Saturday, February 06, 2010

Finally, Pending Legislation to Outlaw Double Dipping

So why do we pay these "gummint" guys so much?

By Danny

We've talked before about how gummint employees often have it much better than the public who pay their salaries.

Now, somebody in Utah is trying to do something about it, by addressing pensions and double dipping:
Gummint Pension Reform in Utah
Predictably, the gummint employees are screaming to keep their disproportionate benefits.

But the truth is, these gummint jobs could all be filled tomorrow, including in Ogden, by people who are at least as qualified as those we have now. The jobs could be filled if they had no benefits at all, and had lower pay, especially the higher-end jobs. So why do we pay these guys so much?


Fireman Joe said...

Danny-The high end jobs in Ogden would be easily filled. In the 10 years of Godfrey there has been one raise and one COLA for us bottom feeders. 72 firefighters have left the department during this time, we have to test twice a year now to keep staffing up. A large part of the deparment is stuck at the entry level wage after seven years. The police department has had unfilled positions for years.

Danny said...

Fireman Joe,

In the end, I suppose you have to pick your battles.

Can the gummint afford to give fat cats huge salaries and benefits?

Can it afford double dipping?

Can it afford to give new employees the same defined benefit plans as old employees?

Can it afford generous COLAs each year?

Probably not.

But if what you say is true, that you have had one raise and one COLA in 10 years, there is another problem.

Godfrey has squandered our money needed for roads, water, police and fire on his lunatic projects and on lining the pockets of his cronies. And he continues to do so.

We agree that Godfrey must go - it is Job 1. We can fix the rest after that, together.

When the ship is captained by a madman, the rest is just arranging deck chairs.

another humble servant said...

Danny, the only double dippers in Ogden are those who are in bed with the little Lord. Chief Mathieu, Chief Greiner, Fire Marshal Schwenk, all of the Deputy Chiefs in the Police Department, and the Lieutenants in the Police Department.
The worker bees are the ones getting screwed, not only by the Legislature, but by the City Admin.

Fireman Joe said...

Danny-the proposals also do nothing about the double dippers that are already in the system. The ones who helped cause the problem need to be part of the solution.

Fireman Joe said...

Danny-I have been told there are about 4,000 double dippers statewide, with most of them in the school system. Don't have facts and figures, that's what has come up in the discussions.

Monotreme said...

I don't know why we don't summarily dismiss double-dippers. Even if 4000 people are taking the taxpayers for $100K a year, that's 4000 jobs opening up and $400M annually saved.

Yet, this legislation only punishes double-dippers going forward, and punishes "little guy" state workers now.

Doesn't make sense to me.

Curmudgeon said...


That would open up jobs, but I'm not sure it would save much money, since the new people hired [non-retired] would still draw the pay for those jobs.

We should also keep in mind that in some circumstances, when it's difficult to impossible to hire people for specific jobs, bringing retired back is the only way to fill them. That doesn't apply at the moment, of course, but just a few years ago, there was a teacher shortage in Utah, particularly in the sciences and in math. They were not thick upon the ground, and some districts could not fill the slots in those areas without finding retirees willing to come back full time for a while.

That is, I think, no longer generally true for teachers, and possibly not for math teachers either. Couldn't say.

While I think double dipping [Greiner version] is generally a bad and expensive idea and under normal circumstances should not be allowed, I'd hate to create new problems down the line in specific areas in which, for a while, hiring back retirees may be the only practical solution to a short term problem.

What seems to me a generally fair retirement/pension option for public workers is something like this:

1. You are vested in the pension system after 20 years service [that means you are entitled to a pension once you've worked for the state/city/county for 20 years].

2. But you don't get pension payments until you reach age 62 [first year of social security eligibility].

3. Your pension is 2% of the average of your top five years pay for each year of service,up to a maximum of 35 years service. [I.e. the 2% per year rule would not apply beyond the 35th year.]

4. Pension to include health benefits on same terms as active state workers for ages 62-64. Once you hit 65, you're required to sign up for socialized medicine --- i.e. Medicare Parts A and B [on your nickel], and you get Medicare supplemental insurance paid for by state on same % contribution basis as active workers.

5. If you retire on a state pension at age 62 [or at any other time], and you return to full time work for the state, your pension payments are cut by the amount of your state salary or wages, and the state makes no further contribution for you to the retirement system or 401K plan.

Something like that.

Biker Babe said...

Danny, you asked a lot of questions about "can the government afford [this and that]..."

Since when has that stopped them from spending!?!?!?!



Danny said...

Three interesting articles, offered without controversy or comment. After all, it is Sunday.

Double Dipping

Trade War


Curmudgeon said...

Comment bumped to front page

big goventment said...

It's funny how Police Officers vote for less govenment thinking they don't want to be like France.

But "less govenment" is less of them!!!

just a cop said...

Rudi, I'm disappointed that you are thinking like some of these radical politicians... and don't understand that we have given up many years of pay increases for pension benefits. Even this very year we took a pay decrease.

Now these idiots see money in the pension system and want it.

just a cop said...

Rudi, sorry that story was by Danny not you...

Danny, your right, there is a lot of room for improvement in Ogden City…

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