Palo Alto city employees get secret raises

According to the City of Palo Alto, city employees are so valuable that they can only be retained and encouraged to work if they are given bonuses and raises for showing up and doing the work that they were supposed to do. And no one can know who got a raise and who didn’t because the city says, ‘that’s private,’  even though these are public employees who are essentially hired for life like tenured professors and who only leave when they’re carried out feet first or when it’s time to cash in their platinum pensions.

Valuable and irreplaceable?

It’s claimed by city employees, that they are so valuable and irreplaceable that they must be paid more and more every year as well as fatter and richer benefits, otherwise they may leave to work elsewhere.   WHERE ?    Detroit.  Bakersfield.  Modesto.

It is argued by Jim Keene, City Manager, that we can only retain these highly prized city workers  if we pay them as much or more than neighboring cities.  Menlo Park grants a raise.  So Palo Alto must raise.

Why, for once, can’t we LEAD and show the world what city employees are really worth.   Let’s cut their pay, benefits and retirement now.   Who cares what Menlo Park or Mountain View are paying.   Let’s get off the greedy pay treadmill designed by the same people who are rewarded by it.   If Palo Alto cuts.  Then maybe Mountain cuts, then Menlo Park.

Public serpents

Who knows where a good idea might go.  Maybe even San Francisco could save a few bucks.   Let’s  see what happens when we cut city pay and benefits.  No one in the private sector would pay these people half what they get now.  Besides, City drones are not going anywhere.  And if they do, they will be replaced for less, because there are plenty of skilled workers, finance and administrative people who are out of work and would be glad to take a Palo Alto job for  1/2 what the public serpents get.

The whining at city hall is so loud that 211 city managers and “professionals” got across the board  4.5 % raises applied retroactively to July which meant a big bonus check just before  Christmas.  And those who ‘met expectations’ were eligible for an additional 1.5 %  pay raise in January.   Those who worked above expectations could get 2.5 % and those rated exceptional will get 3 %.  All told, 59 % of managers and professionals got raises in 2014 and are eligible again for raises in 2015.  Service Employee Union members also got raises, some as large as 14.3 %.

According to City Manager Jim Keene, if you ‘met expectations or better,’  in other words, if you showed up, you’re worth more.  Nonsense.