$6,000 Bonuses Part of Fullerton Water Rate Hike

As the Fullerton City Council prepares to hike water rates as “pass-through increases” I thought it would be good to share the sweet deal MWD employees get on April 1, 2012 (no, its not a joke) and see just what is being passed through to us.

Come April 1st the employees of MWD get a $6,000 bonus as part of their contract.

9.3 Effective the first day of the pay period that includes April 1, 2012, each employee in the bargaining unit shall receive a one-time only payment of $6,000 which shall not be considered part of the employee‘s regular pay.

If that wasn’t bad enough, July 1, 2013 MWD employees will get a 0.25% raise.  And if you think 0.25% isn’t much of a raise, consider what else gets slipped in.  How about creating “higher steps” for employees who have hit the salary ceiling and giving them raises as well?

9.4 Effective the first day of the pay period that includes July 1, 2013, there shall be an across-the-board salary increase of 0.25%. In addition, all bargaining unit classifications shall be moved two (2) salary grades higher (approximately 2.75% for each grade), and placed at the equivalent salary step in the new grade (e.g. an employee at step 11 on June 30, 2013 would be placed at step 9 of his new salary grade).

All bargaining unit employees will be place on the same evaluation date, and will receive a performance evaluation for the period ending July 1, 2013. Employees will be eligible for a merit increase pursuant to ARTICLE 65—MERIT INCREASES.

These generous employee benefits are being passed along to Fullerton water customers in the form of “pass-through” rate increases.  When the City Council pushes for a rate hike this year, be sure to speak up in opposition.  The City Council will be happy to pass the buck so long as we sit quietly and let them.

You can read the MWD employee agreement here.

Hidden Government Agencies Watch Your Wallet

58 thoughts on “$6,000 Bonuses Part of Fullerton Water Rate Hike

  1. Grrrr…..

    I have the feeling the same thing is happening with the surcharge on gas and electric bills that supposedly aid the “poor.” Who keeps track of this stuff?

    CBS, check it out!

  2. They get the bonus and we end up being hosed (pardon the pun). Typical of 21st century public servants, unions and their paid off elected officials. The taxpayer exists to provide a lifestyle of opulence, in exchange we are given a barely functioning infrastructure.

    1. “The taxpayer exists to provide a lifestyle of opulence”? You’re kidding right? You can’t be talking about most state or federal employees. If you really think that, you’re operating under a false assumption (I’m trying to be polite).

        1. Dig deep lately Tom? That link takes me to the CATO institute (founded by Charles Koch of, you know, the Tea Party astroturfers, the Koch brothers). The CATO institute is… well, here, this pretty much sums up what they’re all about:

          A “libertarian” quasi-academic think-tank which acts as a mouthpiece for the globalism, corporatism, and neoliberalism of its corporate and conservative funders. Cato is an astroturf organization: there is no significant participation by the tiny libertarian minority. They do not fund it or affect its goals. It is a creature of corporations and foundations.

          The major purpose of the Cato Institute is to provide propaganda and soundbites for conservative and libertarian politicians and journalists that is conveniently free of reference to funders such as tobacco, fossil fuel, investment, media, medical, and other regulated industries.

          Cato is one of the most blatant examples of “simulated rationality”, as described in Phil Agre’s The Crisis of Public Reason. Arguments need only be plausibly rational to an uninformed listener. Only a tiny percentage will notice that they are being misled. That’s all that’s needed to manage public opinion.

  3. The 3 clowns being RECALLED SHOULD NOT be allowed to vote on the pass-through increases or anything on the agenda that involves spending our taxes on their frivolous crap.

  4. Why is it people get their panties all in a wad when someone else has negotiated shrewdly and built in incremental cost of living wage increases or bonuses or benefits and who overall seems to be compensated well. It’s never a problem when that person is you though, is it?

    Oh, you say, it’s tax payers money and so things are different?

