goal. Our guess is that they will impose it upon the City unions who do not have arbitration rights. Once they do this, they will say that it is the lowest costs plan offered to employees and then will offer it as the "free" plan to retirees.

Our proposal, now dead, tried to head off this 25% hit to retirees. It would have included the "high-deductible" plan, but would have provided a subsidy to both active and retirees. In the end, both active and retirees would have been paying 15% of the cost of the Kaiser plan we currently have. In essence, the retirees would have been paying the same for healthcare as the active members. With our proposal dead, we expect the City to try to make retirees pay somewhere in the 25% range for the plan they currently receive for free.

The Mayor's ballot, if implemented, would raise the active members' costs to retiree healthcare from the current 7.01% to 16%. That means $16,000 would come out of a top step officer's yearly salary. It would be unsustainable. Add to that another $16,000 for unfunded liability costs and the already high 12% ($12,000) for normal retirement costs. Under the Mayor's plan, active members will be paying over 40% of their salary into their retirement costs. After that, the government takes their share in taxes and our officers find themselves broke.

No one knows how this will all turn out. We are keeping the lawyers busy and well paid. We expect our battle with the City over these issues to go on for years. It is important that all of us, active and retired, cops and fire fighters, stay united. As always, if you have any questions, get a hold of one of us.

Jim Unland
<president@sjpoa.com> 925.785.8094
John Robb
<vicepresident@sjpoa.com> 408.406.6903

 

• • • • •


Don't shift out of granny gear just yet.

You may recall that I mentioned in the Farsider two weeks ago that I sent POA President Jim Unland an e-mail asking how an increase in what retired members with Medicare vs. those without will be impacted? That Jim replied and said he would look into it and get back to me — but hasn't — isn't a criticism because he has had dozens of alligators nipping at his ass. And when you look at the overall picture, retirees with Medicare coverage make up a relatively small group of folks, and Jim has to focus on the active and retired personnel who don't yet qualify as "old pharts."

For the past few weeks I have been exchanging e-mails with a handful of retirees who have been trying to find answers to questions about health care for retirees. One of those was former POA President Carm Grande. On Tuesday of this week, Carm said he thought he had a line on someone at Human Resources who could provide some answers. Yesterday (Wed.) he received the following e-mail.
(You're still in compound low, right? Good. Stay there.)

March 20th

To: Carm Grande

It’s difficult for Human Resources to answer specific retiree medical benefit questions because Human Resources does not track specific retiree enrollment information, so we don’t know what plan you are in and what comprises your specific rate. This specific enrollment information is managed by the Retirement Services Department.

I can, however, provide you with a general explanation.

In general, the City requires retirees and their dependents to enroll in Medicare parts A and B upon eligibility. Depending on your health plan and your Medicare eligibility, there is a specific cost for your elected benefit. The Retiree Medical Fund will reimburse 100% of the lowest cost plan offered to City employees. In 2012, the monthly benefit is $531.58 for individual coverage and $1,323.66 for family coverage. This contribution from the Retiree Medical Fund does change each year based on carrier rates and is based on the plans specifically offered to employees.

The City does offer Medicare integrated health plan coverage, which are currently less costly than health plans offered to employees. The Kaiser Senior Advantage plan is an example of this. The monthly cost for Kaiser Senior Advantage is $285.00 for single coverage and $830.50 for a family. If your selected plan (based on your and your family’s Medicare eligibility) is LESS than the lowest cost plan offered to an employee, then you will pay zero dollars. If your selected health plan enrollment rate is MORE than the lowest cost plan offered to an employee, then you will pay the difference.

As you can see in the Kaiser Senior Advantage examples, these health plan costs are reduced. The reduced cost of these programs helps to keep the costs down for the Retiree Medical Fund. This is important because lower costs helps to insure that there is sufficient funding to pay both current and future retiree medical costs and reduces the cost for the City and employees who currently funding the Retiree Medical Fund.

