City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Steven Greenhut
Prisoner of the Union « Back to Story

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American Heretic July 05, 2011 at 4:37 PM
I have just one word for California, "Goodbye!"
Ok, now that you had your fun with CDCR lets hear about the CHP.
If Jerry Brown was as bold as he was during his campaign for Governor, he would be just as bold now: Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Honest, and cut ties with the Union, i.e., "CCPOA allowed retiring prison guards to collect a payout for up to 80 unused vacation days. In practice, that limit was often unenforced—but the new contract removes it altogether, letting guards bank an unlimited amount of vacation time. That will make it much easier to retire with six-figure payouts." Come on! Mr. Brown...you are not working in the best interest of the "people"...
Dear Sir, I must say that once again you just like everyone else has completely got it all wrong. Where do you all get your information from. Why is there nothing in any article about all the things that the "prison guards" gave up in this contract. Also I assure you that the "corrupt guards" are few and far between and most of the cell phones coming in are from what we call free staff or "civilian" staff or the inmates and their visitors. Also this whole vacation cap thing is so over stated. Sir these $800,000 payouts are not going to Correctional Officers they are going to Surgeons and Dentists. Why do you people keep categorizing officers with all the other state workers? I agree there should be a cap on vacation time mostly because as one who works in that environment nothing is more important than time away. However you obviously do not understand how hard it is to get time off in there especially if you are lower on the seniority totem pole. As with all departments there are bad apples. But I can promise you that most of us are professional law enforcement oriented individuals who take pride in our uniform. Oh yea, quick note, has anyone ever wondered why we spend so much time blaming the officers for the money woes and so little if any time blaming the victimizing, law breaking, gang banging, crooked, swindling, lying individuals who continue to make bad choices. Come with me to work and listen to these inmates talk to each other about how great prison is and how having no responsibility is much better than staying out on the streets and providing for their families and providing a father figure for all those children that they manage to produce each time they go out on parole for a few months.
Sir I mean no disrespect to you and I will never make excuses for all the faults within my department but I assure you that specifically based off the comments that you and others like you continue to make you keep proving to me and others like me who actually care and experience life within those walls that you are so lost and literally do not have a clue.
Sincerely,
Concerned
B. Samuel Davis May 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM
I looked at the claim that the facts were wrong in this article. The ONLY area where there can be a dispute is the characterization of the vacation cap, and whether there was an 80 day limit in the old contract. The Governor alleges it wasn't in the old contract, and the new contract simply recognizes it. If the cap wasn't mentioned in the old contract, then that doesn't automatically mean that there wasn't a cap, it would be up to an interpretation of the other terms of the contract. Spelling out there isn't any cap means just that - no cap.

What is inexplicable is the Governor's claim that there can't be a vacation cap because prisons are a 24/7 operation. So what? Use it or lose it is the rule in the private sector - and plenty of private sector businesses are 24/7 operations.

As noted in the "PROP ZERO" NBC Blog:

"But it isn’t the media alone calling the deal into question. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office has yet to determine the cost of lifting the cap. Still, policy analyst Nick Schroeder has found that the average corrections union member has accumulated nearly 19 weeks of leave time, with a current total value of $900 million."

No reasonable person would agree that the sweetheart deal that California prison guards get at the expense of taxpayers is something other states should imitate. in fact, California's (and New York's) method of dealing with its employees are a blueprint for what not to do. Except that, as argued in a comment to the City Journal article on residents fleeing New York, the state of affairs vis a vis the public sector unions, and other conditions in the state is, for the Democrat Party, not only desirable but intended, since it ensures a permanent Democrat majority - the misery of residents notwithstanding. In short, what possible reason could there be for Democrats in California to deal with the unions other than as they have done in the past - after all these dealings have resulted in millions of dollars - all of it originally taxpayer funds being poured into Democrat party coffers. This is not a situation to be avoided, it something that should be continued, according to Democrats. Certainly they will not be challenged on it - the media is also firmly behind the Democrat Party.

And if people leave California - for Democrats that's ok too - those leaving are more than likely those who vote against Democrat policies and politicians anyway. And there are immigrants, who typically vote Democrat, to pick up the lost population.

For Democrats, the situation in California and New York couldn't be better!
B. Samuel Davis May 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM
A classic instance of the absolute and utter folly of having public sector unions. My first question in all this is why are these unions allowed to make political donations, and why isn't prohibition on such donations ever discussed?

What is the end result of this process? Both California and New York will be indicators of what happens to a state when it goes permanent blue. Both states are racing to be the first to become just like a third world nation - a few rich, lots and lots of poor, and nothing in between. Both states have also lost any ability to control the public sector unions, which have become major players in the political process. In fact, in New York the public sector unions have their own party, which is a hint of what is coming for California. It's the Argentinization of America, and New York and California will get there first.

The odd thing about all this is that we all know it's coming, we know where these states are headed, but noting can be done about it. The blame for that, of course, is our press, which will not say anything since to do so would adversely impact the Democrat party which is firmly in control in both places.

What a sorry state of affairs!




What is the end result of this process
There is no more appropriate group that needs (and SHOULD) be outsourced than California's Prison Guards.

The savings ... starting IMMEDIATELY ... would be in the BILLIONS !
Your article is completely false. Get your facts correct before publishing, the sacramento bee published a bunch of lies and had to do some serious backpeddling about this same issue.