This Fight is About Unsustainable Benefits

1. Go to: http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area
2. Under "Entity", chose "Bay Area Rapid Transit"
3. Click "search"
4. Page 1 of 138 will appear.
5. In the "Page" box, type 69, and click enter. Now a page w/the median annual salary of BART employees will appear.

The median salary is 117,626. This includes $74,000 in base pay, approximately $9,000 in overtime pay, around $6,000 in lump sum payments for unused sick/vacation/comp time [Other], around $10,000 in pension payments, and roughly $5,000 in other pension costs [EE] that legally are supposed to be paid by the employee himself but are covered by BART.
BART employees pay nothing into their own pensions. They get full health benefits for themselves and all dependents for $92 a month. And worst of all, they are on defined-benefit pension plans (just like rich people are) that GUARANTEE 8% annually compounded returns.
These salaries are very generous, and the pension costs are completely unsustainable.

Comments

Always confused...

When I get to a computer I will look this up, but I swear CalPers and Calstrs both reported that they will have no problems meeting pension requirements. I could be wrong.. search news.Google.com for calpers ..

The pension that is completely unsustainable is actually Social Security.

That will give you the salary of the people half way down the list, not average, not median, you failed statistics, didn't you?

The rate of returns has nothing to do with how much is paid in retirement, It's a Defined Benefit, so the payments depend on years worked and age at retirement.

Where do you get the "just like rich people" crap? I had the same retirement at my last company, 2% at 55 Defined Benefit Pension, plus a 403(B) defined contribution plan, No one at that company could be considered "rich".

The rich comment confused me also.

I honestly don't know anyone that is in the top 25% of Americans that is in CalPers.

Actually most rich people I know have money sucked away in different forms of investments, or overseas to avoid US taxes, not a predefined retirement system.

Predefined retirement systems were created for the low and middle (working) class to give them some sort of pension. Although over the last 30 years the wealthy class has squeezed out the pension system so that they don't have to pay for it, so that the money goes into the investor (Wall Street) class .

Rich people really do have the low and middle class trying to race to the bottom.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

None of those people are Agents and haven't been for years.

Still thinking you are smarter than you really are. It's ok, sometimes it takes quite a few instances of blundering to have it dawn on you. Posting links is a good Idea for you, that way you can use other people's thoughts however....

The whole "Rolling on the floor laughing & Laughing my fucking ass off (laughing so hard I can't type)" Is pretty scary considering the source. I'm pretty sure you may have more underlying issues that I would recommend you see a counselor a few times. Don't wear a purple suit and facepaint if you go.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

It's just a copy/paste of a comment someone else left on an article on SFGate.
Not original work.

Really? is this really so hard for you to understand?

" Posting links is a good Idea for you, that way you can use other people's thoughts however...."

Are you catching the clue that you may not be as smart as you think yet?

Train Operator since 2003's picture

Really? This is the best you can come up with? I've been writing quite prolifically since my return and you are the only one that says I'm being incoherent. This puts the big bull's eye of the lacking any significant intelligence back on your forehead. As far as defending your intelligence, you don't have all that much to defend as I keep proving it to you at almost every post.

This has become a game of whack a turd. No matter what the subject, you pop up and spew a bunch of shit that you have no clue about and I gotta respond only for you to pop up elsewhere. I should have enough tickets to get free pizza for everybody on this site by now.

I was reviewing posts from when I was gone and I found a post from you years ago that stated you had been applying to BART for years previous. You are literally the modern day equivalent that ugly little hunchback in the movie 300. From just the little time I've been here it would seem you have worn everybody to the point of not bothering to even respond nor show up. I don't have a problem with people complaining, it's clueless shit talkers that catch my attention. In your case that would be getting my panties in a bunch.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Messg to Treo,JBap,Lucifer,JoJO and the wonder mutt, and the other Ancients on here;

This Bartarded is a fucking idiot, he has totally made this site a toxic dump and seems to have made it his personal dumping ground. I'm not aware of what happened since I left, but this guy and his stuck on stupid mentality are amazing!
To think I have arrived only to be greeted by yet another hater. I feel I get enough bullshit just doing my job so I'm gonna pull back on stopping by. No point in further posting as it's becoming a Special Olympics marathon with the hunchback.

T/O

BART's salary structure is screwed up. The people at the top don't care because they get the gravy train of staying on the payroll after they quit. The people at the bottom don't care because they make way more than the private sector and get all kinds of overtime.

The union has been smart, though, and tied the skilled workforce in the middle (electricians, network people, I.T. guys and gals, etc.) into the union so we get whatever raises the low skilled workers get. Those of us in the middle make less than the private sector and we don't get overtime even though we're supposed to (they just don't pay it and make us lie on our time sheets and put 40 hours no matter what we work). A woman I know in I.T. said they've lost four people in the last two months, two completely unplanned, to the private sector. One of them told her they were tired of making $90K while station agents get $120+.

I'm on the fence about whether to stay or go because the workload has become insane and it's all one-sided: do more for BART, while BART wants to do less for us. I'm tempted to just resign from the union, work my ass off during a strike (the one time those in mid-level jobs get overtime--we don't get it otherwise), then quit on the day it's settled with zero notice. That would give me a nice financial cushion for the 2-3 months it would take to find new work in my field (it would probably take less--headhunters still call me--but just to be on the safe side).

What's really sad is that new skilled workers aren't told during their interviews about the conditions in which they'll be working, i.e. that they have to pay 9% Medicare and pension tax (the new people are already paying the 6.5% but the job descriptions still imply that they save on taxes because they don't pay Social Security), that they will have to punch a time clock unless they get into AFSCME, etc. Of course, if BART started doing this, recruiting of skilled people would drop to zero.

Thanks. Just tired of the every four years the same thing like clockwork: they trot out the same station agents who make way too much overtime as examples of people being overpaid and completely ignore everyone else. Then they attack them mercilessly about their overtime, then turn around and wonder why they're attitudes get worse.

From what I've been reading, private sector raises are averaging about 3% a year. I'd be fine with that.

People forget that our health care payments are cheaper BUT we get no year-end bonus. Most professionals get anywhere from two to four weeks pay as a pretty standard bonus.

And I hear that overtime has all but dried up.

I have seen it several times where BART management under staffs certain departments to increase the amount of overtime. Maybe it is cheaper and maybe they do it on purpose to make the employees look bad.

Either way Bart has been hiring new employees like crazy over the last eight months. So starting in 2013 you will see station agents and train operators making closer to the 50-$60,000 a year