SLO employees’ union negotiations stall, tensions mount

February 11, 2012


UPDATE: Includes a statement by San Luis Obispo Employees Association Vice President Madelyn Paasch that says city negotiators first declared an impasse.

Amidst allegations of bargaining in bad faith, contract negotiations between the city of San Luis Obispo and its employees’ union stalled Thursday.

Details of the negotiations were provided by city staffers and others involved in the bargaining process. These sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because of agreements not to reveal details to the media.

During what was scheduled as an all day negotiating session, tensions mounted with San Luis Obispo City Employees’ Association President Ron Faria arguing that the city was negotiating in bad faith. Representing the city, San Francisco based attorney Rick Bolanos fired back claiming Faria’s whole deal was to stall and delay, the sources said.

Faria then said they were at an impasse which ended the session less than three hours after it began, the sources said.

San Luis Obispo Employees Association Vice President Madelyn Paasch contends it was members of the city’s negotiation team, Monica Irons and Rick Bolanos, who declared the negotiations were at an impasse not association representatives.

“To date we have not received anything in writing declaring the ‘impasse,’ ” Paasch said. “We anticipate this letter in the near future based on the ‘shut down’ for further discussions by the city. It has always been our intent to bargain fairly and provide the best we can for our membership.”

City negotiators are proposing association members agree to a 6.8 percent reduction in pay, the sources said. And while Faria is arguing against any employee decrease in pay or benefits, several employees said they prefer to mirror city management and the firefighter’s union and agree to pay the employee portion of their retirement contributions which would amount to an 8 percent compensation reduction.

These employees argue that if Gov. Jerry Brown’s 12 point pension reform plan is agreed to government employees will be required to pay their own contributions to the state retirement plan regardless of previous salary concessions.

Following the meeting, Faria made comments to staffers that the association has the power to “bring the city to its knees,” sources said.

When asked to comment on his alleged statements and Thursday’s bargaining session, Faria said, “We are still in negotiations so I am not going to say anything.”

Negotiations between the association and the city have been ongoing since September. The previous city and union contract expired on Dec. 31.

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Screw the damn unions!!! Put them all on minimum wage with no benefits, and eliminate the 40 hour work week and put them back to a six or seven day week too that the unions in the beginning got these and non-union people in the first place!

In fact, eliminate ALL unions and place everyone on minimum wages with no benefits, period! In this way, no one will afford their homes, will have to use County Medical Services, and the tax base will be in the toilet. Then the whiners against Unions can pick this up with their increased taxes, that is, until they too join the ranks of where you want to take the Union workers! LOL

Now, I am sure that the others whining about the Unions all the time at CCN, would also be prepared to go down to minimum wages with no benefits as well to help their company make more money for the CEO and his underlings, and more profit for their companies investors? Yes? You don’t want to be hypocrites now, do you?

Union wages are tied to a negotiated deal made on everyone’s behalf in order to get the best pay possible from a management who’s ONLY GOAL is to increase investor profit!!!! If the whiners here at CCN have a modicum of economics intellect, you should have already learned this basic lesson of business!

Or, are you whiners just jealous that the unions over time have worked hard to get their employees safe working conditions, a livable wage, and benefits? Naw, that couldn’t be it, could it?

Albeit, the whiners here at CCN that are against Unions don’t realize the FACT that their current wages are relative to union wages in any given area. While it may be true that union workers make more then non union workers, generally the wages in any area move up when unions increase the wage. All workers benefit from union pay scales! But, to the inept, they don’t understand this very simple and absolute axiom!



Why should public employee unions be different than other unions out there.

Do the members of the united auto workers still get the kinds of benefits and salary they used to, how about the airlines, I can go on and on.

All I ask is public employees be treated like everyone else.

The country, the state, the county, and the city are bankrupt they just will not admit it.

What other industry has the employees unions paying through contribution to keep the decisions maker in office.

All this talk about corporate contributions is a joke it is the unions that make up the majority of contributions in this state.


