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While but this June San Diego voters might have the opportunity to reduce this burden.
Through public employee pension reform joining us now discuss but the pros and cons of this initiative are Tom Sullivan.
And Joan Raymond president of the San Diego chapter of the American federation of state county and municipal employees thanks to both of you for joining us and Joseph -- Still about the fact that voters are gonna weigh -- and make a decision on this issue.
Good morning let me first say that -- -- Does not broke the mayor just said that -- we have a budget surplus.
And also there is not -- pension crisis.
It only exists in the political rhetoric of the supporters of this measure that pension system is recovering just fine.
OK well that must be some sort of a sharp all of you wouldn't be having a referendum on and on how you're going to Paper this in the future you think -- solvent until the end of -- -- there's no issue here.
And we need to talk about.
There are some problems eventually the pension.
-- will be solvent because it's recovering thanks to the sacrifice of our workers.
Who have made cuts and cuts in cuts over the past six years we're the only ones.
That have stepped up to the plate to solve the pension crisis this.
Ballot initiative will -- do nothing to solve.
The issue of the six figure pensions.
They're being given out it will do do nothing to solve the 300000.
Dollar pensions are workers get.
An average of 20000 dollar pension.
Tom would you like to have -- I would like to an end Joan I I find what you're saying is is very -- but here's the reality is is that.
Public of officials have made promises that they have not been able to make to to me and this -- been going on.
For at least 20/20 five years and the big change in California was this -- knows in 1999.
Governor Gray Davis at that time in the legislature in California.
Things were great we have the dot com boom going in California and they would they dramatically increase for the state of California.
The contribution from a couple of hundred million dollars to a couple of billion dollars a year.
That had to go in and so they don't have the money they don't have the political will to change it back big date.
Rapidly increase the benefits in the late nineties and as a result now -- kind of faced with paying the piper they don't have the money to do it.
And there has to be somebody that will make the change and and unfortunately.
The politicians don't have the political will to do what they're shoving it off on the voters in San Diego and also -- -- Our workers are being blamed for crisis that they did not create.
You're right it goes back to the 1990s.
When the top city officials they made bad decisions and what they did is they took money that should -- gone into the pension system and they finally lit into popular political projects.
Like the building of echo park sure is it our our workers have never missed a pension payment in our lives so -- give to the pension system.
And where the only ones that have stepped up to the plate and what I am saying is this ballot initiative.
Is not going to.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Military -- pensions.
It I would you -- then what do you think is the solution over the long term because for example I empathize with everything that you're saying I mean high paid into Social Security.
Since I was less than -- year old at the same time it's been explained to me over and over again that it.
Most likely isn't gonna be there when it comes time for me to retire I'm paying and right now so that other people can collect right now but we've made promises that we can't keep in the long run.
You seem to be in the same situation.
What do you think the solution is because it's 88 even if people were disingenuous along the way and and you paid.
Nobody's thought to be there -- -- it's not I -- -- -- -- -- I understand but we don't have social security and we have already come up with a solution we came up with a solution in 2008.
We agreed with mayor Sanders we sat down on the bargaining table and we came to a hybrid pension system that save this city a ton of money.
And an exchange for that the mayor agreed not to go to a ballot measure and he has broken that promise.
So we have already come up with a solution.
-- for others to step up to the solution now I understand there's this pension and be going not.
But why do you wanna push people down -- the bottom if anything that 2008 recession has taught us is that for a -- -- do not provide.
And all we're saying is that why do you wanna push it hard workers and their families into -- gambling casino.
-- just want a moderate penchant for not for you workers but for all workers and we will continue to fight for that.
-- -- -- -- Well listen there is a huge problem there is a war going on between the taxpayer and the public employee.
Because of the fact that.
-- that are not able to afford the basic core services because of the rapidly increasing cost of pensions and until that changes the war will continuing get -- Joan I'm sorry but that's that's reality.
I'm sorry but there is a budget surplus and there's things that could be done.
The City Council today could put a cap on.
Well what they're gonna do -- are laid off public employees so they can reduce their future viability -- -- -- I don't back to the union's and say why did why I'm a union member you lost my job forming thank you very much.
-- -- -- -- -- -- Go ahead.
You know it union members are workers that's what we are we are workers at a bonded together.
To fight for a fair wage and benefit so that weekend give.
Essential services like picking up your garbage and going into the sewers.
Four year -- for a very very modest pension and I don't think that's unreasonable.
-- you want to respond to Tom's comment and.
At the fact that -- they have to keep paying those pensions are gonna end up having fewer employees because they can't afford it is not a tradeoff.
That your comfortable west.
Well -- -- they don't need to because -- need to do is cut from a top.
And that will solve the budget problem and issue pension obligation bonds.
Which we agreed to back and back -- they borrowed short for long term obligations and as a result.
There in financial trouble this is delusional you can't look edited on the other way.
OK guys we're gonna have to leave it there will pick up another Dan appreciate both of your points -- -- -- it's obviously a very tough problem that we're not gonna -- to neighborhoods very passionate on both sides because it has a top problem thanks John -- for coming out here today and Tom -- as.