Florida’s pension system relatively low on workers – Business – MiamiHerald.com

If you spend any amount of time paying attention to the comment sections of any news article about Public Workers and their benefits you will hear over and over about the ‘outrageous benefits’ we receive as Government Employees. Well a Census Bureau report, by way of the Miami Herald, has this to say about Florida…

…gives Florida low marks for the actual benefits paid to state pensioners. Florida’s average payout is $19,940 a year, well below the national average of $24,140

via Florida’s pension system relatively low on workers – Business – MiamiHerald.com.

And while that data is specific to the State’s retirement system (FRS), it still manages to point out the fallacy about ‘outrageous pension amounts.’

Mayor: Pensions might bankrupt Titusville | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com

Another cry of Unfunded Pension Liability. This time from right up the road in Titusville. A really good read if you keep this particular point in mind:

“The city can get out of the problem by paying 100 percent of its annual required contribution for about 30 years…

via Mayor: Pensions might bankrupt Titusville | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com.

The City of Titusville, like most Cities that have Pension Plans, has not been contributing what their share into their own pension plans. They have been withholding monies from the system because the Market was doing so well they could get away with it. Which is fine, and legal too. But it has set up a situation where nothing is set aside for the ‘rainy day,’ and now it is raining.

And, being politicians, are trying to pass the blame to the workers.

Don’t let them treat us like an ATM Machine.

Florida’s state pension ekes out small annual gain

Florida’s Retirement System (FRS) is doing OK overall:

…Over the past 20 years, the pension fund has seen an average annual return of 8.1 percent, above the 7.75 percent annual benchmark.

via Florida’s state pension ekes out small annual gain | Reuters.

And the interesting item in the article is the traditional Defined Benefit funds have averaged 11% over three years while the Defined Contribution funds have only grown a mere one percent (1.07%).

If the FRS system is successful with only a 3% contribution from the employees, why is Hollywood doing so poorly with a 9% employee contribution?

You can make the difference – VOTE!

It’s that time again, the time when the endless stream of “Elect Me!” begins flooding the airwaves, phone lines, and your mailbox.

You don’t have to listen to very much to know that this year will be quite the showdown in the political arena, and the differences between the candidates is probably the largest it’s been in any of our lifetimes.

Of the many, many issues being debated is Workers Rights and the Unions. Emboldened by recent legislative issues and local ‘victories’ many Politicians are working hard to limit, or eliminate, Workers Rights including Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector. Take Michigan, for example:

The right of public service workers to retirement security and other benefits, and their very ability to negotiate for those things through collective bargaining, is under attack nationwide by corporate-driven politicians.

via AFSCME | Michigan Politicians Continue to Play Legal Games Over Workers’ Rights.

Yes, Michigan is far away from our sleepy little town on the southern tip of Florida, but we too have leaders in our State, and our very City, that would very much like the Unions to go away and they are all looking to Wisconsin and Michigan to see what they ‘get away with.’

That is why this year more so than any year before it is so important for you to make your voice heard and cast your ballot. VOTE! The power is still in your hands, use it.

Clock ticking for private garbage collector to clean up its act – The Globe and Mail

Yes, its from Toronto. But it is still an entertaining read on a City’s outsourcing problems.

If we can’t get customer service standards up to where we’d like them to be, it’s going to be more difficult to make the case for further privatization.

via Clock ticking for private garbage collector to clean up its act – The Globe and Mail.

The related stories are just as good and worth the click-through.

 

North Miami Beach votes down garbage privatization | News – Home

Congratulations to the workers in North Miami Beach for defeating being privatized!

“They’re doing a fantastic job. So why would we outsource when we don’t know the results,” said Mary Hilton, president of the North Miami Beach Civic Association.

via North Miami Beach votes down garbage privatization | News – Home.

 

The above quote from Mrs. Hilton is in reference to a growing awareness of Privatizing (Outsourcing) not being the panacea that will fix all the Budget woes in this down economy.

You can read more from the AFSCME National website on Privatization here: http://www.afscme.org/issues/privatization

 

Months of work by members of AFSCME Local 3293 resulted in the overwhelming defeat of a plan to privatize sanitation services in North Miami Beach, Fla. (Photo by Bianca Kendall)
Months of work by members of AFSCME Local 3293 resulted in the overwhelming defeat of a plan to privatize sanitation services in North Miami Beach, Fla. (Photo by Bianca Kendall)

Campaign Time Begins

And we can now consider the Election Campaign Season as fully open.

Hollywood Circle Magazine has a write up on the recent Candidates Forum for Districts 2 and 3, you can read it here: Shootout at the OK Corral Redux.

There is no one take-away moment from the article so read the whole thing and form your own opinions.

And don’t forget to tell your candidates what you expect them to do if elected.