YOUR QUOTE: “All I ask is public employees be treated like everyone else.”

Where in the article does it specifically state that ALL city employees, from the City Council and mayor, and all down the line of nonunion employees, are ALSO to take a 6.8 PAY CUT? Well?!

Wouldn’t this be appropriate? You know, where EVERYONE shares in the burden because of the recently deregulated Wall Street and Bankster’s debacle that was the impetus of this alleged SLO bankrupt status in the first place?

This is barring the FACT of the Union workers that may be under Browns 12 point pension plan that will reduce their pay even further as well!

YOUR QUOTE: “ The country, the state, the county, and the city are bankrupt they just will not admit it.”

Then if your statement above is correct, then like you propose, EVERYONE IS TO SHARE THE BURDEN! Okay, are you willing to take a 7 percent pay cut for whoever you work for, and if you have a pension plan, are you willing to pay more into it like you want the Unions to do in SLO? Yes?

In the same vein as what you want the Unions to do, it is relative to the private sector as well! Sally, don’t be a hypocrite, because Jesus is watching you!

If you only knew the historicity of the Unions, and what they have given to YOU and the private sector, you might have a different stance upon them instead of always BASHING them with inept and uneducated concepts! These facts are irrelative to any current economic conditions!

My income has dropped over 25% in the last 3 years and my 401k is not doing very well either, by the way the money in the 401k came out of my pocket.


WHY did your income allegedly drop 25 percent? Too bad you weren’t in a Union Shop! You, or your employer, surely aren’t looking out for you, are they?

WHY is your 401k allegedly not doing well? Could it be that the third party administrator who invests it in things like mutual funds, bonds and money market accounts didn’t choose correctly? Or do you think it was due to the Banksters and Wall Street scam?

my 401k is down as is the whole market, I remember when the dow was 14,000 now it is trying to get to 13,000.

You might want to check how well CALPERS is doing.

My husband is an airline pilot, the airline he worked for for 20 years is out of business, a union job, he went to work for another airline for a much reduced income.

Yes the Gov. is to blame. Fannie and Freddy were out of control, 3 times the Gov. tried to rein them in and each time the Senate filibustered to protect Fannie and Freddy.

Mr Raines and Mr Summers as the heads of each falisified the numbers to make those 10 million dollar bonuses, then left when thing crashed.

By the way where are they today, Mr Summers is one of the presidents ecconomic advisors and Mr Rains help run his campain.

It makes me really happy in a schadenfreude way , that you have lost so much.

You deserve it, the way you hate others and lie repeatedly.

You should lose it all …if there is justice.


I am not against unions my husband has been a union member for over 20 years.

I am saying public employee unions need to act like other unions in this country, when your employer is in deep financial trouble you need to adjust.

The UAW took a haircut and survived the airlines took a haircut and survived.

The problems usually come down to employers through their unions have promised too much and cannot deliver.

You need to act like other unions and if you do not come to an agreement then there should be massive layoffs.

You need to join the real world, remember:

There is no Money

sounds like you need to go occupy something

I just looked up who contributes the most to campains in CA the source is The California Fair Political practices Commision.

Each of these is over 1 billion dollars the stats. are from 2010

1. California teachers association.

2. California council of service employees

4. California corectional peace officers association

7. California school employees association

It speaks volumes that these rankings, which have stayed basically the same for as long as I remember, are pretty much ignored in the media, even as they happily repeat the canard of Republicans getting the big corporate donations.

This, of course, is a lie; Obama’s favorite villains–those evil (Republican) Wall Street bankers–spent 66% of their donations on Him and the Dems; they know where the bread was buttered. So Obama/Pelosi/Reid funnel the money and with a wink and a nod proceed to DENOUNCE Wall Street. “We’ll protect you Main St. guys…”

If you are a taxpaying private citizen or business in Cali, it is YOU who is the ‘public servant.’ You are a servant to the gov’t union employees.