Medicare does provide the health plan a payment for assuming the Medicare claims risk when you enroll in Kaiser Senior Advantage or United Health Care (Secure Horizons). This means that the health care plan assumes all the risk for your enrollment, regardless of whether your care is more or less expensive than the annual payment Medicare makes to the health plan. This payment does reduce the health care premium cost which is quoted to the City. For example, the Kaiser monthly premium for a retiree without Medicare is $531.58 and when Medicare is assigned to the Kaiser Senior Advantage plan, the premium drops to $285.00. The health plan does NOT provide information to the City regarding what the actual payment is from Medicare. The agreement between Medicare and the health plan is over Kaiser’s total book of business for all Medicare plans.

Kaiser does impose a higher fee for those retirees who are eligible for but not enrolled in Medicare Parts A and/or B. This penalty fee is passed along to the retiree.

Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) is free to all retirees. Medicare Part B (professional services, such as doctor office visits) does require a premium be paid to Social Security for this coverage (and penalties accrue if a retiree enrolls in this coverage late). Part D coverage, while it can be bought in the market place, does not need to be purchased by a retiree as the City’s health plan provides comparable (and generally better) prescription coverage and there’s no additional cost to the retiree as this prescription benefit coverage is covered already covered in the City’s health plans.

Please let me know if there is any additional information that you require on the current plans. The City has not yet determined what the plan offerings to employees will be for 2013. Changes in employee benefits does impact what plans will be offered to retirees and, the lowest cost plan offered will impact the Retirement Fund’s payment toward retiree coverage. Retirees are generally notified during the annual open enrollment period, November, of any changes in employee negotiated benefits.

Please let me know if you have any further questions on your City health plans. If you have questions regarding your specific health plan deductions, please contact Retirement Services at 408-794-1000 or 800-732-6477.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Groen
Benefits Manager
(408) 975-1428
<jeanne.groen@sanjoseca.gov>

 

• • • • •



If you can digest legal jargon and are interested, Art Mogilefsky, who went to law school and became a legal beagle after he retired, provided us with the language of the complaint filed by the three attorneys referenced in the Membership Alert above. Clicking on the link below will download a .pdf file to your desktop. And double-clicking the file icon after it appears on your desktop should open Acrobat Reader and display the complaint.

<http://tinyurl.com/7tskwly>

 

• • • • •



The Mail Call column below includes a letter from Ron Mozley with a link to a "San Jose Inside" article that relates to the pension reform issue. And newspaper articles from the past week on the same topic appear in today's "Local News for You Out-of-Towners" column below.
 

 


 

WEEKLY POLL
 

   


Results from last week's polls...




For the full scope of state and national polling by Scott Rasmussen, click on this link:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/>

For the most recent releases, click here:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/older_content/home/top_stories/most_recent_articles>




 

MAIL CALL


The following message is in reference Walt Tibbet, who is on the list of SJPD personnel who went on to become Chiefs of other agencies that we published in last week's Farsider.
 

March 15th

Bill,

Walt Tibbet is the current COP in Fairfield, CA. I did a property room audit for him a few months ago. He said the FPD is much like the SJPD was in the '80s and early '90s. Smart, energetic young people with a willingness to do the job and make the department and community better. I did an earlier audit of the Fairfield police a few years ago, and I can tell you that Walt already has had a very positive impact on the Dept., especially at the management and supervisory levels.

Dan (Bullock)
<dnabullock@sbcglobal.net>


Not a surprise, Dan. Look at the quality of the training Walt received as a member of the SJPD.

 

• • • • •

 

March 16th

Bill,

My one-time car partner, Gary Hafley, just turned the big six-oh. I knew he had choked the chicken before, but never in public. Must be losing it in his old age.

Dean
(Janavice)
<djanavice@citcom.net>
 


 

• • • • •

 

March 17th

Hi Bill,

I delivered a speech on March 15th to about 200 cops who attended the 50th Annual San Francisco Bay Area Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Foster City. Ordinarily, it's not in the nature of cops to stroke others, and I was touched after the speech when many of them approached me to say they really appreciated my words. I think it was evidence of the media's constant demoralizing attacks. I was particularly pleased to attend the luncheon because the SJPD Robbery Unit received an award for taking down a recidivist robbery gang. I also had the opportunity to chat with two former SJPD cops who recently became chiefs of the Redwood City and Hayward police departments (Junior Gamez and Diane Urban). I was struck by the listing of all the SJPD folks in the last Farsider who had become police chiefs of outside agencies over the years. The list is a testament to their education, training and dedication to law enforcement.

