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Salary bumps a tough sell in proposed budget

Original post made on Jun 4, 2013

Despite a brightening budget forecast, Palo Alto officials indicated Monday that they are in no rush to raise employee salaries that have been largely flat since the outset of the Great Recession.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 9:09 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2013 at 10:56 am

Everybody in Palo Alto knows that once you include the value of PA employees' fat retirement/healthcare packages, many of which amount to many millions of dollars apiece, PA employees are massively overpaid relative to PA residents doing comparable work. And it's those PA residents who pay for those packages too. Certain PA staff think we're all either arithmetic-illiterate, or asleep, or both.

Go to a rational retirement/healthcare system, and retire at the same age all the rest of us do, and then let's talk about pay raises.


Posted by Kim S., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

Before raises for SEIU employees, the council should check the salaries for similar positions in the private sector. Raises if needed, which is highly doubtful considering the fact that we have tree trimmers making $100K, should be based on merit, not across the board.


Posted by Inspector Gadget, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

I find it humorous and highly ironic that the same night the council removed dollars from the budget for possible employee raises that they also directed the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would eliminate the Council's current 2 term limit(8 years total) and allow unlimited terms. The Weekly missed that this Charter amendment, if passed, will guarantee LIFETIME healthcare benefits to council members who serve more than 2 terms. Currently newer council members are now prohibited from receiving retiree healthcare because the minimimum years of service for retiree healthcare is currently 10 years. Kniss and Klein already have this time in the system. But the others do not. By allowing the Mayor and others to run beyond 2 terms allows them access to lifetime benefits for them AND their families. A sneaky way for the Mayor to get the retiree healthcare he can't get on his own as a sole practitioner. I guess benefit cuts are ok with Scharff as long as his own benefits are increasing.


Posted by Roy, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Shouldn't we use the money to pay down the City's unfunded liabilities due to the employees' retirement/healthcare plans we are contractually obligated to fulfill?

That makes more sense than digging a deeper hole.


Posted by Not sorry for them, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

It is hard for me to find sympathy when I have not had a raise since 2007, my husband has had two payouts since 2001. We did not get a bailout. is there such a thing as too small to fail?


Posted by bill, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Mr. Keene. The City's financial outlook has not improved enough to spend money we really don't have. This money should be allocated to hundreds of millions of unfunded retirement and health care obligations. It is short-sighted to think the current increase in revenue will continue indefinitely. Plan ahead - 10 or more years - not one or two.


Posted by 35 year resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Cut salaries 7% and freeze them. Any city employee that wants to leave may do so. If a replacement is needed I'm sure there will be a line out the door for a qualified applicant willing to work for a reasonable salary and a scaled down benefits package.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

The managers & city employees already got a big raise - it's the increased cost of the city contributing to their pensions. If they want an increase in their salary, then the council should negotiate with the city employees to reduce their pensions.


Posted by Sympathy for the Devil, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Having had no vacation since 2004, pay cuts in 2002 and 2008, and no real gain in income since 1999, I have to say,"Let them eat cake,"


Posted by Resident and Employee, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Every job listed in Palo Alto has comparable jobs in public and or private industry. It is a myth created by the media and management that employees outside of management get excessive wages and benefits.

#1 Palo Alto contractors do not have to pay prevailing wage. That means Palo Alto is able to take contracts and assigning them to contract employers who do not pay prevailing wage and pay no healthcare or benefits.

#2. The salaries for Palo Alto employees in the trades are not investigated for their salaries and their salaries are far lower than union wages and benefits and other cities.

THE DAY Palo Alto starts providing affordable housing for teachers, fire, police, and workers is the day Palo Alto Management, City Council, and citizens have an ethical or moral right to say anything negative about about wages and benefits, and/ or call themselves a "green city".


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