The Gravy Train

The cost of “civilian” public employee pensions in Los Angeles has ballooned from $260 million in 2005 to around $410 million this year. It’s breaking the city. So two years ago, the council voted to cut pensions for new hires, and to make new hires work until age 65, a reasonable step, not to mention necessary.

Or so it seemed to Eric Garcetti when he campaigned for mayor. And to voters, who chose Garcetti over a more labor-friendly rival.

But now a “quasi-judicial body” has ruled the changes were illegal. The Employee Relations Board says Garcetti should have negotiated the changes with the unions.

That’s an amazing ruling: a city cannot determine affordable compensation. Unions have to sign off on it — representing people who neither work for the city yet nor yet belong to a union.

California is full of “quasi-judicial” and quasi-governmental bodies, all of which seemingly were created by labor to support labor. Even after millions of of voters support fiscal reform.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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