Menlo Park's Future


Something’s Got to Give

Fellow Residents

We have been talking a lot about the large employee compensation increase City Council granted the police sergeants in January. However, I thought you might like to review the agreement adopted by City Council with the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) in Feb.2007.   This contract increased benefits by 35%.  As a result:

·         A parks maintenance worker, who is 54 years old and has worked for the city 20 years, receives a salary of $76,000.

·         If he chooses, he can retire in one year and, assuming his salary doesn’t go up (which it probably will after his twice-yearly reviews) he will be assured a salary for life of $41,040 with a built-in 2% cost of living increase.

·         If this same man works for the city 30 years, his annual life-time salary would be $61,560 with the same 2% COLA built in.

·         In both scenarios the city employee will receive a very generous retiree medical package, which can increase with any increase in employee medical coverage for current employees.

·         While still working, this employee will get time off equivalent of 10 3/5 weeks per year.  (This holds true for all employees with similar years of service.)

·         This includes vacations, holidays, personal leave days, floating holidays and sick days. Much unused time off can be converted into cash or future retirement health-care enhancements.

·         Incidentally, an employee who works for the city 4 years will get the equivalent of 8+ weeks off.

·         All city employees will receive yearly medical benefits ranging from $5800 for a single person to $15,000 for a family. They also receive free and complete dental and vision care. If medical costs in our area go up, these benefits will as well. Any unused amounts can be cashed out at 80%. (Employees with over 10 years of service can convert unused sick leave to health-care credits in retirement.)

·         Child-care costs, tuition, and other costs are also provided for in the contract.

I encourage you to go to the link below and especially review the attachment.

I am not criticizing city workers, not at all. I am criticizing a system that constantly escalates city expenditures and crowds out other essential services such as the maintenance of our streets and storm drains. Employee costs now account for 75% of our expenditures—and are on an upward trajectory.

Thanks, and I welcome your thoughts and comments about how to reverse the upward trend.

Lee  Duboc , at and also click on attachment to see the actually contract with the SEIU.