Yes, there is a problem with the major public employee’s unions having too much influence in the state government. But listing the major unions as the biggest contributors doesn’t mean that it all goes to the Democrats. Even then, I wonder how the collective contributions of all corporate interests (from Silicon Valley to Hollywood to developers) compares to the collective union donations. Our problem is with too much buying of political influence period — not just the sources of the campaign contributions.

You are also right in your criticism of Obama and the Democrat power structure. But don’t pretend the Republicans are any better. They get money from these same interest groups. It is only less because they have less power right now. Watch that change if Romney gets elected.

Yes, you are correct; corporations are amoral and they basically make ‘bets’ with their political money; they back both sides favoring the party with the most perceived power.

The pressure groups are predictable (enviro groups: Dem., NRA: mostly Repub.) but the unions, esp. gov’t employees’ unions and various associations of gov’t bureaucrats are 90% reliably Dem. contributors.

Get another job, Sally. It is uniquely American

Look Ted

No one wants to take a cut, I wish things were different, I can understand how you feel I have been there but you need to understand one thing.



Learn one simple concept. “Cause and effect”, the first law of the universe, and of logical thought. WHY is there no money in the case of the City vs the Union?

Now, do your homework for all of us and deduce it to it’s irreducable primary! Then we’ll try to fix the problem from that point and up. In other words, isn’t it a shame that the Union members, and other non-union employees, should be held hostage for other’s mistakes?

Brother Ted, I am surprised at you. You DO realize that the words ‘union’ or ‘unions’ are nowhere in the Bible ( KJV ) .

Our federal Constitution also makes NO mention of labor unions.

It therefore comes down to FREE WILL.

For those that desire to enter the Wayback machine and escape modernity, Let them !

I know it is in your heart ,Brother, to provide the fullest basket of Christian charity …but the very concept of ‘minimum wage’ is contrary to Biblical teaching.

The LORD will secure what is fair and just.

Verily: James 5:4-6 ” Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth nt resist you. ”

See ? The LORD sees all this and will recompense.

Brother Slower,

I am surprised that you’re arguing from silence relative to biblical scripture regarding that the bible didn’t state anything about unions! Furthermore, you know damn well that we DO NOT have any sort of “free will” because our Christian God is omniscient, remember? He knows all since the beginning of time and into the future until the end. We may think we have this free will concept, but since our God knows beforehand in what is going to happen to us until our demise, WE DO NOT HAVE FREE WILL!

That being said, your argument falls flat upon it’s proverbial @ss! Furthermore, our God is taking His sweet ol’ time in recompensating and being just in this economy, isn’t He? Damn, I wish that Second Coming would finally be “coming” as the bible so dictates! “”I am coming soon! I am indeed coming soon!” (Revelation 22:12, 2O) How soon is soon?!

Brother Ted ..I believe that some of these ‘dead letter’ churchists that post here have gotten your shorts in a wad.

Concern yourself NOT. Calmly sit back and partake another Cup of Christ ! Selah!

John 14: 1-14 …Paraphrasing: He hath gone to prepare a way . Believe in Him, believe in the Father. That where He is , ther you will be also.

I am sure that you are familiar with this passage.

Here, WE have this ULTIMATE Union …the Union of Brotherhood in Christ !

The Wages of sin ( of NOT knowing or belonging to some OTHER union , i.e. religion ) is death. That is what waits for those that put their faith in anything else …and that includes money.

Again, James 5: 1-3 ” Go to now, ye rich men; weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.

Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. ”

This is what waits for those unlike of OUR understanding !

Hallelujah !

Brother Faster,

Uh, I truly believe that you’re partaking of the Devil Weed! Your apple and oranges analogies are rotten to the core! We’re talking about LABOR UNIONS, whereas, you are talking about Christly unions, of which I am for, but they do not have any weight within this article, per se.