    Ok, so let’s play that game. Let’s say you’re a procurement specialist. You work in the private sector. The folks I know who work as purchasing agents in corporate america don’t get any kind of bonuses when they save the company tens of thousands of dollars negotiating a contract with a vendor. They get a salary that is determined by their companies wage & salary dept after reviewing what the typical purchasing agent gets paid in other companies across the corporate landscape, and who perform the same functions. It sucks, but it’s their job, and they go do it everyday. Feeding your family is cool.

    Now, let’s say you’re a procurement specialist. You work for some governmental department. You don’t get any kind of extravagant bonuses when you save the taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars negotiating a contract with a vendor. You get a salary that is commensurate with what the typical purchasing agent gets most anywhere in the private sector. Why? Because in order to get the skill sets you need in a government employee, and who meet the requirements of the job in regards to experience and knowledge, you need to pay those people (with those skill sets and knowledge) competitively in order to attract those people with the required skill sets. Yeah, again, it sucks, but it’s their job, and they go do it everyday. Feeding your family is cool.

    You see, to each of those people, it’s their job; they go do it every day. If you negotiate well and get yourself a nice raise or stock options (or some such thing), you think “I deserve that, I work hard and I’m a keen negotiator”, but if that happens to someone who happens to work for the government and who perhaps has someone who has negotiated well on their behalf, you all get so mad. Stop being jealous and hypocritical.

    1. Anon,
      You seem to be confusing issues.

      First, in the private sector workers get paid what the market will bear. In good times they get bonuses and raises. In bad, the bonuses are stopped, salaries reduced, and workers laid-off.

      In the public sector, workers SHOULD get paid what taxpayers can bear. They (apparently) get bonuses, raises, and job security. Oh, and a publicly funded and guaranteed pension.

      I partially blame our elected and appointed representatives, not the workers. I also blame voters for not holding their representatives accountable for the massive debts they create.

      1. Finally someone associated with FFFF that has some common sense. Well said Sebourn. Placed the blame perfectly instead of how Tony likes to place it.

      2. One last thing Greg, You suggest that I’m confusing issues here. Is your blog post not about someones compensation package and if it is appropriate or not? If your post is about something other than that, besides the inclusion of such compensation in Fullerton’s water tax, what am I missing?

        1. The post is about accountability and the unspoken truth behind the “pass-through” rate hikes Fullerton ratepayers are being asked to pay.

          1. What unspoken truth is that Greg? The not particularly original or insightful truth that your taxes may go to… (gasp!).. pay someone’s salary?! The thought just turns your stomach doesn’t it.

  5. Greg, I worked in middle management in corporate america for 15 years and never once saw a bonus in good times (as you say). I did get told that I wouldn’t be getting any raises, cost of living or otherwise a number of years when times were not so good, and ultimately, I was rewarded for my 15 years of loyalty by being laid off. I was just one of hundreds who received all that bad news over the years, and I was just one of a hundred or so who got laid off at the same time. Shortly after the wave of layoffs that I was a part of, my former company purchased another company spending 4 billion dollars to do so. It was a smart purchase by the company to grab a huge portion of market share. They must have been so cash strapped to make that deal that my paltry, subsistence salary was the deal breaker.

    So you think then, that government employees should work their whole lives without any retirement or pension plan?

    You also seem to be under the impression that government jobs are the same as private jobs in the function or role they play in our society. You might want to ponder that concept a little while longer.

    So let’s say that, by your measure, taxpayers “can only bear” to pay minimum wage for any and all govt positions, since surely the times we’re living in would arguably justify that position. You’re saying that would be acceptable to any professional in the private or public sector? I don’t know about you, but if someone offers me a minimum wage job with my extensive skills and experience, I would have to politely decline and look for another way to get compensated appropriately for the value I bring to some other employer.

    As for the massive debt we bear here in California, don’t forget to put the blame where it really belongs, with the voters who keep putting initiatives on the ballot for things we want but can’t pay for. We then get mad at our politicians (that we elected) for failing to figure out how to pay for those things. Why do we have the initiative system in California? Because we don’t trust our elected representational government officials to represent us, we instead over rule them at the ballot box and get/stay mad at them.

