Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Truth is stranger than fiction in Coral Gables. Guest Post by Sal

On Tuesday, November 12, the Commissioners in Coral Gables will increase the membership of the City’s Pension Board from 9 to 13. It passed 5 - 0 on First Reading in September. The four additional members are the City's Finance Director, Human Resources Director, and two individuals appointed by the City Manager. So, what’s wrong with that?

Consider that of this potentially stacked 13-member board, City Manager “My Way or the Highway” Salerno really controls 9 votes (67%), the four new ones, and the four on the Commission. This Commission has slowing but surely allowed its Chief Administrative Officer to usurp its power as policy makers

Recently, the City Commission approved a hefty salary package increase to its highest paid employee. Taxpayers contributions to Salerno’s pension package went from 15% to 39% of his salary, and an additional 20 weeks of salary should he leave the city. And to add insult to stupidity, they made it retroactive to January 2013.

Meanwhile, lower tier employees are required to contribute 17% (used to be ~21%) of their salary in a cost-sharing agreement. At a recent impasse hearing, four employees, many of them working in the city over 10 years, shared that they had lost their homes, their savings, their marriages and some are going without the basics because of this contribution that’s automatically taken out of their paychecks. Employees don't matter in Coral Gables, they are just numbers on a spreadsheet. Meanwhile, the City sits on $20 million+ of reserve.

And now, the board that oversees pensions is in almost complete control by the de facto Mayor Pat Salerno of Coral Gables. Please don't be fooled residents of the City Beautiful; it’s Salerno you elected. The bobble heads on the dais say, "How high?" when he says, “Jump!”


Anonymous said...

Most public sector employees paid over $35,000 per year make much more in the public sector than they are worth in the private sector. Union members are overpaid. If they disagree they can guit and try to find a real job in the private sector.

Anonymous said...

The Gables Commission is filled with Salerno patsies. Salerno is getting away with everything he wants and laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Defenders of Exploitation of Labor-Labor Unions
remember the University of Miami Janitors now the food service labor...

"Child labour and exploitation
Nearly a quarter of a million children, or 16 out of every 100 children worldwide, are engaged in exploitative child labour—in violation of Convention on the Rights of the Child and international labour standards. Almost three-quarters of them work in hazardous environments, such as mines or factories, or with dangerous substances, such as chemicals. The majority of child labourers are “invisible” – hidden from sight and behind the reach of the law. Many of these children are not only being exploited, they are often being denied education, basic health care, adequate nutrition, leisure time and the safety and security of their families and communities. In general, girls' domestic work is the most invisible of all and there is some evidence that girls may constitute the majority of child workers."

Anonymous said...

To the person who said to "...quit and find a real job in the private sector" ... These folks are good with contributing to their pensions, but the amount they have forcibly pay is indecent. For those in the lower tier of the salary range, 17% is way too high and has caused these folks great harm. Salerno is a bully who is making a pile of money off the backs of taxpayers and sticking it to those at the bottom.

Anonymous said...

Public sector employees should be thankful they have jobs. And if they are members of unions they should be doubly thankful they have jobs and they cannot get fired. Then with the high pay and health care AND the defined benefit pensions?