Strike ends, San Luis Obispo County signals fiscal troubles ahead

December 14, 2018


Following the first strike in San Luis Obispo County government history, officials are not planning on any further salary negotiations for the current fiscal year. Early next year, the county will discuss increases in pay for the 2019/2020 fiscal year. [Cal Coast Times]

The county also announced a projected budget shortfall of $5 million to $10 million for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

The San Luis Obispo County Employees Association (SLOCEA), which represents more than 1,700 of the county’s nearly 3,000 employees conducted a strike Tuesday through Thursday, which resulted in the closure of all public library branches countywide, and the closures of some social services. About 900 union members participated in the strike.

On Tuesday, numerous SLOCEA members picketed outside the county building and spoke during public comment of the board of supervisors meeting, where some said they are not receiving livable wages, a claim critics dispute.

Recently, county officials agreed to give SLOCEA members .5 percent salary increases for the current fiscal year and 2 percent raises, effective July 1, 2019. The tentative two year deal, included a 4 percent increase in wages and benefits over two years, according to the county administrator’s office.

Union members are demanding immediate raises of an additional 2.5 percent, to give them 3 percent raises for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

However,county officials said the raises union members are demanding are not affordable.

Amid the stalled contract negotiations, union members have also chastised county officials for granting raises to management-level employees. The board of supervisors approved the management raises as part of a largely ignored consent agenda vote earlier this fall.

The pay hike consisted of raises for a group of 420 unrepresented employees, which includes elected officials, department heads, general management and operations and staff. The raise amounted to salary increases of .5 percent for most unrepresented employees, effective retroactively to July 1, 2018, and 2 percent raises, effective July 2, 2019.

County Administrative Officer Wade Horton said in a statement Friday that the county is now faced with the tough task of bridging the divide.

“We welcome employees back to work today after many exercised their right to strike and have their voices heard,” Horton said. “Now we have the difficult task of bridging the divide and bringing everyone together for the people we serve. I’m confident that we will work as a team to find some common ground moving forward.”

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Propose to pay them as much as we can’t afford, add 10% and schedule a public meeting for the required approvals on December 25th at dinner time.

Unions are the problem in CA. These idiots control our government, pensions, and our taxation. True socialists in every way. We can get by letting all these snivelers quit and replacing them. People will lget me up for the wages and benefits they get.

Unions are essentially a form of Freedom of Association. I fully support the right we all have to freely associate (or not) with anyone we choose. Therefore, under the precepts of liberty, Unions are NOT a problem.

What is a problem is the basic structure and mindset of government and the governed!

As long as we ASSume that government should have all kinds of regulatory power, a monopoly on the use of force, a monopoly on theft (taxation) and a double standard of justice, nothing but trouble and abuse occur.

Unions were at one time a logical way of fighting for one’s rights. Now, they are nothing more than a logical way of gaining political power….but I still maintain that they are not the problem.

Too much government power is the problem. “Power” is retained from one administration to the next, so term limits are a stupid, 100% ineffectual way to solve the problem of too much power. Term limits—and we already have them in many places—do nothing more than insure a transitory figurehead at the top (the guy elected) and a permanent staff that maintains and directs all the power from one figurehead to the next.

Even worse is the ASSumption by Boobus Americanus that all this government power is needed to maintain “law and order” and the structure of society in general.

The good news is that this will all collapse on its own. Self destruction is literally built in to systems based on theft and coercion, as ours is.

The bad news is that the collapse will occur sometime in the future, and not yesterday.

Small businesses often complain about being over-regulated and taxed to death. Both complaints are true and are by the design of the county planners/tax eaters. When the county wants to attract “clean industry” or some other industry to the county, they do it via “incentives” which amount to tax cuts and/or tax credits for the business/industry being courted. Of course, no incentives/tax cuts will be given to industry that doesn’t please the tax eaters, for whatever reason.

I see three ways to give county tax eaters a raise—-given the fact that there isn’t money to do so right now:

1. Raise taxes on existing businesses which will drive them away

2. Re-neg on “incentives” given to the new, out-of-town businesses and risk losing them too

3. Both 1 and 2

I think we’re arriving at Peak Local Government.

We can no longer afford to pay the people who make their living via taxation, regulation, stymieing, and frustrating local business. By their own admission, the Tax Eaters realize that LOWER taxes attract business and special tax deals are the main way to get these businesses to move here…..but at the same time they demand HIGHER taxes to pay their pensions, salaries, over-time and bonuses….which has a dampening effect on business and tax revenue over the long term.

This “problem” will be solved organically; indeed the solution is built-in to the idiotic policies of local government!

When the tax eaters cannot meet their own pension obligations and there are no more businesses to tax there will naturally be an exodus of tax eaters/county workers….which means more and higher taxes are not needed and there will be fewer parasites who make their living by regulating, frustrating, and distorting commerce in order to collect a paycheck and pension.

Naturally, commerce will once again flourish and business will return. Remember, even the tax-eaters know that lower taxes attract business…..

It’s time to embrace the ancient concepts of Self Government, which are the basis for what we used to call government, and reject the Marxist concepts of Central Planning which has created the mess we’re now in.

It’s not something we can “save” via voting or policy..

The County will default.

The pension obligations will NOT be met.

But the problem will go away! It might take 5 to 20 years, but collapse it will! The Laws of Economics insure this is so.

We can prevent these problems from repeating by educating ourselves and teaching our kids to NOT take jobs in government. Taxation is theft. Don’t let your children grow up to be thieves. Don’t allow personal greed to trap you or your loved ones into a government job that is funded by theft. That’s immoral and ends up hurting everyone… we’re seeing right now.

I just don’t get it.

Why did the county give big raises to upper management?

Did they not see the 5 – 10 million budget shortfall looming,

And raises should be based on merit and work performance.

If the county government workers are performing so well then why is there a 5 – 10 million shortfall for the coming fiscal year?

So let me understand this, You applied for a job that you knew going in what the pay was and now you say you can not afford to live here with the wages you agreed upon?

And the neighboring counties pay more??

You should move there and apply for those jobs.

Asking for money that is not there is based on the notion that all you have to do is to just squeeze the public for your own selfish needs.

I will fully understand if a County employee that can not live on the wages they earn has to give up that job for a better job, thus leaving that job available for, say, 200-300 people who actually want the job. I will not hold it against them. After all that is the basis of Capitalism and supply & demand.

And if no one is willing to take their place at existing wage, then the County will have to pay more. But we all know that is not going to happen, don’t we?

Sales tax increase in 3 – 2 – 1…,

I am confused . . . the striking employees complained about the management and unrepresented workers pay raises, yet those raises are exactly the same as what the striking workers were offered, so why is that even an issue?? I am a firm believer in unions – I also understand the high cost of living in SLO – but those high costs impact EVERYONE, not just county workers . . . and we all give up some things in order to live in this amazing place.

Do not give them more pay or more extravagant benefits . Hire a 2 nd shift with half the pay no retirement no extravagant benefits Let the 2nd shift compete for the better first shift job a lot more work will get done govt employees don’t think they are replaceable