Pensions Become Less Certain For Government Workers

by Alan Greenblatt

December 11, 201310:04 AM
 Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill on Dec. 5 in Chicago. Looking on from left are: Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill on Dec. 5 in Chicago. Looking on from left are: Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago. M. Spencer Green/AP

Federal workers have reason to be nervous. The budget agreement announced Tuesday — if it passes — would raise revenue by making employees contribute more toward their pensions.

It’s part of a trend. Governments at all levels have been cutting back on pension benefits in recent years, in an attempt to fix funding problems caused by the recession and years of fiscal mismanagement.

In many cases, states and localities have made benefits less generous. But that has, for the most part, only affected newly-hired workers.

Last week, Illinois changed its pension law, taking away cost-of-living increases for current workers and retirees. The law passed in tandem with a ruling by a federal bankruptcy judge that Detroit could cut benefits promised to already-retired city employees. Continue reading “Pensions Become Less Certain For Government Workers”

Progressives Must Stand Up Against the Right Wing War on Public Employees

politics

Progressives Must Stand Up Against the Right Wing War on Public Employees

Robert Creamer

Political Organizer, Strategist, Author; Partner Democracy Partners

Posted: 12/09/2013 7:31 am

For many years the American Right — and many of the most powerful elements of corporate and Wall Street elite — have conducted a war on public employees.

Their campaign has taken many forms. They have tried to slash the number of public sector jobs, cut the pay and benefits of public sector workers, and do away with public employee rights to collective bargaining. They have discredited the value of the work performed by public employees — like teachers, police and firefighters — going so far as to argue that “real jobs” are created only by the private sector.

Last week a conservative court ruled that by going through bankruptcy the city of Detroit could rid itself of its obligation under the state constitution to make good on its pension commitments to its retirees. Continue reading “Progressives Must Stand Up Against the Right Wing War on Public Employees”

Survey: Views often rosier from the top in federal workforce

Survey: Views often rosier from the top in federal workforce

Federal employees protesting the government shutdown last month in Detroit. (Steve Perez/AP).

Federal employees protesting the government shutdown last month in Detroit. (Steve Perez/AP).

The federal government’s Employee Viewpoint Survey shows a significant disconnect between top- and lower-level workers when it comes to their outlooks on leadership and team dynamics.

The survey results, released last week, show that positive views often increase with rank. For example, only 28.2 percent of non-supervisor employees in the federal workforce said differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way, compared to 51.3 percent of managers and 62.2 percent of executives.

MORE: Federal workers’ job satisfaction drops

The views from the top were significantly rosier than those among lower-level employees across the board in two survey categories dealing with leadership and team dynamics. Below are a few more examples we pulled from the results:

Continue reading “Survey: Views often rosier from the top in federal workforce”

Fact checking the second presidential debate

Fact checking the second presidential debate

Posted by at 02:24 AM ET, 10/17/2012

(This is an expanded version of material that originally appeared in the Oct. 17 print edition of The Washington Post.)

We heard some oldies but goodies in Tuesday night’s feisty debate between President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney. Here are some factual highlights — or lowlights:

“When Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt, I said we’re going to bet on American workers.”

— Obama

“He said that I said we should take Detroit bankrupt. And that’s right. My plan was to have the company go through bankruptcy like 7-Eleven did and Macy’s and Continental Airlines and come out stronger. And I know he keeps saying, you want to take Detroit bankrupt. Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did.”

— Romney

“What Governor Romney said just isn’t true. He wanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open. And we would have lost a million jobs.”

— Obama

This interesting exchange is drawn from a headline — “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” — on an opinion article written by Romney for the New York Times. But he did not say that in the article. (He repeated the line, however, on television.) Continue reading “Fact checking the second presidential debate”