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Posts Tagged ‘Pensions’

WISCONSIN: District Swings from Deficit to Surplus with New Union Contributions

Posted by FactReal on July 12, 2011

From a $400K Budget Deficit to $1.5 Million Surplus Thanks to Wisconsin’s New Collective Bargaining Laws
The School District in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, projects $1.5 million surplus after slight contract changes of employee contributions to health care and retirement. (Hat tip: Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

The Post-Crescent reported on June 29, 2011:

KAUKAUNA — As changes to collective bargaining powers for public workers take effect today, the Kaukauna Area School District is poised to swing from a projected $400,000 budget shortfall next year to a $1.5 million surplus due to health care and retirement savings.

The Kaukauna School Board approved changes Monday to its employee handbook that require staff to cover 12.6 percent of their health insurance and to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to the state’s pension system, in accordance with the new collective bargaining law, commonly known as Act 10.

“These impacts will allow the district to hire additional teachers (and) reduce projected class sizes,” School Board President Todd Arnoldussen wrote in a statement Monday. “In addition, time will be available for staff to identify and support students needing individual assistance through individual and small group experiences.”

Redstate summarizes the small sacrifices:
Most of the savings are taking place from teachers facing a slight increase in their contributions to their health care (still well below the average private sector contribution, mind you) and the institution of a modest contribution to their pension funds. They’ve also had their work week bumped up – to forty hours – and they’re up to six out of seven periods teaching a day, instead of five.
Washington Examiner has more details:
In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they’ll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen. […]

Indeed, some of the most important improvements in Kaukauna’s outlook are because of the new limits on collective bargaining.

In the past, Kaukauna’s agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust — a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union…This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. “With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, ‘We can match the lowest bid,'” says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes…

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes — from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students. Those changes would not have been possible without the much-maligned changes in collective bargaining.

Teachers’ salaries will stay “relatively the same,” Arnoldussen says, except for higher pension and health care payments. (The top salary is around $80,000 per year, with about $35,000 in additional benefits, for 184 days of work per year — summers off.) Finally, the money saved will be used to hire a few more teachers and institute merit pay.

Statement from Kaukauna Area School Board president Todd Arnoldussen
Kaukauna Area School District Staff Handbook changes
Kaukauna Area School District Staff Handbook 2011-2012

Posted in Economy/ Finance | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CARLOS GIMENEZ: RECORD & BIOGRAPHY (Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidate – June 28, 2011)

Posted by FactReal on June 28, 2011

A quick view of this candidate’s experience, position on issues, legislations, votes, campaign finance, etc.
● Was Miami-Dade County commissioner for District 7 from November 2, 2004 through April 12, 2011 when he resigned to run for county mayor.
● Was City of Miami manager from May 2000 to January 2003.
● Spent 25 years with City of Miami Dept. of Fire-Rescue: Started as firefighter at the age of 20. Was Miami’s fire chief the last nine years at the dept. (1991 – 2000)
● Completed his Bachelor’s Degree in public administration in 1999 at Barry University – Miami.
Will receive a $5 MILLION PENSION Paid by Taxpayers
Endorsed by Muslims, Gays, and Leftists
Endorsed by union
Voted for SLOT MACHINES Contracts
Voted for Red Light Traffic Cameras
Wanted More Powers for Commissioners
Oversaw the Failed Transit System
Advanced the gay agenda
Proposed Pay Raises for Commissioners
Voted against offshore oil drilling
Proposed Pro-Global Warming resolutions but evidence shows man-made global Warming is a hoax
Voted for Amnesty for illegals and against SB1070 Arizona law
Voted against raising property taxes as proposed by then-mayor Carlos Alvarez, 9/23/2010
Voted against the Marlins ballpark
Voted to prohibit assault weapons (PDF)
Voted to tell people what to eat by prohibiting the County from using Trans Fat (PDF)
Voted to ban Trans Fats in restaurants (PDF)
Voted “Yes” for Michelle’s Obama intrusive “Obesity” campaign
(Michelle Obama’s Obesity Campaign is a power grab masquerading as a public health crusade)
Voted for more taxes: To eliminate loop hole preventing property transfers to be taxed (PDF)

Donations to his 2011 campaign for Miami-Dade County Mayor:
● Via Miami-Dade Election Department’s Voter Focus

Donations to his campaigns for Miami-Dade County Commissioner:
2004 | 2008

Info for the June 28th election in Miami-Dade County:
Julio Robaina’s Record
Carlos Gimenez’s Record (detailed version)
(With links to primary sources)

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Carlos GIMENEZ Proposed Pay Raises for Commissioners (2011 Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidate)

Posted by FactReal on June 28, 2011

Gimenez Sponsored Legislation to Benefit Commissioners
Commissioners are constantly whining that they make only $6,000 a year, but they fail to mention that they already get $55,388 in benefits + perks + car allowance + $1 million budget at their discretion plus the excellent pensions they will receive for life…paid mostly by taxpayers.

