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  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by babcusar5 View Post
    First, you have been reading too much into the news. If we were to show everyones unfunded liability, what would it look like to show how much you owe on your house by the time it is paid for before it is paid for, the cost of gas, food, etc...add it up for 30 years with inflation and tell me the number would not appear to be astronomical. But we pay by the month, so we dont look at it as one big liability. The same for Pensions, etc..

    A recent article in the Economist magazine titled "Tough Times for everyone - Except Public Sector Workers" states that taxpayers are now learning about the benefits the public sector workers enjoy at the expense of everyone else. It states that many can retire with close to full pay in their mid-50s.
    These unsubstantiated claims repeated endlessly in media stand reality on its head. Such accusations are part of a systematic campaign by corporate America to mislead taxpayers and scapegoat public employees.
    California public sector workers, such as teachers, public health nurses, firefighters, librarians, maintenance, park, transit and social workers are not responsible for the economic crisis that makes drastic cuts to state and local governments necessary. These public employees earn modest, middle-class pay and benefits.
    Rather, it was big business and the wealthy who gamed the deregulated financial system to make huge profits. Their speculation in the home mortgage markets triggered the great recession; then they proceeded to take billions in bailouts from the government; and last year, Wall Street's leading investment and financial services firms paid out a record $144 billion in compensation and benefits.
    These same corporate interests adamantly refuse to pay their fair share for vital public services or education.
    Moreover, the recent Congressional extensions of the Bush era tax cuts are an unexpected windfall for the richest Californians.
    According to the Citizens for Tax Justice, the top one percent of the state's income earners will now bring home about $14 billion more each year to their mansions. This represents more than one half the state's budget deficit. What are the myths and what are the facts about California public employees?
    First, there are not "too many" public employees in California. According to the California Budget Project (CBP), we have the second lowest ratio of state workers per 10,000 residents in the nation. In addition, more than 70,000 public sector jobs have been eliminated in California since the crash of 2008, and public sector job loss is proportionately greater in California than in most other states.
    Second, public employees in California are not overpaid and they do not receive lavish benefits, compared with the private sector, according to the UC Berkeley Institute for Labor and Employment (IRLE).
    Economists Sylvia Allegretto and Jeffrey Keefe authored the IRLE report, "The Truth about Public Employees," in which they examined wage and demographic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and found that the average California public sector worker is older, more experienced and more educated than their private sector counterpart- 55 percent of public employees have completed a bachelor's degree, compared to 35 percent in the private sector.
    The report indicates that the typical private sector worker receives higher wages, but public employees with the same characteristics earn somewhat better vacation, medical and retirement benefits. The researchers conclude that an "apples to apples" comparison that takes into account age, experience, and education reveals little
    "[There is] no significant differences in the level of employee compensation costs on an annual or per hour basis between private and public sector employees"
    Third, public sector employees do not receive "gold plated" pensions as alleged by the corporate media like the Economist magazine. Again, reality defies the myth.
    The California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), which administers and manages a pension fund for 1.6 million public employees, reports that the average CalPERS retiree receives a pension of $25,000 per year. Half of CalPERS retirees receive less than $16,000, and 78 percent receive less than $36,000 annually. Less than two percent of CalPERS retirees receive a pension of more than $100,000 per year, and the majority of these are highly paid managers and supervisors- not union members- with 30 years service.
    Often forgotten is that public pensions are not paid from operating budgets of state and local government but are earned through monthly employee and employer contributions over 20 to 30 years. CalPERS professionals manage the $225 billion trust fund, and 75 cents on every dollar of retirement benefits are investment earnings. The taxpayers contribute 14 cents for every dollar of benefits.
    Blaming public employees for our fiscal crisis deflects from the central issue of the historic, and widening, divide between the rich and everyone else. The solution is to reform our inequitable and unsustainable system of taxation.
    The CBP reports that corporate profits increased by more than 400 percent between 2001-2008 in California, and the adjusted gross income of the upper one percent increased by 77 percent between 1993-2008, while incomes of the bottom 80 percent remained flat.
    Yet state revenues from corporate taxes have declined by one half since 1981, and the wealthiest one percent of income earners (who averaged $1.7 million in 2010) pay lower tax rates than they did two decades ago.
    In California we have a revenue crisis- and not a spending crisis.Tax reform and boosting taxes for those most able to pay would make it possible to restore cuts to public services, adequately fund public education, safety, and health care, and fairly compensate public employees. Such a progressive tax policy includes:
    1) increasing by a modest one percent the corporate tax rate (returning to the 1981 level). 2) closing corporate tax loopholes such as the failure to reassess commercial real estate at market rates (now protected by Proposition 13). 3) enacting a severance tax on oil extracted and produced in California. 4) restoring the top personal tax rate for the upper one percent from 9.3 to 11 percent. 5) reconsidering and repealing some of the $12 billion in tax cuts by the legislature for individuals and corporations over the last 15 years.
    A healthy and vital public sector is essential for the private sector to flourish. Corporations and the wealthiest Californians greatly benefit from public investment in infrastructure such as mass transit and affordable workforce housing, high quality education accessible to all, and comprehensive social services, particularly for low-income Californians.
    Let's stop pointing fingers at hard working public employees and begin to build a broad coalition to implement a responsible and progressive tax policy.
    Huh??

