Walters on CalPERS: “It’s just nuts.”

Sure, getting a fatter pension for temporarily filling in for somebody is objectionable. The media made that point yesterday about a pension-fattening step taken by CalPERS, the state pension giant.

But that much-criticized provision is only one of 99 CalPERS enacted to dig deeper into the public pocket.

The SacBee’s Dan Walters looks at other job categories CalPERS found “pensionable.”

“Running through the list, one is struck by a recurring theme: State and local civil service workers appear to be getting lots of money for performing duties that any rational person would consider just part of the job.

“Clerks are being paid extra for being good typists, for example, and cops are being paid to keep physically fit, to be accurate shots with their firearms, and when “assigned to analyze and explore a crime scene.”

“For some reason, jailers get paid extra if they are “routinely and consistently assigned the duty of responding to questions from the public,” while librarians get premium pay if they are “routinely and consistently assigned to provide direction or resources to library patrons.”

“A civil service worker may qualify for additional income if he or she is “routinely and consistently assigned to sensitive positions requiring trust and discretion” or if he or she takes a job in a “rural, remote or unique” setting.

“And so it goes, implying that those who negotiate public employee labor contracts on behalf of taxpayers are willing to give their workers all sorts of extra income for doing what most of us would consider to be ordinary working conditions.”

Walters’ conclusion: “It’s just nuts.”

We had city managers who overspent. We got rid of them. We had policies that overspent. We got rid of them. We have CalPERS — and we’re stuck with it as its labor-friendly board members snuffle up to the public trough as if completely unfazed by the devastation their costs have caused.

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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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