Take a cup of OT and add a cup and a half of CTO, pour in some STO, and you get an IOU

10 Jul

Wow, CalPERS is going to start lending money? Interesting article from Cal Matters. 

Riskier bet: Why CalPERS, the country’s largest pension fund, is getting into banking

As far as I’m concerned, this is another reason we need to get out of CalPERS. But our council (aka Ship of Fools) is so union-friendly they would never even consider such a move. I asked them to consider some changes to the public safety contracts that came up for review at this past Tuesday’s meeting, but they just approved the MOU’s (Memo of Understanding) without a second thought. 

Our council is too union-friendly. Morgan, Brown and Schwab are union members, and Stone is married to a union member. All of them depend on the union contributions at election time. So, they approve poor contracts again and again, sending us deeper into the pension pit. 

This morning I read that Sean Morgan is going to run for re-election in District 1, and that a challenger has stepped forward, Curtis Pahlka. My immediate problem with Pahlka is that he works for Chico State – another union member.  He also champions “public safety” – I hear another rubber stamp. 

We need somebody who is willing to stand up and ask for changes to details that end up costing the taxpayers a lot of money. For example, Compensated Time Off (CTO).  It’s complicated, and there will be a quiz.

Public safety employees are guaranteed a certain amount of overtime. They call it “mandatory” overtime, but that doesn’t mean the employee is forced to work that OT, it means the city is forced to pay them for it. And, here’s the thing – the department (union) demands a lot more overtime than they need, and the employee ends up with un-worked OT hours (hang on the twists get wild). The employee can choose to exchange those un-worked OT hours for “Compensated Time Off” ( CTO ). Meaning, time off with pay. Un-huh – paid for overtime they didn’t need to work in the first place. 

From the recently approved MOU – “CTO shall be accrued at the rate of one and one-half (1½) hours for each hour of overtime.”  That means, they get the same amount of pay for not working an hour and a half as they would have got for working the hour of OT. 

Hang in there Kitty, this is like one of those tube slides at Water Works Park.

The employee can take that time off, at the discretion of their commander, OR, (pay attention and hold your nose) ” Employees
may request payment for part or all of unused CTO. ”  Now remember, they already got an hour and a half of CTO for each hour of un-worked OT, so they are essentially being paid for that un-worked OT.

And it just gets crazier.

“Employees who work overtime may accrue Selective Time Off (STO) in lieu of overtime payment or CTO, and may utilize
such STO in accordance with the following conditions and provisions.”

These contracts have more turns than the average colon.

“STO shall be accrued at the rate of two (2) hours for each hour of overtime worked.” So, they can take time off in lieu of payment for their OT worked, but they get two hours for each hour worked. So, in this way, they get more money for the time off than they would have got for the overtime. 

 “Payment for Unused STO. There shall be no payment made for unused STO. Upon
termination from City service, for whatever reason, or as used for an approved leave of absence, STO
hours shall be converted to CTO in accordance with the formula set forth in this section, and Employee
shall be compensated pursuant to Subarticle 5.3, entitled “’CTO In Lieu of Payment.’”

Did you see how they did that? They should drive for NASCAR!  They won’t pay for STO, but they’ll slip it under a walnut shell like a dried pea and swish it around –  in front of your very eyes it becomes CTO, and that’s as good as cash. 

Here’s the point – they tack this payment onto their annual salary – this is how they spike their pensions well beyond their agreed-upon salaries. 

I always have to wonder what is  going through council members’ heads when they approve these contracts without discussion. Are they just stupid, do they even read this stuff? Are they so afraid of the police and  fire department unions that they won’t stick up a finger of question? Do they really believe we can sustain these ridiculous pensions, or maybe they are just in denial that they have any control over it? 

I think WE need to elect better people. That means being better voters and doing our homework, making our demands up front. Let Curtis and Sean know we’re done with council members that just rubber stamp bad contracts. 


  1. What’s more expensive, an hour of OT or an hour and a half of CTO? 
  2. If you take one hour of OT and convert it to STO which is then converted to CTO, how many hours do you end up with?
  3. If a CTO marries an STO, what would their babies look like? 

Had to throw that last one in to make sure you’re awake! 


8 Responses to “Take a cup of OT and add a cup and a half of CTO, pour in some STO, and you get an IOU”

  1. bob July 10, 2020 at 3:05 pm #

    So we pay them 50% more for doing nothing than we pay them for actually working? And that counts towards determining what their pensions are? And of course, the puppets and idiots on the council approve this nonsense in the contracts.

    This is nothing but robbing the taxpayers.

    Old Willie Nelson’s song was right…”Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Anything But Government Employees.”

    But seriously, in the last few elections I know of only one candidate who broached the pension subject. And we all know how he fared in the election. And no candidate since has mentioned pensions or public employee compensation.

    When it comes to voting for candidates who will end this corruption the fact is we have no choice.

    The so-called conservatives candidates are in bed with the pubic employee unions just as much as the liberal candidates.


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