    That one sentence discredits your entire post. Which by the way looks suspiciously like a cut and paste article. The least you can do is express your opinion in your own words.
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  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Ahhh... "the I pay your salary" bovine scat...
    You oversimplify the discussion to fit your agenda.

    While I help pay for public employees' wages I understand that I do not have the right to dictate exactly how those wages are distributed. Just like I may help pay for my local police dept but I can't dictate how many bullets they are allowed to carry.

    However, I do have the right to expect accountability from my elected officials and when those officials grossly overspend my\our money I certainly can and will scrutinize EVERY aspect of their performance or lack thereof. Sorry if that puts your compensation package on the chopping block but my sympathy only goes so far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    You oversimplify the discussion to fit your agenda.

    While I help pay for public employees' wages I understand that I do not have the right to dictate exactly how those wages are distributed. Just like I may help pay for my local police dept but I can't dictate how many bullets they are allowed to carry.

    However, I do have the right to expect accountability from my elected officials and when those officials grossly overspend my\our money I certainly can and will scrutinize EVERY aspect of their performance or lack thereof. Sorry if that puts your compensation package on the chopping block but my sympathy only goes so far.
    I know where to find sympathy... it's in the dictionary between $#!t and syphilis.. and I certainly don't need it from you....

    By the way.. when you collect your social security.. it will be funded by all of the public employees who have paid their 40 quarters into the system prior to becoming a public employee but will be unable to collect because they have a pension... which they pay into each and every pay period.

    You can say thank you now...
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 03-17-2011 at 10:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    By the way.. when you collect your social security.. it will be funded by all of the public employees who have paid their 40 quarters into the system prior to becoming a public employee but will be unable to collect because they have a pension... which they pay into each and every pay period.

    You can say thank you now...
    You're welcome- the rest of us pay QUITE a bit into YOUR salary, better and less expensive health insurance than most of us have if we have anything at all, and a pension we could only dream of- many times at the ripe old age of 40. After which, of course, you can go get another career if you want, like some of the 20 year firefighters in my area who retire, then go get hired as probies in departments that pay better than their first job did. So they're pulling down $50k plus or so, on top of the pension, while paying peanuts for family health coverage..... And then we've got absurdities like firefighters washing their boats (something else the majority of taxpayers can't afford) on city time. Get the picture yet? Is it starting to sink in why there's been such a backlash?

    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    You're welcome- the rest of us pay QUITE a bit into YOUR salary, better and less expensive health insurance than most of us have if we have anything at all, and a pension we could only dream of- many times at the ripe old age of 40. After which, of course, you can go get another career if you want, like some of the 20 year firefighters in my area who retire, then go get hired as probies in departments that pay better than their first job did. So they're pulling down $50k plus or so, on top of the pension, while paying peanuts for family health coverage..... And then we've got absurdities like firefighters washing their boats (something else the majority of taxpayers can't afford) on city time. Get the picture yet? Is it starting to sink in why there's been such a backlash?