    When are we all going to realize and accept that we are our government and our government is us. It’s not an us or them issue, it’s simply an us issue. Stop blaming others and grow up.

    1. Thats two logical posts in a few minutes. What’s is going on here? Usually there is no logic for a few days around here. Great to see.

    2. You’re talking out of your ass.

      First you acknowledge how tough it is is the private sector then you acknowledge how nice the government workers have it.

      We are seeing the creation of a permanent two-tier system where government employees get to retire at 55 with massive, inflation-indexed, guaranteed pensions while the rest of us will work ’til were 70 to pay for Social Security.

      Oh, we’re all grown up. Our government has VERY LITTLE to do with us. It’s all about protecting their defined benefits, great pay and calculation of sick days as an accrued benefit. Getting paid for not getting sick!

      1. Water Boy, your screen name is appropriate. You really believe our government has very little to do with us? if so, I feel very sorry for you, you sad, cynical, manipulated and misdirected stooge. Have you tried getting involved in creating the world you want it to be, at all? Or is it just easier and more appealing to be one of the intellectually lazy and dwarfed who sit on the sidelines and complain about “them”.

    3. “So you think then, that government employees should work their whole lives without any retirement or pension plan?” I’m not sure how you arrived at your conclusion. The employees can start their own IRA at any time. Contributions are tax deductible. They can also receive a modest pension in return for years of service.

      “You also seem to be under the impression that government jobs are the same as private jobs in the function or role they play in our society. You might want to ponder that concept a little while longer.” Again, I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion from the post. The enormous disparity between the two is hard to ignore and costing us dearly.

      “You’re saying that would be acceptable to any professional in the private or public sector?” It is not a matter of what is acceptable to the professional but rather what is acceptable to those who will pay for the professional service. Your comment presumes an entitlement based on education and experience. The reality, as you have found from your experience of being laid-off, is that the market (your employer) could not or would not bear your cost.

      “As for the massive debt we bear here in California, don’t forget to put the blame where it really belongs, with the voters who keep putting initiatives on the ballot for things we want but can’t pay for. We then get mad at our politicians (that we elected) for failing to figure out how to pay for those things. Why do we have the initiative system in California?” As I wrote above, I do blame voters for electing people who agree to grow our debt and then not holding them accountable.

      “When are we all going to realize and accept that we are our government and our government is us. It’s not an us or them issue, it’s simply an us issue. Stop blaming others and grow up.” You are right except that you think I am blaming the workers. I partially blame our elected and appointed representatives, not the workers. I also blame voters for not holding their representatives accountable for the massive debts they create. It’s quite simple.

      1. Hi Tom (no cold felt), in those 15 years I did change career paths. I gained the equivalent of an MBA without having to come away with the crushing student loan debt or having to do years of senseless rote homework. I transformed myself from a personable, creative technician into a skilled, knowledgable and capable leader. I laid out my career path very carefully and I took away key learnings of my own choosing from each position & each promotion was calculated and seized upon with zeal. To be honest with you, as I have been all along here, after 15 years with that company I had just about learned everything I set out to learn and was ready to move on anyway. I have no ill will or remorse for the decisions I made along the way and although I wouldn’t do the same thing again, I’m glad I did it once (work in corporate America). I evolved and grew as a person, manager and businessman; I increased my value to that employer and any future employers. I am now, as I always have been, so much more than just a worker. Thanks for asking.

    1. Nobody at MWD make 30,000. This little scam means they can claim nobody is getting a raise when all the steps are recalibrated for the high rollers. What a waste.

        1. Just exactly how did you get $75,000.00 from a .25% pay raise on 30,000 a year? Try $7,500 Bong Water Under the Bridge. Thanks for playing.

          1. Seriously people, decimals and percentages, this is grade school level math. 0.25% is already a percentage, it’s one quarter of one percent, or 0.0025 in decimal form.