Voters want to limit the time these politicians “serve” as County Commissioners. Gimenez, seeing the opportunity for a curveball, has proposed 8-year term limits with the condition to increase the Commissioners’ salary. Voters see this as a manipulation and have rejected it every time it is on the ballot.

Gimenez sponsored resolutions seeking to raise Commissioners’ salary:
To raise commissioners’ salaries (PDF) in 10/29/2010
To raise commissioners’ salaries, 7/18/2008
To raise commissioners’ salary (PDF), 11/6/2007

On his own qualifying documents for mayoral candidate, Gimenez indicates that he received a yearly income of $43,250 for his work as Miami-Dade County Commissioner plus a yearly pension of $126,810 for his work with the City of Miami’s Fire Department – 96% of it is and will be paid by taxpayers for the rest of Gimenez’s live.

Info for the June 28th election in Miami-Dade County:
Carlos Gimenez’s Record
Julio Robaina’s Record
(With links to primary sources)

Posted in Elections, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Carlos Gimenez’s $5 MILLION PENSION Paid by Taxpayers (2011 Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidate)

Posted by FactReal on June 23, 2011

Gimenez receives $126,810-a-year government pension paid mostly by taxpayers for the rest of his life. If he gets that pension for 40 years, he will receive $5,072,400.
$126,810 yearly pension x 40 years = $5,072,400
Carlos Gimenez indicated on his qualifying documents[1] for mayoral candidate of Miami-Dade County that he has three sources of income:
1. Yearly salary of $ 43,250 for his work as Miami-Dade County Commissioner
2. Yearly pension of $126,810 for his work with the City of Miami’s Fire Department
3. Yearly income of $ 40,000 from a Vanguard IRA (we don’t know if this a derivative investment from a pension)

Next we will analyze his #2 income source — the $126,810 yearly pension from the Fire Dept that Gimenez will receive for the rest of his life — mostly paid by the taxpayers.

As indicated above, Gimenez receives $126,810 per year from the Miami Firefighter Police Pension (FIPO). If his pension remains constant, America Times estimates that Gimenez could receive at least $5 million just from this pension:
Gimenez will receive at least $5 million as retirement pension – mostly paid by taxpayers:
No wonder public unions are addicted to the benefits of their government jobs.

Gimenez will pay only 4.4% of his $5 million pension. Taxpayers will have to pay the rest. Gimenez says he contributed $225K to his pension – that means, he paid $225,000 to receive at least $5 million. That is a superb deal for Gimenez, but not for the taxpayers.

Why do taxpayers have to finance these excessive benefits?
Taxpayers are the modern slaves — no vote, no voice.

According to the Herald[2], Gimenez “said he contributed $225,000 to his Miami pension during his 28 years with the city.”

“At age 65, Gimenez will also be eligible for a modest pension from the county for his six years as a $6,000-a-year commissioner,” reported the Herald[2]. So, in addition to the min. $5 million Fire Dept. pension, Gimenez will get another LIFETIME pension – this one for his work as county commissioner.

Why do we, the taxpayers, have to pay for public employees’ benefits for the rest of their lives?? Taxpayers are losing their jobs and their houses, but still have to pay for the public unions’ pensions, health care and other benefits. Municipalities, counties and states are facing huge deficits, but unions don’t want cuts and don’t want to pay for their benefits. They are happy enslaving the taxpayers.

Gimenez is just one example. Imagine this: If union employees pay only 4% of their own pensions, then taxpayers have to pay for almost 96% of ALL the LIFETIME pensions and benefits of ALL the public employees in the state, county and municipalities.

This is not only unsustainable; this is crazy.