    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please.
    Really? What do you think I pay in health care and towards my pension?
    I'll bet your figures are off.. way off.

    Keep in mind that I live in the community where I work, therefore I pay part of my own salary. Unless you live in my community or use the services of the private ambulance company I work per diem for, you don't pay a dime towards my salary.

    Does being a jerk come naturally for you, or do you have to work at it?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    You're welcome- the rest of us pay QUITE a bit into YOUR salary, Do you pay your employer part of your salary? Any public employee does in the form of TAXES! Yeah genius, we pay taxes too. better and less expensive health insurance than most of us have if we have anything at all, Um, if you aren't happy with the benefits where you work look for a different job, or maybe a different career. Stop whining about your crummy career choice. and a pension we could only dream of- many times at the ripe old age of 40. After which, of course, you can go get another career if you want, like some of the 20 year firefighters in my area who retire, 40? Are you insane? Tell me where people can retire from the fire department at 40, it sure won't be many departments.then go get hired as probies in departments that pay better than their first job did. You mean like guys that retire from the military? Do you **** and moan about them too? So they're pulling down $50k plus or so, on top of the pension, while paying peanuts for family health coverage..... Again, sounds like you are whining. Couldn't get hired or isn't that $10 an hour private ems job not working out so well for you? And then we've got absurdities like firefighters washing their boats (something else the majority of taxpayers can't afford) on city time. Do you ever wash your car at the ems barn? Come on admit it. Hypocrite. Get the picture yet? Is it starting to sink in why there's been such a backlash? I get the picture, it is easier to believe Rush, Glen Beck, and Bill (Palm tree) O'Reilly about who is to blame. Instead of the unbelievable greed, and law breaking perpetrated by corporate heads in complicity with government watchdogs that FAILED to protect us.

    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please. Um, you should say thank you to me and thousands of other firefighters who have paid far more into Social Security than we will ever get back. I have been paying into SS since 1976...full time jobs before my firefighting career and part time jobs since. I will NEVER draw back near the 38 years of SS I will have paid in by the time I retire and in fact by the time I leave my second job it will likely be 43 years.

    I am simply amazed how many people feel that penalizing others is a better move than trying to improve the conditions where they work. Or getting a better job with benefits.
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  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    You're welcome- the rest of us pay QUITE a bit into YOUR salary, better and less expensive health insurance than most of us have if we have anything at all, and a pension we could only dream of- many times at the ripe old age of 40. After which, of course, you can go get another career if you want, like some of the 20 year firefighters in my area who retire, then go get hired as probies in departments that pay better than their first job did. So they're pulling down $50k plus or so, on top of the pension, while paying peanuts for family health coverage..... And then we've got absurdities like firefighters washing their boats (something else the majority of taxpayers can't afford) on city time. Get the picture yet? Is it starting to sink in why there's been such a backlash?

    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please.
    WHAT A BITTER BITTER MAN. No backlash in my town. Using your flawed logic, you want to start telling people how and where to work . My suggestion to you if you are so jealous. TAKE THE FIREFIGHTERS EXAM.
    Last edited by MIKEYLIKESIT; 03-20-2011 at 10:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please.
    there's your first problem, social security never was intended to be and never should be used as the sole source of income in retirement. It is merely supplemental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    You're welcome- the rest of us pay QUITE a bit into YOUR salary, better and less expensive health insurance than most of us have if we have anything at all, and a pension we could only dream of- many times at the ripe old age of 40. After which, of course, you can go get another career if you want, like some of the 20 year firefighters in my area who retire, then go get hired as probies in departments that pay better than their first job did. So they're pulling down $50k plus or so, on top of the pension, while paying peanuts for family health coverage..... And then we've got absurdities like firefighters washing their boats (something else the majority of taxpayers can't afford) on city time. Get the picture yet? Is it starting to sink in why there's been such a backlash?

