Villaraigosa being compared to Scott Walker? Are you kidding?

walker4.jpgKPCC's Alice Walton came across this flyer from the Service Employees International that lays into the mayor for his proposal to change the pension benefits of city workers. The union says that Villaraigosa is doing to the public unions what Gov. Scott Walker is doing to workers in Wisconsin. With all due respect, the comparison is nonsensical. Walker went after the entire collective bargaining process - he clearly wants organized labor to have as little power as possible. Villaraigosa, who is still very much a union guy, wants to change the benefit package for future employees. In case the SEIU hasn't noticed, the city ain't hiring - and isn't likely to for quite a while. In fact, the mayor's proposal, which includes raising the retirement age to 67 and capping benefits, will do little to improve L.A. structural deficit because current city workers as well as retirees would see little change in their retirement and health care plans. That's why the recent election results in San Jose and San Diego were so noteworthy - voters in those cities passed measures that would make significant adjustments to current benefit plans. A big difference. (By the way, expect the public unions to challenge those results.) Villaraigosa says that if his lukewarm proposal does not make it out of the city council, he'll put it on the ballot.

Earlier: Will San Jose and San Diego votes spur changes in pension system?

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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