Yes, as TRUE Christians, we’re not to be in any other religion. It is known that our God wants us to kill anyone that even tries to persuade us from leaving Christianity, therefore, we stay! (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)

I agree with James 5: 1-3, and it is very apropos to the alumni here at CCN, and they bypass it for obvoius reasons, even though it goes against the teachings of Christ! “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1TI 6:10 )

Brother Ted. … No, I assure you that I have been ‘sowing the good seed’ , and have only been imbibing of sacred Jesus wine !

Jesus spoke MORE about money than he ever did heaven or hell. About the only thing he spoke more of than money was the Kingdom of God.

Thing is, he spoke mostly NEGATIVELY about money, or he did not give it much importance ..other than to give it away to the poor.

Instead, Jesus spoke of laying up treasures in Heaven, and forsaking those on earth.

I pray that you realize that the other poster you are responding to here has been Foxotized, and so are beyond hope and reason.

You KNOW what our Lord said about casting pearls !

“…the whiners here at CCN that are against Unions don’t realize the FACT that their current wages are relative to union wages in any given area. While it may be true that union workers make more then non union workers, generally the wages in any area move up when unions increase the wage. All workers benefit from union pay scales! But, to the inept, they don’t understand this very simple and absolute axiom!”

This is just nonsense, primarily because we are talking about gov’t employees unions. Governments are not profit-making entities (quite the opposite when one considers the deficit-spending which necessitates borrowing and accounting tricks they employ to balance their budgets.) Their are no ‘profits’ to be negotiated. The ’employer’ is actually the tax-payors, and we do NOT have a seat at the table. Negotiations are carried out between gov’t-paid bureaucrats or mediators and gov’t-paid union reps (their incomes are derived from taxes in the form of union dues); they have little incentive to protect the citizens’ monies. And they most assuredly have absolutely NOTHING to do with what the mechanic or liquor-store clerk get paid. Even FDR was against gov’t employees being unionized.

Unions make sense when there are mountains of profits to be managed (think pro-sports), but even then the entrenched union-mentality (full disclosue: I was a 10-year member of The Retail Clerks’ Union) doesn’t know when to back-off when the industry goes through changes or downturns. That’s becausethe union bosses are in it for their own perks and power; the members are just ammunition.

And at any time, but especially now, to hear a guy like this Faria brag about, “bringing the city to its knees,” forcefully makes the citizens know that it is WE who are ‘public servants.’ Remember this the next-time that $100K/yr. cop writes you a ticket which will now cost you no less than $250 or some agency hits you with new fees or penalties. They are helping feather their special retirement plans which are not available to you, you stupid schmuck.

William, Sir,

“You stupid schmuck?” Come on, surely you can come up with a better pejorative term than that! lol

In my quote that you’ve listed, where do I mention “profits?” Uh, I was talking about “wages”. You’re confusing profits, with wages and benefits. In part, Union negotiations are also for safety around the work place, and other things that need mentioning for the benefit of the Union worker, and this is barring any PROFITS. I’ll let you slide on this one in that you were out of context. Okay? You can thank me later.

Your other fallacious claims are without warrant unless you can prove them with actual evidence, otherwise, it is just pure hearsay and useless banter to insidiously promote your side of the argument.

The only entity that I agree with, is that Faria was wrong in stating what he did in bringing the “city to it’s knees”. That does not bode well for himself and the Union members. Bad move.

Next time, instead of using the origin of a Jewish term in belittling me, uh, use an English term instead, okay? I look forward to your next disparaging term, even though unwarranted!

Yes, poorly worded. “Schmuck” was not meant for you personally but aimed at all of us who pay the taxes, fees, fines and penalties imposed by politicians and governmental administrators and employees, all of whom enjoy special wage, vacation, retirement and bene’s packages the average working ‘schmuck’ will never see.

And ‘stupid’ is just a stupid choice of words, so sorry for all that…


The pronoun “you” of the second person singular or plural, is used for the person or persons being addressed which equals ME! If you had used the plural of “schmuck”, then your now acquiescing notion of it pertaining to many others would be correct. :)

Uh, you didn’t mention the fact that you should thank me for letting you slide because you were way out of context to the topic in your post that was trying so hard to prove Brother Ted wrong, remember?