1. Miami-Dade Election Dept. – Voter Focus, Carlos Gimenez’s qualifying documents dated 2011 April 12, Page 9

2. Miami Herald, Gimenez seeks top Miami-Dade county job, Saturday, 06.18.11

Info for the June 28th election in Miami-Dade County:
Carlos Gimenez’s Record
Julio Robaina’s Record
(With links to primary sources)

Posted in Economy/ Finance, Elections, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UNIONS 101: Public Unions and Their Negative Impact (Video)

Posted by FactReal on May 13, 2011

KILLER UNION SALARIES: $96,000 Average Salary for Ohio Education Assoc. (OEA) Employees
WI Avg. Teachers $56,500 Salary Plus $43,505 in Benefits…Paid by Taxpayers
MIAMI Police Officer to get Pension of $125,000 a Year for Life…Paid by Taxpayers
MIAMI COUNTY HIGH SALARIES: Employees earned over $100,000 in 2009-2010 (PDF list)
UNION FRAUD: Union Workers Campaigning on County Time for Miami Mayor
Obama Admin. Behind WI Union Protests
Former SEIU Union Official Plans to Destroy U.S. Financial System (Videos)
Leftists offer war and death to Wisconsin Republicans
Democrat to Unions: “Get out on the Streets and get a Little Bloody” (Video)

Posted in Economy/ Finance, Government Waste, Left | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

KILLER UNION PENSIONS: Miami Police Officer to get Pension of $125,000 a Year for Life…Paid by Taxpayers

Posted by FactReal on April 5, 2011

Not even affluent City of Coral Gables
1 in Miami-Dade county can afford the lifetime pensions given to government union employees. The city has $197 million pension deficit while its annual budget is $139.5 million.2

The current system is unsustainable. For example, one Coral Gables police officer will receive a $125,000 yearly pension3 for the rest of his life — paid by taxpayers. So, in 30 years, he will receive $3.7 MILLION in base pension:

Lifetime Pension for One Police Officer:
Yearly Pension Years Total
$125,000 x 30 = $3,750,000

What if we multiply that amount for every police officer in the city or the state or the nation? What if we add other lifetime benefits (health care, etc.)? Will these benefits be transferred to their spouses and dependents? What if we add the lifetime pensions and benefits of ALL public employees?

No wonder we are bankrupt. Taxpayers, who are the real employers of government employees, can’t keep paying for these lifetime pensions.

The unions do not see the crisis and are aggressively fighting any reform.4 Coral Gables police and firefighter union members contribute only 5% of their salaries to their own pensions!! The taxpayer pays for the residual 95%. Why must the taxpayer pay for other people’s pensions? This is irrational.

Here are the details:3
By saving up his vacation and other time off, a former Coral Gables police sergeant was able to double his $81,000 annual salary in his last year with the department — the year used in calculating his annual pension. The result: taxpayers are now paying the retiree $125,000 — three quarters of his last year’s working pay — for the rest of his life.

The case illustrates why pension costs have become a major issue in the city’s April 12 election — and why they are likely to be an issue in political races in other cities in the coming months.

During the real estate boom, cities were flush with cash, and gave generous increases in pension benefits to employees — especially those represented by politically influential police and firefighter unions, which typically supply money and manpower to aid politicians’ re-election bids. […]

The upshot for Coral Gables: At last count, the city’s pension fund was $197 million short of the amount it needs to pay the retirement benefits that commissioners have promised to current and future retirees.

The Gables pension system covers more than 700 employees and 720 retirees

In recent years, pension investments have not kept pace with hoped-for returns. Coral Gables depends on a 7.75 percent annual rate of return. But in the 2007-08 fiscal year, the actual rate of return was -15.7 percent. In 2008-09, it was -1.8 percent. In 2009-10, it was 9.18 percent, said Don Nelson, the city’s finance director. When investments lag, the city must make up the difference.

Such losses contribute to the $197 million pension hole, a figure cited frequently by Gables candidates this election season. That number dwarfs the city’s $139.5 million annual budget. To meet the shortfall, the city will need to either sharply cut pension benefits, sharply increase the amount employees contribute to their pensions, increase taxes, or use some combination of these options.

None will be easy. Even if city officials gathered the political will to cut pensions, they might not be able to do so unilaterally because they have promised the benefits to union members in written contracts. Even if officials found a way around the contract obligations, they could expect an aggressive political and legal fight from the unions, which, unlike City Commission candidates, don’t see a crisis.  […]

Both the firefighters’ union and the police union, whose members contribute 5 percent of their salaries to their pensions, oppose further reductions in their pensions. […]

The police and firefighter unions have become involved in this year’s elections to support candidates, who will back their interests. […]

1 Coral Gables
2 City of Coral Gables Budget 2010-2011
3 Pensions the hot issue in city races
4 Coral Gables Police protest proposed pay cut
Coral Gables Human Resources dept.

– Coral Gables union contracts:
–> Fraternal Order of Police
–> Coral Gables Employee Association
–> International Association of Firefighters

Posted in Economy/ Finance, Government Waste, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »