LA Times Columnist Calls Out Public Sector Unions

By Tom Fletcher • Thursday, April 25, 2013 12:49 pm

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As California continues its descent into fiscal chaos, some are finally speaking up and calling for changes to the state’s broken public sector benefits and pensions system.  In his final budget as Mayor of Los Angeles, Anthony Villaraigosa called for a renegotiation of the pay increase he had previously approved for the city’s public sector workers. It seems that after years of reckless spending and negotiating reckless contracts, whose obligations they can no longer meet, the outgoing Mayor is recognizing the fiscal reality plaguing much of California. One person applauding the Mayors call to renegotiate public sector contracts is best-selling author and LA Times columnist, Steve Lopez, who wrote

“It's time for public employee unions to wake up and take a look around. Government services are shrinking, cities are crumbling, and they're enjoying pay and benefit packages that many in the private sector would kill for. They need to give a little back. Yeah, I know, some of them already have. But it's time for a little more. On healthcare contributions. On raises. On pensions. On retirement ages.”

To say Union officials aren’t happy would be putting it mildly. Tyler Izen, President of the Police Protective League said:

"I'll deal with whoever the next mayor is….Compensation is determined by something other than the outgoing mayor's desires."

The Mayor’s tiny gesture of calling for public sector workers to renegotiation their already overgenerous compensation are unlikely to lead to the reforms necessary to make California solvent but are notable nonetheless. Public sector unions are no longer getting the free lunch they’ve always believed they were entitled to.
 

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