At the robbery investigators' request, Laurie took a photo of me with the group which she is sending them. I'll ask her to also send you a copy.
 


If you feel any of my comments are worth passing along, feel free. It is especially outrageous to see the attacks on the benefits that took so long for the POA to negotiate. The pain the SJPD is enduring seems greater than that of other agencies. Not one of the chiefs on your list could have comfortably retired with the pension that was in effect when I arrived in 1976.

Joe (McNamara)
<mcnamara@hoover.stanford.edu>


To read a transcript of Joe's speech, clicking on the link below will download a .pdf file to your desktop. A double-click on the file icon should open Adobe Acrobat Reader and display the speech...

<CLICK HERE>

 

• • • • •

 

March 17th

Hey Bill,
 
Thanks for the great job you and Leroy are doing to keep us informed.
 
As for ex-SJPD officers who became Chiefs of outside agencies, Bill Clark — the one who left after several years with SJPD — was Chief of Police in Newport, WA for a number of years. He is now retired.
 
Keep the Farsider coming, and again my thanks.
 
Rob Robison
<samsonsdad@gmail.com>


Since we have two former SJPD cops by the name of Bill Clark, I sent Rob and both Bills the following reply because I wasn't sure which was which...


Got it, Rob. Bill wasn't the only former SJPD cop who is missing from the list. I received word a few hours prior to the arrival of your message that Richard Cadenasso also was missing, so he too has been added. (I'm including both Bill Clarks to this reply because I can't tell who is who based solely on their e-mail addresses.)


My response resulted in the following message from the Bill Clark who left SJPD to take over the reins of Chief in Newport, WA. He sent this reply to me, Rob and the other Bill Clark...


Hi guys,

Thanks, Rob, for thinking of me. And Bill, thank you for your continued work. I am the one who was chief of the Newport PD. Hardest 5 years I spent in law enforcement. Sandy and I have moved to Libby, Montana where we are working with Camp Patriot as volunteers. We have lots of injured vets to take into the outdoors. My e-mail that may help separate me from the other Bill Clark is
<bclark@camppatriot.org>.  

Thanks to you guys again for your kindness. I can only recommend that you run from California as fast as you can. Sunshine ain't all there is in life. God bless you both.

Bill Clark (the one who left)
<bclark@camppatriot.org>


In addition to Bill, we learned since last week that Richard Cadenasso, Richard Calderon and  "Junior" Gamez needed to be placed on the list, as well as adding a third agency to Pat Dwyer's history and a second agency to Walt Tibet's. This is how the list looks now, but it's entirely possible that we will be advised of others who also need to be included.

 

SJPD Personnel Who Left and Became Chiefs of Other Law Enforcement Agencies:
 

(alphabetical by first name)


• Bill Clark — Newport, WA
• Bill Lansdowne — Richmond, CA; San Diego, CA
• Bob Allen — Capitola, CA
• Bob Bradshaw — Reno, NV, Concord CA; Nevada Highway Patrol
• Bud Bye — San Jose-Evergreen Community College District
• Chris Ebert — Marion, Iowa
• Dan Ortega — Salinas, CA
• Diane Urban — Hayward, CA
• Eric Sills — Greenfield and Soledad, CA
• Gary Leonard — Grand Junction, CO; Alexandria, VA; Sandy City, UT; Greenfield CA; West Sacramento, CA
• Gus Kettman — Palm Springs, CA
• Jay Propst — Boulder, CO
• JR "Junior" Gamez — Redwood City, CA
• Ken Tanaka — West Valley/Mission College, CA
• Lee Brown — Multnomah Co. (OR); Atlanta (GA); Houston (TX); New York City (NY)
• Lou Cobarruviaz — Redwood City, CA
• Manny Martinez — Daly City, CA
• Mike Maehler — Sunnyvale, CA; Mountain View, CA
• Pat Dwyer — Sunnyvale, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Hayward, CA
• Pete Decena — San Jose State University PD
• Rich Couser — Contra Costa Community College District, CA
• Rich Gummow — Juneau, AK
• Richard Cadenasso — Elk Grove Unified School District Police, Elk Grove, CA
• Richard Calderon ‚— Gustine, CA
• Ruben Chavez — Livingston, CA
• Russ Russell — San Juan Bautista, CA; Coalinga, CA; Parlier, CA
• Scott Seaman — Los Gatos PD
• Tom Frazier — Baltimore, MD
• Tuck Younis — Los Altos, CA
• Walt Tibbet — Alameda, CA, Fairfield, CA

 

• • • • •

 

March 18th

Bill:

Another good article from San Jose Inside. You can include my comments if you find them appropriate. My feelings won't be hurt.