            $30,000 * 0.0025 = $75.00

            Yep, that’s a whopping $75 per year increase; or $2.88 per bi-weekly paycheck. Not even close to lunch money…

  6. To those of us in Fullerton, this link, which a friend sent me from a CBS newscast, should open your eyes about your directors. What should not be tolerated is the Fullerton Director, a guy called Blake, who claims he wasn’t concerned with us, his rate payers. We should all be demanding his removal from the MWD Board, as well as the others on the MWD Board as well.

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/6777560-investigation-reveals-water-executives-spending-money-like-water/

  7. Hmmmm I wonder if the media only extracts info about public employee contracts that will stir up a debate & induce feelings of anger and resentment? I wonder if they’d purposely leave out the negative changes to public employee contracts so the public can’t get a full understanding of what’s really going on?? I bet you,,, the media outlets KNOW the public isn’t smart enough to ask themselves these questions… haha, the media got you all again… silly kids.

  8. I been with the company people keep picking on for over 20yrs. Ever since we had a union president, that wasn’t what some employees
    thought they should be – (someone who actually wanted to help the employees – all
    the employees – even the little guy – So some
    one who wanted to bring him down, put out bad press and killed the whole negotiation process – the employees had to wait until another election and he was gone to finally
    get something (while DWP employees got
    what they wanted and more and NO BAD PRESS ABOUT IT) I have never had, a raise
    -except cost of living that everyone got, and I have never had a promotion – unless it was
    a classification change that others in my group got also. After 20yrs I am still grateful to have a job, even though I am at the botton
    and in a low position – So I am looking forward to a little help. So stop hating
    if you don’t know the whole story only what
    the press is telling you, because of some jealous hater.

  9. In the Know :
    Hmmmm I wonder if the media only extracts info about public employee contracts that will stir up a debate & induce feelings of anger and resentment? I wonder if they’d purposely leave out the negative changes to public employee contracts so the public can’t get a full understanding of what’s really going on?? I bet you,,, the media outlets KNOW the public isn’t smart enough to ask themselves these questions… haha, the media got you all again… silly kids.

    If “GOLDSTEIN” really cared about the citizens then he would be exposing the myriad of toxic chemicals, radiologicals and heavy metals being added to our water under the guise of fluoridation. The media in this case focuses on these cholesterol faced creeps indulging in and facilitating the shortening of their pathetic life spans. I agree that we need to expose these miscreants so they aren’t too comfortable ripping us off. The main stream media is rat poison-2% truth 50% anticoagulant and 48% stabilizers and flavor. I believe the larger scam here is the poisoning of our water. Goldstein was the boogie man-remember 1984? Such irony.

  10. Greg S. – You’re an idiot and lazy, since you’re only interested in sensationalism journalist and choose not to do your research of all the give backs that took place as result of the agreement you’re referring to in your slanted blurp. I think you should be fired for be lazy and not researching (and reporting) the facts…. Because of your laziness, you have to post a link to the agreement so everyone else (and you know it’s a small percentage) will do the research for you. If I ever see you at a social function, I will be sure to throw a drink in your face, you idiot.

              1. Erin, Please define your opinion of public servants. Is that just local goverment? Or are you basing your opinion of all. Because if you are saying all public servants, you are including our boys and girls, that are giving their lifes for our freedom.

                1. cg, I do have to correct you though. “that are giving their lifes for our freedom” There has been no war fought for our freedom since WWII. You know that right?

              2. Sorry, I think you are wrong. Our freedom is being tested everyday. You use the word slaves, which is a very offensive word. Please think of the freedoms you have.

                1. cg, I suppose you can’t see the humor in my comment regarding calling all public servants slaves. See, the filthy cops are trolls on here and I am dishing it back.

                2. cg, also, our freedom is being tested from within our own borders. Can you believe I’m saying that? I’ve been a registered republican since 18. WoW!

              3. Erin, I am not questioning your passion in local goverment, and I am seeing you. You have passion, and you are envolved. Take it down a knotch and people will listen to you. Sometimes less is better.

  11. Erin :
    cg, also, our freedom is being tested from within our own borders. Can you believe I’m saying that? I’ve been a registered republican since 18. WoW!

    me too….and I am little older than you…..OK a lot older than you….

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