    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please.
    I won't go much more than the others who already pointed out some important misunderstandings you have.

    However, i will ask, what are you doing about your own plight besides whining about someone else? I will disagree with Fyred Up about the concept that if you don't like where you are, then leave. I understand it isn't that simple, despite people like you using the same line on public workers. Instead I ask what are you going to do to change things? Sure is easy to point fingers, and whine and moan, without actual insight or concept of reality to what you are griping about, but if upset, what are you doing to improve your situation? Have you looked at unionizing? Have you looked at improving your certification level? What?

    If you don't like your working conditions or wage/benefit, then why gripe about someone else? Instead of griping, how about looking into what you can do to change your own plight. Look in the mirror first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    You're welcome- the rest of us pay QUITE a bit into YOUR salary, better and less expensive health insurance than most of us have if we have anything at all, and a pension we could only dream of- many times at the ripe old age of 40. After which, of course, you can go get another career if you want, like some of the 20 year firefighters in my area who retire, then go get hired as probies in departments that pay better than their first job did. So they're pulling down $50k plus or so, on top of the pension, while paying peanuts for family health coverage..... And then we've got absurdities like firefighters washing their boats (something else the majority of taxpayers can't afford) on city time. Get the picture yet? Is it starting to sink in why there's been such a backlash?

    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please.
    He's not patting anybody on the back for "providing" Social Security to you or anybody else for that matter. He didn't even say that he was "providing" Social Security to anyone.

    What he was doing, was pointing out (or reminding you) that there are many people who pay into Social Security, but may never collect anything from it in retirement and that doing so helps to fund the whole Social Security system.

    But guess what, most career firefighters (at least these days) know that our Pension will not be enough to get by on in retirement and we know that there will be no Social Security income for us (even though we may have paid in). So most of us plan for that. Personally, I have both a 457 plan and a Roth IRA, both funded with only my own money.

    Here's something else to keep in mind. Many of us are also residents of the communities we serve. As such, we are taxpayers just like you (assuming you pay taxes). So what this means in many cases, and I'll use myself as an example, I pay taxes at the same rate as every other taxpayer in my city. In terms of actual dollars paid, I probably pay more than most since my salary is above the median income for the entire city. As such, at worst, I pay as much as any other taxpayer towards my salary and benefits.

    In addition to what I contribute as a taxpayer, as an employee I pay a percentage of my salary towards my health insurance and my pension every two weeks. So technically, I pay more than "you" towards my retirement and that of my fellow workers.

    But it doesn't stop there. In addition to helping pay for my own retirement, I help pay for "yours". I've had a private sector job since I was 16 (sometimes more than 1 job) and have paid into Social Security every year for the past 24 years, but very well may not see any income from it in retirement.

    We also very much get why there is such a "backlash" right now. We are perceived as having not "suffered" like many in the private sector, but many of us have and still are. People who are held up as examples of "abusing the system", like the examples you brought up and others, are presented as being the "rule", when in fact they are the "exception to the rule", but why let the facts get in the way.

    Many of our pension funds are "underfunded" and we're "overburdening" our employees with our pension benefits and need to be moved into 401K type plans. But, what's usually left out of the discussion is stuff like the fact that we pay our defined contribution every payday into the fund, but our employers frequently "skip" payments and/or take money from the fund for "other" purposes thus in combination with the financial meltdown, creating the "pension crisis".

    Then there's also the fact that moving to "defined contribution" plans, in addition to being not allowed by state law, would actually cost the taxpayers more money. Using these 401K type plans would put us into the Social Security system and thus require the employer to pay an additional 6.2% of the employees salary into the system.

    There is a concerted effort to portray us as the "bad guy" right now in order to divert attention away from other things that are going on that are the real travesty.

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    Another point for "emt161" to ponder..

    In Massachusetts, someone who retires as a group 4 employee (public safety) in the retirement system cannot "go and work as a probie in another FD" as he stated.

