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City of Palo Alto Faces Strike – $139,907 Average Total Compensation Not Enough

Original post made by Tracy, another community, on Jan 15, 2014

City of Palo Alto Faces Strike – $139,907 Average Total Compensation Not Enough

From the article by Ed Ring On January 14, 2014 :

"Although the city is recovering, we are and will continue to have difficulty attracting and retaining experienced and skilled employees if we don't achieve a solution now."
Palo Alto City Employee and SEIU Local 521 Chapter Chair, Palo Alto Online, January 14, 2014

This refrain has been heard for over 20 years. It plays out in every city and county in California, whereby unionized workforces claim that if their employers don't pay as much as the neighboring city, all the good employees will leave, and nobody will want to work for them.

The problem with this, of course, is that as soon as one city raised their wages and benefits to make their jobs more attractive than the neighboring city, then the neighboring city had to endure the clamor from their unions to keep pace. The result? We have workers in Palo Alto, whose average pay and benefits were $139,907 during 2012, claiming they don't make enough money …"

It would be nice to see Palo Alto commission a salary survey comparing total compensation of city employees to like private jobs. If that were to happen maybe the employees would realize just how good they have it. Adding even 4 percent to compensation, which increases pension costs, seems generous when one considers CalPERS pension costs will soon increase by as much as fifty percent of payroll.

This link to the article: pension tsunami.com

Comments (3)

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Posted by Think about it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2014 at 8:56 am

In an article by the SJ Merc a few years ago, it was reported that the minimum wage required to by the average-price house in SJ was $150,000/ year.

How much money per year does the average family in PA make? It took all four of us to make $400,000/year, and three of us are professionals, two with graduate degrees. But that is what it took to buy a small house near the RR tracks in PA.

Get real! City workers just want to be able to buy a house within a one-hour commute,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tracy
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I see that I provided a bad/incorrect link to the story: "City of Palo Alto Faces Strike – $139,907 Average Total Compensation Not Enough"

The correct link: Web Link





 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bogus Numbers!
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm


The numbers Ed uses in his story are bogus. SEIU Local 521 is made up of non-management employees. The average total compensation he comes up with is skewed upwards because he includes non-unionized management in that number. I have contacted him directly to ask him to revise his numbers to be accurate...We will see what happens. As currently written his article does nothing except to spread misinformation, which I assume is his ultimate goal.


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