Thanks,

Ron Mozley
<mozleysupnorth@wildblue.net>


As far as we are concerned, any comments about the plight of SJPD retirees and what's happening to their benefits are always appropriate. These were Ron's...


This article shows how Reed and company spend taxpayer money to support their illegal ballot issue. I hope this article motivates more retirees to join the Retirees' Association because, after the June vote, Reed will be coming for your COLA. Legal or not. he'll get a favorable council vote as he has in the past involving anti-labor issues, and your COLA will be gone for five years. Reed is smart and calculated and doesn't care about your vested rights. He loathes SJPD,  and he'll chip away at your vested rights or remove them entirely if he can. Now is the time to shore up our "litigation war chest" as the fight will come. It's not a matter of if, it's when.


To read the "San Jose Inside" article Ron sent in, click on the link below and give the page a moment to load:

<http://tinyurl.com/82vra2q>




 

LOCAL NEWS FOR YOU OUT-OF-TOWNERS


The sparring is over and the gloves have come off. The first of what is likely to be other lawsuits has now been filed by City employee unions according to this story from last Saturday's paper...
 

Workers Sue Over Ballot Words

—San Jose employees move to blockmeasure they say lacks neutrality; city will seek quick resolution—

By John Woolfolk
<jwoolfolk@bayareanewsgroup.com>
Mercury News — March 17, 2012


In the latest dust-up over a June pension reform measure, San Jose employees sued the city on Friday to block it, claiming it is illegally attempting to sway voter approval.

The lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court argues the ballot question is phrased to encourage voter approval and that the law requires the wording be neutral.

“The ballot question must be dealt with now, because of its blatantly prejudicial effect on the voters,” the lawsuit stated. “As it is currently drafted, the ballot question amounts to an argument in favor of the measure rather than the impartial and neutral statement required by the elections code. As such, it is unlawful and must be revised.”

The suit was filed on behalf of San Jose Fire Fighters Union president Robert Sapien, police Officer Franco Vado, environmental service specialist Karen McDonough and retired firefighter Clifford Hubbard.

City Attorney Rick Doyle said the ballot language is similar to other tax measures pitched to voters, and that he believed a court rejected a similar complaint against a San Francisco pension reform measure urged by that city’s public defender, Jeff Adachi.

“All I can say is that it’s not unlike a lot of other measures we put on the ballot,” Doyle said. He added that the city will seek a quick ruling from the courts.

“We need certainty, and the earlier the better because the council wants this on the June ballot, and the quicker we get a turnaround, the better,” Doyle said.

City workers have long argued the ballot measure is an illegal breach of their vested pension rights. The measure would reduce pension benefits for new hires and require current workers to pay more toward their retirement unless they switch to a plan with reduced benefits and cost. Retirees could see 3-percent annual cost-ofliving increases suspended if the city declares a fiscal emergency.

But the lawsuit states that those are “bigger problems that will be addressed after the election if the measure passes.” Robin Johansen, the lawyer representing the workers, said that the city’s use of similar wording to sell tax measures in the past is irrelevant.

“The code says it has to be fair and impartial, not an argument for the measure,” Johansen said. “When you look at the kinds of emotionally laden words — reform and abuse, essential services — those are very strongly worded phrases intended to get people to vote for the measure.”

Mayor Chuck Reed, who has championed the measure, said the suit was expected. The council on Tuesday will be asked to have the city clerk rather than the city attorney write the neutral analysis of the measure for the ballot to thwart other expected challenges, he said.

“They’re doing everything they can to try to keep the voters from considering the ballot measure,” Reed said. “So this is just another step.”
 

• • • • •



This item was part of the Internal Affairs column which the Mercury News refers to as "an irreverent inside view of the week." <
www.mercurynews.com/internal-affairs>
 

On Second Thought, He’s Feeling Much Better...

