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Has Gov. Brown broken the camel's back?

Posted: 8/28/2012 Tags: benefits budget governor layoff pension Tags Views: 2478 Print:

After announcing a series of aggressive cuts to state employee pensions, many are wondering if Gov. Brown's continued assault on our modest benefits will really help fix California's economic woes.

Perhaps a more important question is: Are the long-term risks of yet another attack on long-suffering state employees' modest and hard-earned benefits worth the (questionable) short-term gain?

For years the state has balanced its budget on the backs of its own employees. 15% pay cuts, widespread layoffs, hiring freezes, insufficient training. These are just some of the issues that state employees face on a daily basis. Their employer - California - violates nearly every principle of Management 101.

At the same time, the state has avoided fair taxation of corporate interests and the wealthy for fear that the 1% might flee at the first sign that they may have to chip in their fair share to keep our communities running.

While Governor Brown and his fellow elected officials celebrate crushing a legacy of modest retirement for employees who dedicate twenty or thirty years of their lives to keeping those communities running - keeping our air and water clean, keeping our neighborhoods safe from crime and fire - we have to ask the question:

How much is enough?

How many of these constant attacks on current, former, and future public servants can the state get away with before they cause the 99% to flee from California?

How many legacies of good governance and employer/employee relations can be overturned before public services grind to a halt?

When a Chevron factory explodes, poisoning countless Californians and doing untold damage to our ecosystem, Chevron enjoys countless tax breaks.

When state employees risk life and limb to put out the Chevron factory fire, they get slapped with a 5% pay cut, increased retirement age, and decreased benefits.

Sound off in the comments and let us know how much more you’re willing to put up with.



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