Cassidy Says Respect For Public Employees Is Not Based Upon Dollar $igns

April 3, 2012 | It’s no coincidence San Leandro city employees are beginning to voice opposition to Mayor Stephen Cassidy and his treatment of city worker by lobbing words like “respect” and “dignity” as he continues to drive some of the most hostile anti-labor venom of any public official in the East Bay.

Monday night, as the San Leandro City Council again discussed offering two-year service credit to long-time employee as an incentive to retire, Cassidy continued an astonishing hard line that begs to question exactly what he wants from employees short of indentured servitude and does he have any knowledge when it comes to how payroll and economics work?

Cassidy questioned city staff this week over the accounting semantics of four soon-to-be-eliminated positions stemming from the end of their redevelopment agency. Offering the service credit, theoretically, gives the city immediate savings in dealing with its budget crunch, but Cassidy instead appears to be taking aim at both sides of the issue–budget sustainability and what? Union-busting? Remember, it is not in Cassidy’s best interests to show anywhere near a rosy economic climate in the city if he is to succeed in initiating policies that would normally only be prescribed for a far worse situation in the city.

According to city staff, not offering incentives to older workers to retire could jeopardize their colleagues in terms of seniority. Those workers at the bottom of the pecking order draw less from the city’s bottom line. It would also, according to staff, trigger lay offs from a pool of part-time employees.

What happens “if we didn’t offer this and the position is eliminated and the person chooses not to retire,” asked Cassidy. The answer is those at the bottom of the food chain would begin receiving unemployment benefits of up to $24,000 per year, according to staff. Such ignorance of this fact is the most damning snapshot yet of Cassidy’s lack of empathy for the condition of a vast majority of San Leandrans and city workers who wrestle daily with finding sources to pay bills, eat or provide suitable health insurance for their families.

Cassidy obviously does not understand 99ers, the moniker given to those who have exhausted 99 weeks of additional federally-funded unemployment checks. Nor does he apparently consort with any of them on a regular basis since the Great Recession seized the national economy four years ago. Cassidy seems to only understand a cache of facts and figures, but fails when it comes to fathoming the painful human costs.

“Golden handshakes” used by past council’s to remedy growing costs to the general fund were based on the assumption of long-term savings with vacant positions, Cassidy said. But, he said in this case, the funding source is gone with the dissolution of the redevelopment agency. While true, it only answers to the problem of monetary costs and casts the human ones aside. It’s easier to cut into a porterhouse steak if you’re oblivious to the carnage at the slaughter house.

“I’m opposed to this because I think it is too expensive to the city over the long term,” said Cassidy. “I think the appropriate alternative is for a one-time only payment as an incentive for retirement.”

So, what exactly is Cassidy’s point? Is he looking at the issue as a cold and calculating number cruncher or does he plainly lack any sympathy for his constituents during one of the most debilitating economic eras in the past three generations?

The notion of pushing hard-working public employees to the unemployment line instead of honoring their past and future accomplishments without remorse is a conservative ideology not readily understood by those in the East Bay.

And then there was this: “I don’t view treating someone with respect as based solely on a dollar sign,” Cassidy said Monday night. Isn’t that what every jerk boss you ever had said to you right before they gave you the axe?

Categories: public employees, redevelopment, retirement, S.L. City Council, san leandro, unions

12 replies

  1. If they have so much seniority then let them take the one time payment and start collecting their pension.


  2. The one employee who spoke said she wasn't eligible without the extra 2 years retirement incentive. She would have bumped a lower paid worker. That lower paid worker would collect unemployment benefits for 99 weeks. Oh BTW, the City is self-insured and would have to pay the unemployment benefits.


  3. what cassidy never mentions is his employer-lieff, cabrezas et al; an ambulance chasing law firm. firm does extensive class action litigation-cassidy's job is to find claimants to add to their list of lawsuits nationwide. cassidy earns over six figures and it is assumed he has a great retiremnet program and yet he has attacked city employees from day one. city employees have earned the right to earn a decent living which includes retirement. the city is now in fine financial condition to treat employees fairly. salary and benefit costs have been reduced by over $12 million a year, a tremendous saving to the city. i hope the city employees hold out in negotiations this coming year. Tony Santos


  4. Thank you for showing what's really going on at city hall. San Leandro was once a great place to work but it is no longer. His constant attacks on public employees has only made it worse.


  5. Good for Cassidy! The pigs at the trough are being put on the treadmill. And Tony Santos…I'm not surprised by your comments. You never gave a damn about the people of San Leandro, only the leeches who worked for the City and sucked up off of tax dollars.


  6. The former Mayor (first elected incumbent to lose re-election) suggests that salaries and benefits of city workers should be judged against what the current Mayor gets. So if we had a Mayor with a minimum wage job and no benefits, would the former Mayor argue that city workers should get the same?

    The Mayor's salary and benefits are irrelevant, as are those of the Council members.


  7. Poster above hit the nail on the head and Once again, Tony looks like a bafoon.


  8. Are you people serious. Don't you remember the facts? The city employees never took a pay cut! They had a temporary furlough which has long expired. Their pay is back to where it was and their pensions increase every year—paid entirely by the taxpayers of San Leandro. The same taxpayers who may now find themselves without jobs and cushy pensions are paying 100%. How ironic.
    This will cause record deficits for us for years into the future. This needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped NOW!
    City employees—Pay your fair share. Fund your pensions. Don't stiff the poor taxpayer who is struggling now while a good percentage of you are making six figures there is suffering out here!


  9. A furlough isn't a paycut? Employees were paid for not going to work? A $25,000 pension is cushy?

    This commenter comes from the same mindset of someone who goes to last night's planning commission meeting in Hayward last and publicly advocates on behalf of Walmart. Whatever your opinion, these comments are complete lies.


  10. Oh yeah, Tavares, and you come from the mindset of the John Nunes who was against Wal-Mart;
    “let's check for green house gas emissions”. The only emissions he needs to check for is when he farts. Who is getting a $25,000 a year pension at City Hall??? Name the positions. How much of a pension is Tony Santos getting from City Hall?


  11. Nunes is talking about increased emissions in that area from more trucks delivering product to a grocery rather than an electronics store along with more cars to coming to the store on a regular basis.

    You should ask Tony Santos about his personal finances. Beware though, he goes to gym regularly, so he may want to throw down.


  12. Are you really threatening people on behalf of Tony Santos? Why are you such a nut handler for that idiot. He has no influence on anything political that is happening anywhere. Nobody cares about that fucking joke. drop the pom poms and let Tony defend himself, we don't need you speaking for him.


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