Local 21 fights imposed contract threat

IFPTE Local 21 members in Contra Costa County delivered tough words this morning to the board of supervisors, which could impose a contract with hefty pay and benefit cuts.

Read the story here.

If you are curious — and I was — you can type the names of those testifying into the Bay Area News Group’s public employee salary database and see what they earn. (For example, public health nurse manager Sue Guest earned in 2010 pay and benefits worth $188,669; network administrator Scott Hutchinson, $144,266; and public health biostatician Juan Reardon, $147,774.)

Check out the video of the testimony.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • John W

    Only in government do managers have unions! The union did make one important point, though. If you underpay people, you risk not being able to recruit and retain well-qualified people. And you can just see the mass exodus of current county employees and the shortage of qualified applicants to replace them due to the poor pay and benefits. Sarcasm intended.

    They (union members) are “not impressed” by David Twa taking a $69,000 pay cut? Are you kidding me? The man left a secure position in low-cost Ramsey County Minnesota and moved to high-cost, politically dysfunctional Contra Costa County California to take this job. Had he known that, two years into the job, he would be taking a $69k pay cut, I seriously doubt he would have left the old gig.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Lisa, you need to get a feed into the podium mike. Your desktop mike gets the audience sound but not the public speaker.

  • Tom Benigno

    Sometimes it’s best to be a good listener.

  • Rick K.

    “The contract also would end the practice of managers selling back unused vacations for cash and to boost their pensions,” says Lisa V.’s story in the Times. Why isn’t this practice banned altogether by legislation at the state level? Isn’t that “pension spiking”? I’m amused that self-anointed “reformers” like Sen. Mark DeSaulnier claim that they’re solving problems like this in Sacramento, yet really are nothing more than handmaidens to greedy public employee unions and other special interests. I hope that the sensible Dan Borenstein weighs in on this contract in his Sunday Times column.

  • Wendy Lack

    The Tuesday, August 9, 2011 BOS meeting promises to be quite a show, with crocodile tears shed aplenty. The Kleenex concession will be busy.

    It’s about time the Board stepped up to the plate to rectify its past mistakes in granting unaffordable compensation perks to county employees. With the County swimming in red ink, change is necessary and, indeed, inevitable.

    It can be reasonably anticipated that self-interested union members will dominate the public comment period for Tuesday’s agenda item to unilaterally adopt the county’s last, best, final offer to Local 21: (

    Surely the Board knows that, while county employees and labor groups will dominate the public comment (in both numbers and in emotion-quotient), it’s the county residents who are busy at work – thus not in attendance at a daytime weekday government meeting – whom the Board represents first and foremost.

    Thank you, BOS, for taking a first step towards the inevitable and essential process of disassembling unsustainable public employee compensation plans. Maintaining critical services to residents should trump your desire for labor support at election time – one hopes your actions at Tuesday’s meeting are a sign that you’re finally changing your longstanding labor-uber-alles paradigm.

  • John W

    Wendy Lack, your reference to the “kleenex concession” makes me think what a great idea it would be to have some people there to hand out little kleenex packages to those who show up to defend the status quo.