Internal Affairs — Mercury News — March 18, 2012


It didn’t take long for an injured San Jose firefighter to get pulled into the raging pension reform battle between public safety unions and Mayor Chuck Reed .

Hours after the firefighter suffered serious burns early Thursday morning while battling a four-alarm blaze on the city’s west side, a website produced by the San Jose Police Officers’ Association tweeted, “Firefighter Seriously Injured Protecting Residents — Mayor Reed Yawns.”

On its website, Protect San Jose wrote that the injuries to the firefighter are likely “serious enough that they will end his career” and claimed that under Reed’s pension-reform measure on the June ballot, the firefighter would no longer receive a disability retirement.

There was one glaring problem with that statement: The injured firefighter is expected to make a full recovery, according to San Jose fire Capt. Robert Sapien, president of the firefighters union. Sapien, who was at the scene of the fire as a safety officer, said he did not know where Protect San Jose received its information, adding that the firefighters union does not post information on Protect San Jose.

A police officer at the scene of the fire reportedly told union officials that the injury was potentially career-ending, said Kerry Hillis , a civilian spokesman for the union.

Hillis apologized for the release of bad information.

San Jose police Sgt. Jim Unland , president of the officers’ association, said the sentence saying the firefighter’s injuries would end his career was deleted from the website as soon as it was clear that Protect San Jose had published bad information.

The group also tweeted an update, stating that the firefighter is expected to fully recover.

Councilman Pete Constant , who supports the pension measure and who retired from the police department on disability after back injuries from a fight with a suspect, said the measure allows disability retirement if an injured officer or firefighter can no longer do meaningful work in the department.

 

• • • • •



Tuesday's paper included this update on the latest round of the heavyweight bout between the POA and the City...

Police Union Details Suits Claiming City Violated Deal

—One claim seeks talks, other wants end of measure—

By Tracy Seipel
<tseipel@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — March 20, 2012


Attorneys for the San Jose Police Officers’ Association on Monday elaborated on two lawsuits they filed against the city of San Jose, including one that seeks to force the city back to the bargaining table and another that alleges the city violated the union’s contract by trying to change retirement benefits through an election rather than arbitration. Filed late Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the first lawsuit says the city failed to adequately “meet-and-confer” before the City Council voted to push a pension reform ballot measure forward, first on Dec. 6 and then when finalizing it on March 6. It also says that the impasse declared by the city last fall was broken by new proposals from both the police and firefighter unions and the city, and by the city’s changing financial situation. In particular, the unions cite the improved projections given in early December, and the more recent news that there will be no budget deficit in the upcoming fiscal year. The union says that should have prompted renewed discussions.

The police officers’ union says the city refused to bargain with its members between Nov. 13 and when the council voted March 6 to place the measure on the June 5 ballot.

City Attorney Rick Doyle disputes the accusations.

“The city’s negotiation team more than satisfied the meet-and-confer requirement,” Doyle said Monday. “They went through all the negotiation and mediation sessions that were required under the law.”

The union also alleges that the city knowingly provided false and misleading information to its members about the city’s financial condition throughout bargaining. In February, employee unions filed an ethics complaint against city officials including Mayor Chuck Reed and Retirement Services Director Russell Crosby alleging that they inflated the city’s projected pension liability for fiscal year 2015-16 by $250million to $650 million in order to force concessions from unions. Both Reed and Crosby have said the $650 million figure was a worstcase scenario.

The union asks that the court send the parties back to the negotiating table and prohibit the ballot measure.

The second suit seeks to compel the city to enter into arbitration. The union says that any impasse between the parties under the contract must be resolved by arbitration as spelled out under a specific section of the city’s charter.

The union is asking an arbitrator to determine whether the city violated the union’s contract by seeking to change benefits through a ballot measure rather than through arbitration.

Again, Doyle disagreed with the union’s allegation, saying arbitration “is premature before the vote.”

But union attorney Gregg Adam says the police officers’ union contract specifies that the only way to change retirement benefits covered by the contract is through arbitration.

“The city is reneging on the commitment it made in its bargaining agreement with the union,” he said, adding that the California Supreme Court has clearly held that voters cannot override a collective bargaining agreement that was lawfully entered into between a union and city.

