May 23, 2008

Editorial:

All Prop A does, is create a caste system

Exemption Of Core Public Safety Services From Managed Competition
City of San Diego
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required
Shall the voters approve an amendment to the Charter to exempt from the Managed Competition process the core public safety services provided by police officers, firefighters, and lifeguards who participate in the City’s Safety Retirement System?

In 2006 with the City of San Diego on verge of bankruptcy, the obvious scapegoats were the Unions and the seemingly bloated pension benefits being paid out. The answer then was an effort to privatize public services. The thinking being that the city would rid themselves of pension benefits and the Union headache. In 2006 the voters passed an amendment to the City Charter to allow the City to employ any independent contractor. The city was facing drastic times and voters took drastic action.

In 2008 the city is not facing the same drastic times and the largest city unions, the police and firefighters have had an opportunity to way in on this amendment which has brought about Prop. A.

In 2006 we thought it was a bad idea to out source city jobs and today we still think it is a bad idea. Prop. A takes it a step further and compounds the problem.

The problem with out sourcing city jobs is that the burden of balancing the budget is borne by those who can least afford it, those who need city employment to enjoy a semblance of security, a living wage, benefits, and knowledge that they are saving for retirement.

Prop. A creates a caste system. At the top this system would be the public safety services and the lower caste would be all other city works. It is in these non-public safety services that you find a great number of Hispanic employees, from construction, cleaning, printing, to gardening to name just a few. These are the employees who will have re-apply for minimum wage jobs with no benefits. All this in the name of balancing a budget that was destroyed not by the actions of these employees but through misuse by the political leadership.

Outsourcing city jobs is wrong and compounding the problem just makes the whole process a sham and a city embarrassment, if Prop A is passed. In the long run it would just create more poverty and create more problems than it will solve.

Vote No on Proposition A and tell the city leadership to rescind the whole idea of city jobs being outsourced.

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