    One can work for the Fire Academy, as many of the instructors and support staff do once they retire... but they are limited to 960 hours total... or two days a week. PS: the instructors and support staff are contractors with the Academy and not full time state employees.

    They are paying their share of federal and state taxes as well as into a deferred compensation plan, as they are considered "contractors" by the State.

    One can, however.. go to work in the private sector and earn as much as they want... but they will not be able to collect what they put into SSI because they have a pension. How's that for a double whammy?
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 03-20-2011 at 10:23 PM.
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    On the military angle:

    This always ticks me off when a career or retired military person complains about fire/police pensions. 90% of career active duty seem to be southern Republicans who never held a civilian job or been exposed to a union. I hear many of the careerists still complaining that their raise this year was too small, and their housing allowance didn't go up enough. I've even tried to warn them-once the unions are beat down, military pay and benefits are next.

    Now, believe me, I'm all for good military pay and benefits-I'm still getting them as a reservist. But how many Navy commanders/chiefs or Marine/Army/Air Force lieutenant colonels/master sgts-other than pilots/special forces- perform PHYSICALLY DEMANDING AND DANGEROUS JOBS for their whole career? The military admin clerk still gets a 20 year pension-as well as social security credit.

    Outside of combat arms, not too many folks are facing danger. By the time military folks make E6/03 the vast majority spend the rest of their careers behind desks, while 45-55 year old fire lieutenants/captains are still going interior on fires and cops are making traffic stops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    On the military angle:

    This always ticks me off when a career or retired military person complains about fire/police pensions. 90% of career active duty seem to be southern Republicans who never held a civilian job or been exposed to a union. I hear many of the careerists still complaining that their raise this year was too small, and their housing allowance didn't go up enough. I've even tried to warn them-once the unions are beat down, military pay and benefits are next.

    Now, believe me, I'm all for good military pay and benefits-I'm still getting them as a reservist. But how many Navy commanders/chiefs or Marine/Army/Air Force lieutenant colonels/master sgts-other than pilots/special forces- perform PHYSICALLY DEMANDING AND DANGEROUS JOBS for their whole career? The military admin clerk still gets a 20 year pension-as well as social security credit.

    Outside of combat arms, not too many folks are facing danger. By the time military folks make E6/03 the vast majority spend the rest of their careers behind desks, while 45-55 year old fire lieutenants/captains are still going interior on fires and cops are making traffic stops.
    Totally agree. One of HS classmates went into the USMC. He never left the timezone during his hitch. He went to basic in San Diego and finished his time at El Toro and Pendleton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    This always ticks me off when a career or retired military person complains about fire/police pensions. 90% of career active duty seem to be southern Republicans who never held a civilian job or been exposed to a union. I hear many of the careerists still complaining that their raise this year was too small, and their housing allowance didn't go up enough. I've even tried to warn them-once the unions are beat down, military pay and benefits are next.
    I agree with the concept as well. On a military based site, there are all types of discussions on there which are very anti-union. Majority of those bashing have no understanding of a union and the operations. The thing that really sticks out to me are some of the anti-public worker comments made especially the griping about their tax dollars paying for such workers. The funny thing is they have no clue they themselves are paid by tax dollars or the mere fact they are public workers themselves.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    You realize that in the military they can retire after 20 years right? For most people that means retirement at 38 to 40 years old, not too shabby huh? The military also provides housing, food, healthcare, dental, education opportunities while serving, something majority of employers do not.

    What I'm getting at is that such jobs like police and fire do have incentives to retire younger, but like the military, there is also a reason for it. First off, many such jobs do not pay into social security and do not collect social security, which is why their pensions appear so "nice", they also are living off of them longer. The pay on such jobs is higher than the military, but it also goes along with the fact that they do have to pay for things like housing and food, insurance etc, that is offered in the military.

