San Luis Obispo unions call economic study biased
January 22, 2011
San Luis Obispo’s firefighter and police union are discounting recent cost saving recommendations because they claim the proposals are biased towards the business community. [Tribune]
City Manager Katie Lichtig personally selected the 32 Financial Sustainability Task Force members. The task force recommendations included cutting staffing costs and eliminating binding arbitration.
City fire and police unions are opposed to changes in binding arbitration or to their pension plans.
Union leaders contend the facilitator of the task force, Michael Gunther, is connected to the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and biased in a pro-business direction that includes providing more public funds for private businesses. In addition, union leaders claim that the 32-person task force was laden with members of the business community, management officials and former chamber members.
According to the Tribune, the task force was made up of 40 percent from the business community, 15 percent non-profits employees, 28 percent city employees and the remainder a mix of people affiliated with community organizations or Cal Poly.
In San Luis Obispo County, local government employees account for approximately 13 percent of the work force, according to data recently released by the state Employment Development Department.