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California lifeguards make $100K/year?

(Via RCP) Well, the full-time ones at Newport Beach do; more than half of the 14 in 2010 (13 now) made more than 100K in salary, and all but one of ‘em made made more than 100K in salary-plus-benefits.  Before you ask: those are the permanent people on salary; the city also hires over 200 part-timers, who don’t get that kind of compensation.  Why, because of our old friend in bold:

The Lifeguard Management Association represents the 13 full-time, salaried employees in collective bargaining with the city whereas the Association of Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguards represents the part-time, seasonal lifeguards.

As Orange Punch notes, the problem here is not precisely that full-time Californian municipal lifeguards are making 100K/year: it’s that full-time Californian municipal lifeguard salaries are comparable with those of other Californian municipal employees.  Which includes, apparently, their pension plans (90% of salary after 30 years on the job).  Remember when private sector workers had that kind of pension plan? – No, neither do I: I’m not sure that they ever did.

Interestingly, the city is actually trying to remove some of these employees now as part of a general downsizing, thanks to rising pension costs (thanks to shortfalls in the California Public Employment Retirement System) needless to say, the media is ignoring the “we can’t afford this” aspect in favor of the “YOUR CHILDREN WILL DIE BECAUSE THERE WERE NO LIFEGUARDS” one.  And if you’re wondering why the lifeguards didn’t decide to accept pay cuts rather than risk layoffs, well, it’s our friend Collective Bargaining again.  The Lifeguard Management Association can lose five members and still survive just fine as a collective bargaining unit; but if the individual members all take the hit, the LMA takes the hit.  It makes more sense to have the layoffs… if you’re one of the survivors, of course.

If not?  Well, it’s a tragedy of course… hey, I wonder what’s for lunch?

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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