    As for retiring and then getting hired. Yeah, no secret there, it is possible to do, but for the majority of public workers is not an option. Such options are typically limited to roles like a chief position or mgr of some sort, not you avg line police officer or firefighter. In order to do such a thing a person MUST retire for 30 days before they could get rehired in the position. The reason this is an option is that it can benefit both parties. For the retiree, this becomes a supplemental income. For the community, they get a person with experience, a person they know and understand, and they save a lot because they don't have to pay benefits for the position.
    I think what blulakr was referring to was the DROP. I've seen it as a three year, which we have, and also a five year version. You basically retire, but continue to work, while getting your pension checks put into deferred comp. It doesn't cost the employer much if anything to do, and serves as a very desireable benefit for hiring. The employer no longer contributes to the employee's pension fund, since they've already locked in and are receiving the benefit. The employer retains an experienced employee. The employer saves money in hiring and training as well.

    It's not only a union thing. Our Local is in a right to work state, and we have it. It's for any position in the FD, not just chief positions. The state of SC has it for every municipal employee, I think. Down there, it's called a TERI.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Also, consider that the 56 hour a week employee working 25 years is really working 32.75 years, based on a 40 hour workweek. That's a third of your life at work. Typically when raaising your children. They're only young once. Every five 56 hour employees saves the taxpayers two positions, as well as reduced hiring, OT, and benefit costs. I don't feel that a 25 and out or a DROP is unreasonable.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Um, if you aren't happy with the benefits where you work look for a different job, or maybe a different career. Stop whining about your crummy career choice.
    I'm not talking about my career. My benefits are fine for the work I do, much better than my last job. I'm speaking from the point of view of taxpayers who would love to be able to pay anything towards their healthcare, because that would mean they have healthcare. In my area we've got firefighters taking to the streets over being asked to pay 12% or something like that. The taxpayers covering the remaining 88% (well, more than that at the moment) can hardly be blamed for a lack of sympathy.

    40? Are you insane? Tell me where people can retire from the fire department at 40, it sure won't be many departments.
    I'm not insane, but you may be bad at math. If you get on at 20, then put in 20 years, you can retire at 40. 20 isn't the average age for getting on the job here, but it happens all the time.

    Couldn't get hired or isn't that $10 an hour private ems job not working out so well for you?
    Again, speaking from the typical taxpayer's perspective. I got out of the privateer game a while ago.

    Do you ever wash your car at the ems barn?
    If you can't see the difference between a 10 year old car in the parking lot and a boat inside the station, we're not going to get anywhere.

    And the answer is no. I've got too much to do in the average workday. At my full time job I'm lucky if I have time to wash the truck when it needs it.

    Um, you should say thank you to me and thousands of other firefighters who have paid far more into Social Security than we will ever get back.
    Anybody under 40 has already paid more in then they'll get back. It's not a unique situation.

    I am simply amazed how many people feel that penalizing others is a better move than trying to improve the conditions where they work.
    Nobody's penalizing anybody. Taxpayers are asking for some consideration from the people who have the unique ability to give thousands of dollars to the elected officials that they'll later negotiate salary and benefits with. They're asking for some consideration for the fact that people are losing their homes and jobs wholesale and that raises for municipal employees might not be feasible every year. It certainly isn't in the offing for many of the people paying for those raises.

    "Get a better job" is an easy argument to make when you're not the one who needs it. When's the last time you were in the job market? Ever been unemployed for a year or more? No, of course not- because when your employer needs more money, they can just go confiscate it from other people. In the real world, it isn't that simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    In Massachusetts, someone who retires as a group 4 employee (public safety) in the retirement system cannot "go and work as a probie in another FD" as he stated.
    Good rule to have. Since our legislature is majority bought and paid for Democrats, I don't see that happening anytime soon. Or ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    I think what blulakr was referring to was the DROP. I've seen it as a three year, which we have, and also a five year version. You basically retire, but continue to work, while getting your pension checks put into deferred comp. It doesn't cost the employer much if anything to do, and serves as a very desireable benefit for hiring. The employer no longer contributes to the employee's pension fund, since they've already locked in and are receiving the benefit. The employer retains an experienced employee. The employer saves money in hiring and training as well.

