October 19, 2010

underpaid: by 28%

a new study by Cal Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor and Employeement concludes that State workers are NOT overpaid in comparison to private sector employees.  Read the study here: http://economy.ocregister.com/files/2010/10/Public-v.-private-compensaiton.pdf

according to this study, State worker with Master's degree such as myself are paid on average 28% less (including all benefits) when compared to private employeement.  The study takes into account level of education and experience, important distinctions since the public sector are generally more educated and older.

i've been hearing a lot of anti public worker sentiments from friends about the "unsustainable" pension and "overpaid" public employees these days in this recession.  I believe the real issue for the public workers is not that their wages and benefits are too high.  Rather, everyone else's have fallen.  The public employees have not suffered as greatly in this Great Recession as most other Americans. (I could debate that further with my 2 years of 15% paycut due to furloughs)  And since our wages come from taxes, there is resentment by the private sector.

resentment of a workforce that lost less than others and is now somehow privileged is misguided.  Americans should be focused on the deregulated, globalized finance industry and its stooges in Washington that caused this recession in the first place.  But it is much easier to resent civil servants than to do something about Wallstreet and their reckless pay and fraud or why half of the fortune 500 companies pay little to no taxes, so they resent the water department clerk down the street who still has health insurance and retirement.

This misdirection is what our privileged class counts on to maintain its privilege.

October 7, 2010

yoga: the new sin

saw an article today that southern baptist leader Albert Mohler is calling for Christians to avoid yoga because it is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus.  Mohler argues that Christians who practice yoga "must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga."

that's right Christians, it is sinful to embrace yoga and "stretch" your body and mind.  "Stretching" your mind to have any peace, tranquility, enlightenment, and individual thoughts goes against the will of God (and your pastor).  It must be purchased through the properly appointed, lawful agents of God.  So hand over your wallets or burn in hell and purgatory for your sins.

this is yet another reason why I move further and further away from organized religion.  It never seizes to amaze me how religious leaders want to dictate morality to the populous.  Most of these religious leaders' stance on issues are all about power in order to have control over their constituents for their own selfish gains.

October 4, 2010

furlough: shafted

after today’s court ruling justifying GAS's illegal furloughs because the legislature tacitly approved them, labor contracts don’t mean a thing.  The MOUs are worthless. All the negotiation and bargaining are meaningless when they can turn around and take holidays aways, lower your pay, reduce your hours and  reform your pension.  And State Workers have to abide by the MOUs and cannot strike thus taking away any bargaining leverage...

this ruling by the high court is baffling to me... saying that GAS does not have the authority to impose furloughs but they were tacitly approved by the legislature, even though the legislature did not change the collective bargaining agreements and did not explicitly approve the furloughs, just because they approved the budget including the furlough savings?  Can anyone tell me a case where a court has held that an illegal act could be made legal retroactively by implication?  I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the ruling.  Afterall, GAS did just increase the judges' budget by 100 million and he appointed the Republican panel himself...