The two lawsuits follow another one filed Friday in Superior Court by San Jose employees who are suing both the city and Santa Clara County to block the June pension reform ballot measure, claiming the wording illegally attempts to sway voter approval instead of remaining neutral.

Doyle said the ballot language is similar to other tax measures that have been pitched to voters.

City workers have said for some time that the ballot measure is an illegal breach of their vested pension rights. The measure would reduce pension benefits for new hires and require current workers to pay more toward their retirement unless they switch to a plan with reduced benefits and costs. Retirees could see 3percent annual cost-of-living increases suspended if the city declares a fiscal emergency.
 



 

TOURING FOR TIM
 

March 16th

Bill,

The last big full department study I did for POST prior to my retirement was of the Roseville PD. It was during that study that I met and established a professional relationship with Capt. David Allison that continues to this day. I also became familiar with the Chaplaincy program that serves the Roseville PD and all of the other law enforcement agencies in Placer County. I was impressed with the program and have used it on several occasions since I live in Placer County.

Capt. Allison, now retired, and the Chaplaincy program as well as the Roseville PD itself are doing what they can to provide support for Supervising State Park Ranger Tim Guardino who is fighting ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). I told David that I would request space in the Farsider so that the details of Tim's plight could be brought to the attention of your readers with the hope that they would also lend support to the Guardino Family. All of the details are presented below.

Thank you,

Gary
(Leonard)
<hoyaleonard@gmail.com>


 

Cycling from California to Virginia
 





 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17, 2012

The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox


New Articles

• Photograph purportedly shows a car bearing a bumper sticker with the Obama campaign logo and the slogan "Don't Re-Nig in 2012."
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/photos/dont2012.asp>

• Did Joseph Stalin describe America as a 'healthy body with threefold resistance'?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/photos/dont2012.asp>

• Caution Graphic Video: Video clip purportedly shows an automobile accident on a Russian highway.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/accident/russiacrash.asp>

• Photograph purportedly shows a U.S. flag bearing an image of Barack Obama flying over a Florida county's Democratic headquarters.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/photos/flag.asp>

• Smishing scam: Walmart is distributing free $100 or $1,000 gift cards to users who click an online link.
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/walmart.asp>

• Appeal claims Facebook will donate $1 for treatment of a girl with a severely distended abdomen every time her picture is shared.
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/medical/abdomen.asp>

• Video clip of Congressional hearing purportedly shows Rep. Maxine Waters commenting about nationalizing the oil industry.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/waters.asp>

• Are U.S. stores experiencing a rash of thefts of Tide brand laundry detergent?
<http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/tide.asp>

• A fire in a three-apartment dwelling killed black and Mexican families living there but spared a white couple because they were the only ones at work when the blaze started.
<http://www.snopes.com/racial/humor/housefire.asp>

• Did actor Denzel Washington make a large donation to the Fisher House while visiting Brooke Army Medical Center?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/denzel.asp>

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
<http://www.snopes.com/daily/>


Worth a Second Look

• Did Alabama redefine the value of pi to 3 to bring it in line with Biblical precepts?
<http://www.snopes.com/religion/pi.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
<http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp>


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
<http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp>




 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS


Remember to click on the "Large Player" icon on the YouTube control panel in the lower right-hand corner of the video when you watch the first clip. If you do, all other YouTube videos should default to the same setting throughout the rest of your session at the computer.

 

• • • • •



We highlighted an Italian police motorcycle drill team from the 1950s in the Farsider a year or two ago. Here's another one from the same era, but this film clip features views from above. (1 Min.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTYGmjgSMv8>


As impressive as those Italian motor officers from more than a half century ago may have been, German motorcycle cops have developed their own unique style when it comes to performing in front of a crowd. Don't bother to apply for this drill team unless your riding talent matches your acrobatic skills. (6 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxRYV1NcFEA&NR=1>

 

• • • • •



By the nature of what they do, most dancers are pretty fit. The couple in this clip received from Bruce Morton takes physical fitness to the next level. (7 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=Iht7UBZR7pU>

 

• • • • •

 

You are probably aware of instances where whales have died by beaching themselves. While scientists aren't sure why this happens, some suspect it could be due to parasites or viruses that affect their navigation system. The same phenomena can also happen to dolphins. Here's some incredible footage from Sharon Lansdowne of local beachgoers saving the lives of a school of dolphins that seems intent on stranding themselves on a beach in Brazil. (4 Mins.)




