International Workers Day: take a minute to tell your overlords how you feel about their salaries

1 May

If you work for a living, today is your day – Happy May Day.

Traditionally a celebration of Spring and fertility, this day has come to be known as International Workers Day.

Today is a good day to note, most of the wealth in this country is owned by people who never turn a finger.  I’m not a socialist, but I do feel, a small proportion of the people in this country have used criminal means to confiscate public money for their own gain.

Did you know, according to statistics released by the Social Security Administration, 52 percent of all Americans make less than $30,000/year? And, among those who have a job, 40 percent make less than $20,000/ year. 

Who makes over $100,000 in Chico? Public employees. Most of the management at the city of Chico and the county of Butte make well over $150,000/year, some over $200,000 – PLUS BENEFITS.

Who sets their salaries and benefits? Well, they do.  In Chico, city manager Mark Orme negotiates all the contracts, including his own. Council goes with Orme’s recommendation on everything, that way they don’t have to think or be responsible. There’s a city clause that says we can’t hold councilors liable for anything they do. Anything.

It was a previous city manager who set us up for this – Tom Lando engineered that long-ago “Memo of Understanding” that attached city salaries to revenue increases “but not decreases…”  It was a “conservative” led council that signed it. That memo resulted in 14, 19, 22 percent raises for staff over the next couple of years, taking Lando’s salary from about $65,000 a year to over $150,000. Orme is making over $200,000, just in salary.

Dear departed Fred Davis had his finger in it too – ever wonder how that old bird got one of the biggest pensions this city has ever paid out?

Name Employer Warrant Amount Annual
ALEXANDER, THOMAS E CHICO $8,947.23 $107,366.76
BAPTISTE, ANTOINE G CHICO $10,409.65 $124,915.80
BEARDSLEY, DENNIS D CHICO $8,510.23 $102,122.76
BROWN, JOHN S CHICO $17,210.38 $206,524.56
CARRILLO, JOHN A CHICO $10,398.98 $124,787.76
DAVIS, FRED CHICO $12,467.78 $149,613.36
DUNLAP, PATRICIA CHICO $10,632.10 $127,585.20
FELL, JOHN G CHICO $9,209.35 $110,512.20
FRANK, DAVID R CHICO $14,830.05 $177,960.60
GARRISON, FRANK W CHICO $8,933.56 $107,202.72
JACK, JAMES F CHICO $9,095.09 $109,141.08
KOCH, ROBERT E CHICO $9,983.23 $119,798.76
LANDO, THOMAS J CHICO $11,236.48 $134,837.76
MCENESPY, BARBARA L CHICO $12,573.40 $150,880.80
PIERCE, CYNTHIA CHICO $9,390.30 $112,683.60
ROSS, EARNEST C CHICO $9,496.60 $113,959.20
SCHOLAR, GARY P CHICO $8,755.69 $105,068.28
SELLERS, CLIFFORD R CHICO $9,511.11 $114,133.32
VONDERHAAR, JOHN F CHICO $8,488.07 $101,856.84
VORIS, TIMOTHY M CHICO $8,433.90 $101,206.80
WEBER, MICHAEL C CHICO $11,321.93 $135,863.16

When they dumped that MOU, they started paying the “employee’s share” of benefits – the cops have only recently agreed to pay anything, for years they paid nothing toward their own pensions. Only in the last two years have they agreed to pay at all, and now only 12 percent. Come on – 12 percent toward pensions of 90 percent of $100,000+ salaries, starting at age 50?

Management and other employees pay only 9 percent, even Constantin and Orme, who make over $200,000 in salary. We pay the other 91 percent. Wow, that’s like  taking your boss to lunch! Every day! At Johnny’s! 

So, if you bend and sweat for a living, take orders, do stuff that is beneath your dignity just to put a roof over your head, take a minute to turn toward Downtown and extend your middle finger. I’ll be doing that at NOON, let’s try to coordinate, maybe we can levitate City Hall. 

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