That’s okay, I’ll accept your apology pro tem!

Just can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer I guess. It really is all about “you” so I infer fromyour cloying minutiae and condescending tone an age of, perhaps, 22.

You demonstrate a breathtakingly aggressive ignorance. Perhaps read Ludwig von MIses. When you understand that governments produce no profits, you will understand that their pay-scales are political constructs having no relation to, or bearing upon, regional market wages or actual market demands. And once again, the real employers (the schmuck taxpayors) are taken for a ride by their gov’t-paid negotiators and the unions.

von Mises ? The thouroughly discredited Austrian school of economics ?

The only things to come out of Austria are ski wax, Arnold the Gropenator, and ( HERE COMES GODWIN ) that goofy Schickelgruber with the slant hair and brush moustache that almost killed the world !

What YOU, and most backwater ‘conservatives’ fail to comprehend is that it is GOVERNMENTS …and mostly progressive governments that provide impetus and templates for public improvements that do indeed produce profits in the private sector.

If it were not for the federal sponsored TVA, do you think those dams and hydro stations would have been built? I can guarantee you, that there was plenty of work and profits for the contractors and workers in that situation.

We can go back to the Romans and the Aqueduct. Yes, that was GOVERNMENT that made that possible.

Todays American conservatives are just too stupid for words. Not worth the effort to even argue with.

Again …YOU have a choice.

Please, go to some objectivist nirvana like Somalia or Myanmar. See what a lawless, unregulated society is really like and LEAVE US BE !


This type is the WORST tax on civilization of all.

As one would predict: Leftist fallacy of false choices and begging the question along with the ‘You’re stupid, get out of our sandbox,’ ad hominem. Adolescent hubris in full bloom…

Do you ‘huff and puff’ and shake papers in contrived outrage like the anal cyst druggie when you do that ?

I’ll make it easier fer ya: Stay in the Good Ole USA, where the anti-civilization policies of the traitor Confederacy live on in Republican clothes.

You could move to Wilcox County, Alabama …poverty rate 39.6 %, or Maverick Co, TX ( 39.9 PR ), Owsley Co. KY ( 40.1 PR ), east carrol Parish, LA ( 40.3 PR ), Allendale Co. SC ( 40.4 PR ), Holmes Co. MS ( 41.2 PR ), Washington Co. MS ( 42.2 PR ), Humphreys Co. MS ( 42.2 PR ), Issaquena Co. MS ( 43.3 PR ).

So, I am not so evil as you might suspect.

You can stay in the sandbox …only you have to live in the places that the cats habitually use.


Please, quit while you “think” you’re ahead, okay?

1. Once again, and for the last time, you chastised me for allegedly mentioning “profits” in the quote that you used of mine and ranted until you were blue in the face, when in fact, I was talking about “wages”.

( 02/14/2012 at 2:37 pm)

2. The quote in question of mine was relating to “wages” and NOT profits at which time you called me a “stupid schmuck” and subsequently tried in vain to back out of this situation.

3. Then, in your followup you were silent upon this FACTOID that I was referring to “wages” and NOT “profits”when I mentioned it to you in a subequent post.

4. I called you upon your mistake for the sake of an argument and schooled you upon your wanting English, relating to word usage.

5. Your followup, once again, didn’t mention your outright mistake in question, but you had the time and space of disparaging me once again as a condensending 22 year old, and never admitting that you were wrong and out of context in your posting of my quote.

6. You just cannot accept that you were blatantly wrong in this respect.

7. Get over it, it happens!

8. Now, before you embarrass yourself any further, I bid you good day.


If they strike, fire them all.

Do you really think in this economy they could not replace all the city employees at far less in wages and with benefits closer to the majority private sector workers.