    It's not only a union thing. Our Local is in a right to work state, and we have it. It's for any position in the FD, not just chief positions. The state of SC has it for every municipal employee, I think. Down there, it's called a TERI.
    Yahtzee!! thanks for clarifying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    If you don't like your working conditions or wage/benefit, then why gripe about someone else? Instead of griping, how about looking into what you can do to change your own plight. Look in the mirror first.
    Like I said above, I'm not talking about OR complaining about my pay or benefits. I was speaking from the perspectives of taxpayers who are being asked to pay higher and higher taxes to pay for the likes of pay and benefits that they'll never see.

    And for the record, the answer to every workplace problem is not "start a union." Besides, I'm a manager now. That's how I improved my situation- I made myself stand out by working hard, making the best of opportunities presented, going for additional training on my own time, taking on extra responsibilities, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    I'm not talking about my career. My benefits are fine for the work I do, much better than my last job. I'm speaking from the point of view of taxpayers who would love to be able to pay anything towards their healthcare, because that would mean they have healthcare. In my area we've got firefighters taking to the streets over being asked to pay 12% or something like that. The taxpayers covering the remaining 88% (well, more than that at the moment) can hardly be blamed for a lack of sympathy.

    Yepper, I was at the courthouse the other day and happen to overhear 2 farmers talking about the highway robbery the pay and benefits were of public employees. I turned to them and said "So, you guys are farmers? How much in state and federal subsidies, set asides, and price supports do you get every year?" That shut them both up pretty quick. I followed up with "Until you are ready to give up all that tax money that props up your farms you are nothing but hypocrites. You don't think I should have my pension and healthcare mostly paid for by tax money but you are more than happy to suck up all you can to keep your head above water. How about we make a deal...I won't push to end the handouts you receive if you stop trying to take the penion I have earned over 20 plus years in public service."



    I'm not insane, but you may be bad at math. If you get on at 20, then put in 20 years, you can retire at 40. 20 isn't the average age for getting on the job here, but it happens all the time.

    I don't care how old you are when you get on a fire department in Wisconsin you are not going to retire with a pension worth much of anything if you retire at 40. Your state may vary but it isn't like that here.



    Again, speaking from the typical taxpayer's perspective. I got out of the privateer game a while ago.

    Then all I can do is shake my head at you.



    If you can't see the difference between a 10 year old car in the parking lot and a boat inside the station, we're not going to get anywhere.

    Sorry no I don't see the difference. If you are allowed to wash your vehicles then it is pretty simple to understand isn't it.

    And the answer is no. I've got too much to do in the average workday. At my full time job I'm lucky if I have time to wash the truck when it needs it.

    Aw, now I almost feel bad for you...



    Anybody under 40 has already paid more in then they'll get back. It's not a unique situation.

    Firefighters, because they have a pension aren't even eligible to draw 100% of what they have earned. I can't remember the percentage but it is like 40 or 60% of what someone other than a firefighter would draw.


    Nobody's penalizing anybody. Taxpayers are asking for some consideration from the people who have the unique ability to give thousands of dollars to the elected officials that they'll later negotiate salary and benefits with. They're asking for some consideration for the fact that people are losing their homes and jobs wholesale and that raises for municipal employees might not be feasible every year. It certainly isn't in the offing for many of the people paying for those raises.

    You are strangely brain washed. In your mind it is wrong for Unions to support candidates of their choice with campaign contributions, but alright for corporations to spend millions every year to support candidates that support their view? Seriously, this attitude is quite seriously the stupidest thing to come out of this debate.

    Yeah, tell that story to firefighters being laid off all over the country. St Louis just lost 30 to layoffs and 24 through attrition they aren't replacing. Detroit has laid off firefighters. Milwaukee is down around 150 firefighters. My suburban department has lost 12 since I started here. There are many departments that are laying off firefighters or running dangerously short because they aren't filling vacancies. We are expected to perform exactly the same with less firefighters...


