Baskin: “People will die” if SLO measures pass

July 10, 2011

State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and Erik Baskin

The president of the San Luis Obispo firefighters union warned Friday that “people will die” if local voters pass two ballot measures in the upcoming August special election.

Erik Baskin made the prediction during a live radio interview Friday afternoon on KVEC 920 AM.

San Luis Obispo voters are being asked to decide two separate issues—Measure A, which calls for pension reform and Measure B, which would do away with the current system of binding arbitration.

Baskin suggested that California cities, like San Jose, who have done away with binding arbitration, ended up laying off police and firefighters. Any reduction in staffing, the union leader argued, threatens response time and community safety.

Andrew Carter, San Luis Obispo city councilman, issued a response to Baskin’s comments, saying “Nothing could be further from the truth . . . City Council has placed Measures A and B, pension reform and the repeal of binding arbitration, on the ballot in an attempt to rein in out-of-control employee pay and benefit costs. It is these increases which could threaten public safety staffing, not the repeal of binding arbitration.”



  1. SanSimeonSam says:

    Erik, you should vote yes on measure A. You don’t want the voters to have a say on how much more your welfare check is going to be. We would reduce you and the cops down to a reasonable level. This is SLO you have it easy. If we cut your salary 50% very few of you would leave. The gravy train is that good here for you. If you left, there is a never ending line of people to replace you.

    (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
  2. Vallybear says:

    Part of the Governor’s new budget requires residents who live in outlying areas to pay a special fee to cover the cost of the many fires which occur as people push further into the wildernesses. So how about each resident of SLO pay an amount – say $1000 per year for the fire coverage and use ONLY that amount of money collected to pay for fire service. Sound good? That should cover enough firemen, vehicles etc to take care of things. Right?
    Unfortunately, the focus of the loss of binding arbitration has been focused on the higher paid employees and those in the lower strata have not been heard from.
    So – when you go to the hospital will you complain about the ‘alien’ who is charged with taking care of your MOST personal needs? Well, if a person starts doing this type of employment with a minimum wage and has no chance to look forward to a higher salary – who will take these jobs?
    When your kid has a problem at school, who is the first person who gets your wrath when you walk in the door? The clerk sitting at the desk who may also rely on arbitration to look forward to a higher salary.
    That employee shoveling the hot tar on the road also may not take a job when there is no hope that he/she might get an increase in salary. Would you or someone in your family step in or would you complain that ‘those immigrants are taking all the good jobs in this country’?
    Third world here we come. The rednecks have gotten theirs (count those living in north county who have taken retirement benefits from a former government job and now are also working at a second government job with more benefits to come) and don’t want anyone else to have a piece of the pie. I got mine, baby, how you doing????

    (-10) 18 Total Votes - 4 up - 14 down
    • SLORider says:

      Sheesh, you make is sound like everyone is getting Taco Bell wages! Where’s the binding arbitration for every other job?

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down

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