Concord gives back 2% to unions while pushing November tax measure

In its headlong rush to push a tax measure onto the November ballot at any cost, the City of Concord today is crowing about its contract with Public Employees Union Local 1. In essence the City is making employees pay an additional 2% toward pension costs but gives it back in the form of an extra 41.6 hours (2%) of compensatory time each year under the new contract. Let’s break it down

1. Continue 5 percent pay cut through 13 unpaid furlough days
2. Forego raises, and freeze step increases the first year of the agreement.
3. In 2010-11 pay 2 percent of salaries towards retirement costs currently paid by the City,
4. Increase that amount by 3 percent the following year for a total of 5 percent.

Despite the claims of the the city’s full court press for a tax hike, when you factor in the 2% giveback in the form of comp time, this is no 10 percent reduction in wages at all, which is how the Concord press release dressed up the pig.

The troubling part of this is, if you can furlough people, and the world did not end, then they really aren’t so essential. So why not pare back on even more non-essential services and programs, rather than give back comp time?

The Concord City Council with its “we-say-so” survey, letters to select “community leaders,” and slick campaign mailer—paid for with city funds—that push for a tax measure on the November ballot, are delusional if they think passing a tax measure of $5.3M for fiscal 2010-11 without controlling costs will be temporary. And until it controls costs it will, just like the school districts, come back in 2011, 2012, and 2013 to further rob taxpayers just for operating costs.

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  1. Wendy Lack says

    What’s the status of this issue at Concord? Has the City Council already voted to approve placement of this tax hike on the November ballot?

    • says

      It is my understanding from Concord officials that the new Concord Sales Tax will be discussed and vote on at the scheduled City Council meeting scheduled for July 27. The deadline for municipalities to get proposed measures on the ballot is, according to Sue Olvera at the County Elections office is 5:00 p.m., August 6.

      Mayor Guy Bjerke has a greed to a live chat Townhall at Halfway To Concord on Sunday evening, July 25, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please tell friends to mark this date and attend.

  2. Richard S. Colman says

    Here’s a simple answer: Do what Maywood, California, did on June 30, 2010. Maywood laid off every single city employee. If layoffs do not work in Concord, then it’s time to file for bankruptcy.

    Richard S. Colman
    Orinda, CA
    July 2, 2010

  3. Elmer F.U.D. says

    Thanks! Someone who gets it!
    We need a new council and turnover in city staff. The status quo isn’t cutting it anymore!
    If they pass the tax, I’m taking my shopping out of town/over the internet. Let them waste someone elses money.

  4. I don't understand says

    Why is Concord keeping staff, AND giving them an extra week off if they don’t need them?

    The way to reduce pension costs is to reduce non-essential labor costs, not to reward it.

    How is this good management again?