Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jerry Brown's Sweetheart Deal For Corrections Union Members Could Lead to Massive Payouts, in $100s of Millions, When Prison Guards Retire

This is extraordinary.

No other interest group in California politics is getting this kind of deal. See LAT, "New contra for California prison guards lifts cap on saved vacation":

Deep in the 200-page contract that Gov. Jerry Brown recently approved for state prison guards is a provision that could generate a cash windfall to the officers when they retire.

The guards, who are among Brown's largest political benefactors, would be able to save an unlimited number of vacation days under their new deal. When they leave state service, those days could be exchanged for cash at their final pay rate, which would probably be higher than when they earned the time off.

The governor is extending this benefit only to members of the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn., a union that spent nearly $2 million to help him win election last year.

Removing the decades-old limit on accrued vacation — now 80 days for most state employees — would be a "huge liability" for taxpayers, said Nick Schroeder of the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. Schroeder said he had not determined the cost of lifting the cap, but his analysis of the deal showed the average corrections union member has accumulated nearly 19 weeks of leave time to date. All of that time off has "a current cash value of over $600 million," he said.

The deal also would give the members 18 more days off over the life of the two-year contract, according to Schroeder, bringing the typical prison guard's time off to more than eight weeks in the first year.

Also in the proposed contract is a change in a provision that encouraged corrections officers to remain physically fit. In the past, they could get up to $130 extra each month if they met certain fitness standards. In the new contract, they would be eligible for the money if they simply go to the doctor for an annual physical, Schroeder said.
Hmm ...

No exercise recommendations. Prison guards as fat cats, literally.

More at the link.

California's going down, and I thought Schwarzenegger was bad. This is ridiculous. People in the private sector just don't get sweetheart deals like this. Brown campaigned on reform and reinventing government, but this might as well be news from today's Party Congress in Cuba. Propping up the old guard and delaying any meaningful Perestroika.

Trumka-Obama-Moonbeam Democrats.

Lord have mercy.


dave in boca said...

The difference between Schwarzenegger and Brown is that Arnold sincerely tried to get reforms done for years before he realized that CA was a totally butt-f****d political environment with a Mexican standoff that will last until the BIG ONE levels LA or SF, sooner or later.

Then the state will turn into Italy or Greece, except CA went from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture.

Chris Wysocki said...

Linked at California: Disneyland for Unions.

It's like Governor Moonbeam is picking up where Jon Corzine left off here in NJ.