Carter gets his special election on binding arbitration

February 23, 2011

Andrew Carter

The San Luis Obispo City Council decided Tuesday night to let residents vote in a special mail-in election to determine the future of binding arbitration for public safety employees. [Tribune]

Council members unanimously agreed to put two issues before city voters by mail-in ballot on Aug. 30.

In a 4-1 vote, the city council agreed to ask local voters whether a controversial part of the city charter that brings in a third-party arbiter to intervene and decide wages and benefits if labor contract talks stall should be repealed.

They then voted 4-1 to ask local voters whether to remove a city charter section that requires voter approval to reduce retirement benefits. Councilman John Ashbaugh dissented on both votes.

Tuesday night’s actions are considered a major victory for Councilman Andrew Carter who has been nudging his colleagues to take action on the binding arbitration issue before new negotiations begin with public safety employees at the end of 2011.

More than 150 people attended the city hall meeting.


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16 Comments

  1. Crusader says:

    This absolutely says it all. I think it applies to both fire fighters and cops. Hilarious yet so true! Mind the adult language.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  2. rogerfreberg says:

    It is clear that paying the same as everyone else doesn’t necessarily get the results you want… since the system in place has a tendency to drive everyone’s salary upwards regardless of ability.

    We need to think a little bit creatively on whether or not these positions are filled with salaried people, volunteers or volunteer committees… I think there are plenty of talented folks in this town who would lend a hand and save the taxpayer money as well.

    Our city needs to rethink how we do business… because the way we have been doing it isn’t working… and probably won’t work in the future.

    Oh yes, let’s dump the salaries for the council people, too/

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. Crusader says:

    Compensation needs to be based on what it costs to attract and retain qualified employees. It should not and cannot be based on the absolute maximum the taxpayers can pay before revolting.

    That’s precisely what is happening now. The public service employees made pigs of themselves (with plenty of help from past and present SLO politicos) and SLO citizens have had enough. We see how the city can and will go broke trying to fund monstrously bloated and unrealistic pension plans no matter how good the economic times are.

    This is a reckoning that is a long time in coming. Thank goodness Carpenter/Carter/Smith had the resolve to stand up for the average SLO citizen. One that is better dealt with now and not later when it will be even more painful and bloody.

    (1) 21 Total Votes - 11 up - 10 down
    • bobfromsanluis says:

      “Compensation needs to be based on what it costs to attract and retain qualified employees. It should not and cannot be based on the absolute maximum the taxpayers can pay before revolting.” As was stated earlier by slojo, repealing binding arbitration does not automatically mean that any city worker is going to have their pay decreased. If the resolution calling for a repeal or modification of binding arbitration can be placed on a ballot and voted on before the current contracts expire, and the vote is to repeal, then there will be no negotiating between the city and the workers, it will just be the city telling the workers what they are going to receive, take it or leave it. I’m sure that many of you here will applaud such a move, but in my opinion, any city, county or state employees are going to more than willing to discuss salary freezes, some sort of reworking of pensions because just like all of us, they too realize that there is no longer an unlimited amount of taxpayer supplied revenue and everyone is going to have to do with less.

      (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
      • Crusader says:

        And BA is just another hindrance that will keep city employees from being paid based on the market demand. It needs to go.

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  4. slojo says:

    Why can’t Katie Lichtig’s 300K a year contract be “repealled” by the voters?

    (27) 33 Total Votes - 30 up - 3 down
  5. SLOBIRD says:

    OK, give Jan a little credit! She was a little slow on the draw but she got it, the voters of SLO put you in office, not the public safety employees (although I’m sure they helped). Not a big fan of Jan’s but I’m willing to give her credit for doing the right thing for SLO, even if she had no choice since it was going to pass away.

    (-6) 18 Total Votes - 6 up - 12 down
  6. Crusader says:

    So Marx flipped, huh? Figures. Sleazy politician…

    This is not just Carter’s election. This is also Carpenter’s and Smith’s election. It’s OUR election Let’s see how hard the unions fight…

    A Fire Captain Ray Hais is quoted in this morning’s Tribune as saying “…It’s crated a divisive split within the city, dividing management and labor…”

    Gee, how could that be? Don’t we have PROFESSIONAL fire fighters in SLO? How could they ever be referred to as “labor?” In fact, given that they are “PROFESSIONAL fire fighters” why do they even have a bargaining unit? More of the SLO City’s “having your cake and eating it too” syndrome, aye?

    (11) 35 Total Votes - 23 up - 12 down
  7. slocorruptionhater says:

    A step in the right direction.

    (14) 36 Total Votes - 25 up - 11 down
  8. danika says:

    No more binding arbitration. Can’t afford it. It IS that simple.

    (16) 42 Total Votes - 29 up - 13 down
    • zaphod says:

      simple as a Malthusian interest rate curve over time.

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
    • slojo says:

      Danika…….money is not going to magically appear if binding arbitration is repealled.

      (2) 20 Total Votes - 11 up - 9 down
      • mkaney says:

        That’s right, it’s not. That’s why the next step will be to CUT the salaries of our public safety personnel. One step at a time on the road to fiscal responsibility and an end to the looting of the taxpayer.

        (7) 23 Total Votes - 15 up - 8 down
        • slojo says:

          Are you going to give it back when, 3 years from now, the city decides, oh wait, that 3 million dollar budget gap we thought we were going to have? We were wrong, it’s not there.

          Budget gap my *ss.

          (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
          • racket says:

            slojo: Give what back?

            Civil servants should not have been overcompensated in the first place. We will correct that wrong now, and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. We ain’t “giving back” nothing.

            Or am I missing your question?

            (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
          • Crusader says:

            You simply don’t get it…

            Compensation needs to be based on what it costs to attract and retain qualified employees. It should not and cannot be based on the absolute maximum the taxpayers can pay.

            I would bet dollars to doughnuts that qualified public safety employees could be recruited and hired for 30-40% less (at least) across the board then what is being paid to the current public safety employees. Simply put that unconscionable. It’s unfair to the taxpayer and as bloated defined benefit pension plans become more and more difficult to fund it takes more and more taxpayer money.

            That needs to cease now.

            (2) 16 Total Votes - 9 up - 7 down

Comments are closed.