Many years ago, those who wanted to get a public sector job in Santa Clara county had many choices including the County of Santa, the city of San Jose, and the many other smaller cities in the county. Those who chose San Jose are regretting that choice. Unfortunately, staying that the city not be a good choice, especially for those who are younger.
One of the problems with working at the city is that employees do not get credit for Social Security. The situation is even worse for those who have credits with Social Security prior to their employment with the City of San Jose. The government will decrease the Social Security based upon the amount of the outside pension that was not subject to FICA taxes. In many cases, this means the retiree of the city of SJ will get little to no money.
Of course, many voters in the city would prefer to get the Federated pension rather than Social Security. What many of these folks forget is that there is usually a pay cut when choosing a government job instead of a private sector job. Bonuses and stock don’t exist in government jobs. The salary is often a lot lower than what is available in the private sector. Of course, the threat of getting laid off was presumably higher in the private sector. However, the workforce has shrunk considerably in the city of San Jose as well.
So why stay in the city.
Leaving Las Vegas… I mean Leaving San Jose
Not many employees have good reason to stay. Those in safety jobs may be thinking that seniority is the golden handcuff. That may be true for older police officers, but that is not true for the younger folks with less than 10 years. And those who are in non-safety positions don’t really have any benefits from having more years of credit other than having a bigger piece of a heavily underfunded pension.
In short, the right thing to do is to leave. Many other local employers such as the County of Santa Clara has already seen a huge influx of job applications from City of San Jose employees looking to jump off the Titanic as of June 2012. If you thought you we’re preparing to get off the Titanic, many others have already made their way to the lifeboats. It’s getting pretty late in the game. The only people who can’t leave are those the taxpayer wouldn’t want to meet when trying to pay for a parking ticket.
Pension Reform: Measure B
It doesn’t really matter what happens with Measure B. It will be stuck in court for years. The city will not be able to realize the financial benefits until it is on the court steps of a Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy. Building a taxpayer funded ballpark will not result in the jobs that Silicon Valley needs. The construction jobs are temporary. And nobody can make a living selling hotdogs at the A’s ball park. The city simply spends too much money on things that enrich real estate developers rather than the economy. And now, Mayor Reed and his cronies have decided to throw the employees under the bus. But that won’t work because measure B will be stuck in court and likely ruled illegal. This means eventual bankruptcy for San Jose no matter what happens. Get real if you think that the city will ever be able to realize one cent of financial savings from pension reform before it goes bankrupt. It’s already getting close to that when the city has to beg for more RDA wind-down money. It’s time to leave San Jose and move on to greener pastures including private sector employment.