    "Get a better job" is an easy argument to make when you're not the one who needs it. When's the last time you were in the job market? Ever been unemployed for a year or more? No, of course not- because when your employer needs more money, they can just go confiscate it from other people. In the real world, it isn't that simple.

    It has been a while since I have been in the job market. I worked a ton of crummy jobs that barely paid my bills until I got my firefighting job. I never sat back and complained, if I didn't like the job I had I was always looking for the next one. AND YES, I was out of work for a year at one point. Guess what I did? I went back to school and headed down a completely different path. But then I got my first firefighting job and here I am today.

    Of course it is that simple in YOUR real world for businesses to get more money. THEY RAISE PRICES for goods and services. Look all around you it is obvious that they are doing that. Look at the price of food, or gas, or heating oil, or building supplies.

    What you and others always seem to forget is public employees pay taxes too.
    It just makes me shake my head that your thought process is to tear people down that have it better in some ways than others, instead of trying to raise those with less up to better wages and benefits.

    Your anger is totally misplaced.

    By the way...Why did you leave the private ambulance company? Isn't privatization the mantra of those in your camp?

    You say you are a manager...Of what?
    Last edited by FyredUp; 03-23-2011 at 01:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    Also, consider that the 56 hour a week employee working 25 years is really working 32.75 years, based on a 40 hour workweek.
    That's a third of your life at work. Typically when raaising your children. They're only young once.

    Huh?? Typically from what I've seen police\fire work long shifts for fewer days. That may not be easy but it does provide for a lot of free time.

    Every five 56 hour employees saves the taxpayers two positions, as well as reduced hiring, OT, and benefit costs.

    You trade the 56 hrs for the 4 days off in a row. My wife (Cali state employee) doesn't get paid OT but gets every other Fri off paid. How does that save any positions??

    I don't feel that a 25 and out or a DROP is unreasonable.
    I have actually learned a few things about unions that I didn't know previously yet it's not enough to change my outlook on their affect on public policy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Besides, I'm a manager now. That's how I improved my situation- I made myself stand out by working hard, making the best of opportunities presented, going for additional training on my own time, taking on extra responsibilities, etc.
    Funny, I believe that is the same track I took to get promoted in a Unionized FD. I know of very few places where moving up doesn't require some effort on the part of the employee in order to stand out amongst his/her peers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    I have actually learned a few things about unions that I didn't know previously yet it's not enough to change my outlook on their affect on public policy.
    Let me just explain the 56 hour week vs. 40 hours to you: for every week you work a scheduled 40 hrs, many firefighters work 56 hours. Thus, every week, month, year the firefighter works 40% more hours before unscheduled OT (yes, they get 1.5 hrs OT for working >53 hrs/week). I'm not sure what job your wife works, but the the FLSA over time exemption is specific to firefighters and their scheduled work times. BTW these schedules are made to benefit the employer, not the employee's. To staff the FD the same way with a 42 hour week would require hiring another full shift of personnel.

    To put it into perspective for you, last year I had worked a typical 40 hour work week job as of the first week in August. Guess what, they didn't let me take the rest of the year off. BTW, my GF makes the same hourly rate as a six year dental assistant that I make as an A/C with 15 years in.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 03-23-2011 at 08:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Let me just explain the 56 hour week vs. 40 hours to you: for every week you work a scheduled 40 hrs, many firefighters work 56 hours. Thus, every week, month, year the firefighter works 40% more hours before unscheduled OT (yes, they get 1.5 hrs OT for working >53 hrs/week). I'm not sure what job your wife works, but the the FLSA over time exemption is specific to firefighters and their scheduled work times. BTW these schedules are made to benefit the employer, not the employee's. To staff the FD the same way with a 42 hour week would require hiring another full shift of personnel.

    To put it into perspective for you, last year I had worked a typical 40 hour work week job as of the first week in August. Guess what, they didn't let me take the rest of the year off. BTW, my GF makes the same hourly rate as a six year dental assistant that I make as an A/C with 15 years in.
    And this tells you WHAT? Good thing we LOVE our jobs.It SURE isn't for the money. T.C.

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