<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekmMD8oYtJ0>

 

• • • • •



Was this ad for the Chevy Volt produced by a General Motors employee who had received his pink slip and had an ax to grind with the giant automaker? Could be. (1 Min.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=689efjn6POM>

 

• • • • •



You say you would like to be able to fly like a bird? Well maybe you can. All you need to do is build yourself a pair of bird wings. So is it real? We report, you decide. (2 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYW5G2kbrKk>

 

• • • • •

 

Breaking News: European Threat Alert Levels Have Been Updated for 2012


The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when they were threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front lines of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Final note: Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.

 

• • • • •



"Here's one to marvel at," says Tom Macris. "It's like watching a dog meow." Our retired Police Artist is referring to Greg Pritchard's initial performance on Britain's Got Talent. (5 Mins.)

<http://biertijd.com/mediaplayer/?itemid=13658>

 

• • • • •



Stan Miller says he wants one of these flying hovercraft. For a paltry $13K, so do I. Looks like a ton of fun for the price of a sport bike. (1 Min.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ih_KBru6Co>

 

• • • • •



If you have never seen crystal clear footage of a shuttle launch from exterior cameras attached to the solid rocket boosters, you should find this clip sent in by Reese Gwillim fascinating. The cameras also captured the sound from lift off to separation, to the deployment of the three chutes on each booster all the way to splash down. And the text under the video provides details about what you are seeing. Have a good flight! (8 Mins.)

<http://tinyurl.com/7rxs7fu>

 

• • • • •



Want to know why there were no fitness centers in the 1950s? Lumpy found the answer in this video clip featuring the music of Bill Haley and the Comets. (3 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrhGtXCGn6M&feature=fvst>

 

• • • • •



The vast majority of the people you see in these crystal-clear Kodachrome photos from the early '40s have since passed on. Had you told them back then that their images would be seen by tens of thousands if not millions of people in the year 2012, they would have thought you were nuts.

(Why the lead-in paragraph is in a foreign language I have no idea, but that doesn't diminish the quality of the high-definition images. Click on the link below to view them, but give the website a few moments to load.)

<http://pavel-kosenko.livejournal.com/303194.html?thread=22669914>

 

• • • • •



Ever see a merry-go-round for cattle? Watch this clip sent in by Bert Kelsey and you'll be able to say, "Yes I have!" It's about Fair Oaks Farms, one of the largest dairy producers in the nation. Got Milk? (5 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJRy82i8e5Q&feature=email>

 

• • • • •



Caution:
Watch this clip from Tom Macris of a kitten taking on a pit bull only if you have nerves of steel. (3 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czhpQe-56qg>

 

• • • • •



Thank God we don't have plans to go to war with Pakistan or India anytime soon. After watching this clip sent in by Roger Coen, there is little doubt that our troops would be laughing so hard they wouldn't be able to hit their targets. (2 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ0ue-XGl9c>

 

• • • • •



Anyone want to put forth the argument that Rita Hayworth was not one of the sexiest women in America? Before you take on that nearly impossible task, watch this compilation video sent in by Stan Miller of the former Hollywood megastar as she works at Stayin' Alive. (5 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz3CPzdCDws>

 

• • • • •



For you gun guys who have more than an ample supply of testosterone coursing through your veins, here's an example of how real men shoot skeet. (1 Min.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnqUyz3R4sA>

 

• • • • •



Whoever thinks these gags up has a vivid imagination, and even though this one sent in by Bruce Morton is obviously staged, it might still be worth a moment of your time. (1 Min.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e3LEoTrhhc>

 

• • • • •



And finally, if this newly posted video we received from Chuck Blackmore doesn't get your patriotic juices flowing, perhaps you should ask someone to check and see if you still have a pulse. It's based on what the grand old lady known as the Statue of Liberty might say if she could speak. (4 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TPgJSZf5Vw>

 

• • • • •



That concludes this week's Farsider. Thanks again for spending a few minutes with us.

C'ya

 

Pic of the Week:
 

Planning on getting a Lab as a family pet? We suggest you choose carefully...
 


 

   

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