March 22, 2012
Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
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
HEALTH & WELFARE
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...
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.)
To: Carm Grande
Its difficult for Human Resources to answer specific retiree medical benefit
questions because Human Resources does not track specific retiree enrollment
information, so we dont know what plan you are in and what comprises your
specific rate. This specific enrollment information is managed by the Retirement
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 familys 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 Kaisers 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
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 Citys health
plan provides comparable (and generally better) prescription coverage and
theres no additional cost to the retiree as this prescription benefit coverage
is covered already covered in the Citys 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 Funds 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.
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.
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.
Results from last week's polls...
For the full scope of state and national polling by Scott
Rasmussen, click on this link:
For the most recent releases, click here:
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.
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
Not a surprise, Dan. Look at the quality of the
training Walt received as a member of the SJPD.
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
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.
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...
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.
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...
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
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)
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
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
Another good article from San Jose Inside. You can include my comments if you
find them appropriate. My feelings won't be hurt.
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
LOCAL NEWS FOR YOU
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
Workers Sue Over Ballot Words
employees move to blockmeasure they say lacks neutrality; city will seek quick
By John Woolfolk
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 citys
public defender, Jeff Adachi.
All I can say is that its 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
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
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 citys 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.
Theyre 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."
On Second Thought, Hes Feeling
Internal Affairs Mercury News March 18, 2012
It didnt 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 citys 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
Reeds 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 firefighters injuries would end his career was deleted
from the website as soon as it was clear that Protect San Jose had published bad
The group also tweeted an update, stating that the firefighter is expected to
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
Police Union Details Suits
Claiming City Violated Deal
seeks talks, other wants end of measure
By Tracy Seipel
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 unions 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 citys
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 citys 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 citys 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 citys 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
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 citys charter.
The union is asking an arbitrator to determine whether the city violated the
unions contract by seeking to change benefits through a ballot measure rather
than through arbitration.
Again, Doyle disagreed with the unions 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
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
TOURING FOR TIM
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
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
Cycling from California to
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
Photograph purportedly shows a car bearing a bumper sticker with the Obama
campaign logo and the slogan "Don't Re-Nig in 2012."
Did Joseph Stalin describe America as a 'healthy body with threefold
Caution Graphic Video: Video clip
purportedly shows an automobile accident on a Russian highway.
Photograph purportedly shows a U.S. flag bearing an image of Barack Obama
flying over a Florida county's Democratic headquarters.
Smishing scam: Walmart is distributing free $100 or
$1,000 gift cards to users who click an online link.
Appeal claims Facebook will donate $1 for treatment of a girl with a
severely distended abdomen every time her picture is shared.
Video clip of Congressional hearing purportedly shows Rep. Maxine Waters
commenting about nationalizing the oil industry.
Are U.S. stores experiencing a rash of thefts of Tide brand laundry
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.
Did actor Denzel Washington make a large donation to
the Fisher House while visiting Brooke Army Medical Center?
Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a
collection of odd news stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
Did Alabama redefine the value of pi to 3 to bring it in line with Biblical
Still Haunting the Inbox
Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep
abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes
commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
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
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.)
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.)
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.)
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
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.)
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.)
Watch this clip from Tom Macris of a kitten taking on a pit bull only if you
have nerves of steel. (3 Mins.)
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
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.)
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.)
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.
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.)
That concludes this week's Farsider. Thanks again
for spending a few minutes with us.
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