A couple of years age there was an opening for a street maintance worker for the city.

My neighbor runs a paving company every single employee applied for the job all were over qualified and the highest paid employee at his company was making less than half what the salary was for the city position, not including the city’s over the top benefits.

There were over 150 people wanting the position.

Who got the job a family member of one of a city department head.

Today, 2/13/12, another holiday for county and city employees, guessing with at least regular pay, likely those did work got extra pay. Most private sector workers did not have today off. Can’t figure out why no work today, Abe Lincoln’s birthday was yesterday, but maybe they just had to have their day off.

Screw them They don’t need a union. FIRE THEM ALL and hire them back individually, with massive paycuts.

It would be great to have a commercial where someone with a cell phone, representing the citizens of SLO, was talking to someone in city hall, representing city staff, repeatedly saying “Can you hear me now? How about now? Now?!”

This was a well defined strategy developed by the Human Resources department and our highly paid hatchet woman Katie Lichtig to destroy the compensation of the hard working employees of the City. The recent vote on A & B, the the citizens of SLO were duped into by lies from the City Council to give them the ultimate power to change the pensions of the employees without oversight of the voters. The impasse will be the first step in Council imposing a contract on the employees. Those who will be quick to jump on the bandwagon to discredit this post as that of a overpaid government employee, consider this and watch to see what happens. WHEN SLO CITY COUNCIL IMPOSES THE SECOND TIER PENSION ON THE EMPLOYEES OF THE CITY, THEY AS COUNCIL WILL HAVE A FAR MORE GENEROUS PENSION BENEFITS THAN THOSE EMPLOYEES THEY HAVE IMPOSED A CONTRACT ON, HOW IS THAT FOR ELITE POLITICIANS THINKING THEY ARE BETTER THAN THE WORKING CLASS. If you don’t believe me then watch and see what happens.

Hopefully, Lichtig isn’t aiming to “destroy the compensation of the hard working employees of the City.” Hopefully she has her sights set on the other 99% … that don’t work so hard.

Does this mean that people will die????

I agree that the city administrator and other high-ranking bureaucrats should share in the cuts too. But that doesn’t mean some cuts aren’t necessary.

OK…’s my suggestion to Lichtig and negotiators….hold your position….if city employees want to bring the city to its knees, then replace all of them. I’m sick of giving in to public employees. There are lots of unemployed or under-employed qualified people more than willing to take their jobs. Times are tough and it won’t be resolved anytime soon. The good times are over….take what is offered or suffer the consequences.

What was that situation in SLO where the city negotiator and the employees’ union negotiator were having an affair, and I seem to recall that some court said there was no conflict of interest(!)

When do the citizens wise-up to being played for chumps by unionized gov. workers and administrators?

That was involving the County, not the City. If you have seen the gals negotiating for the City if SLO you would know what and absurd suggestion that is. The City Attorney also said there was no conflict of interest when Michael Gunther (Vice Chair of the SLO Chamber of Commerce) took $25,000 of City money the facilitate the fiscal sustainability task force in SLO ever though the Chamber receives about a half a million dollars in City money every two years. With the recent downtown expenditure to spruce up sidewalks and add lighting at over $750,000 in the two blocks surrounding the chamber, I would say the conflict is very clear ever though some might say “there’s nothing more to see here, move along.” Keep in mind those “chumps” are the only ones in the city who are working for the wage they earn, unless you consider the managers who do nothing but manage hired consultants and wage a public information war against their workers.

Bureaucrats negotiating between themselves is like an Army surrendering to itself. Without market forces to balance the demands it’s not a “negotiation”, it’s an assault on taxpayers. This is a sideshow featuring the smoke and mirrors of legal plunder. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Well said, Maxfusion! You a Libertarian by any chance?


In times such as these, Ron Faria should be doing his best to make the Union out as a fair contributor to the city. His remarks were a very poorly executed tactic and project arrogance on the Union side of the negotiations. Time to upgrade their Union negotiator.