« Bad parking in broad daylight | Main | Solar variability: A tale of two days in B'game »

July 30, 2022



Since we are on the Friends with Benefits thread here, let's recall FDR first:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt opposed unions for government workers because the employer and workers would essentially be on the same side of the bargaining table. Politicians would have an incentive to give workers what they want, and taxpayers would have no one representing their interests in negotiations.

That sentiment ties to local news this week as the rangers look for a sweeeeet package of benefits:

Labor negotiations concerning retirement plans for 28 Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District rangers have reached an impasse, according to the rangers’ newly formed bargaining group.

The group claims the rangers, who patrol the district’s 65,000 acres of preserves in the Santa Cruz Mountains region and San Mateo County coastside, are being denied appropriate retirement plans given the dangers faced on the job. The rangers are being unjustly required to work until 62 instead of 55 to reach full retirement benefits.
Yep, 55! That would be sweeeeet. But there's more about "safety" classifications:

And Midpeninsula ranger duties include those things — wildland firefighting, responding to medical emergencies and law enforcement actions including making arrests, according to the district’s description of the job.
So one might ask how many rangers are there, how many wildfires have they picked up an axe or hose to fight and how many arrests have they made? All of that is missing in the DJ article, but we do get this:

“The [district] will not bargain on it, they will not discuss it, they will not allow it to be in any proposals,” said Alexander Hapke, a lead ranger with the district and president of the labor representation group. He said because the rangers are first responders, striking is not an option.

“All we can do is tell the public that they are treating us in this manner, because there’s nothing that we can do to stop them,” he said.
Well, I consider myself alerted and I don't think the ranger job qualifies for a super-early retirement benefit. In fact, how about giving the taxpayers a break and taking it up to 65 when Medicare kicks in?



Even the French are raising their public servant retirement age. THE FRENCH!!! 55 is the new 45 so let's get those Rangers working. I mean really. Talk about a comfortable job. I wish I had known about it when I was in my twenties.


The latest long-view of returns (or is it long-faced returns) for Calpers courtesy of today's WSJ:

The nation’s largest pension fund got a scathing performance review Monday when its new investment chief highlighted the retirement system’s underperforming returns and estimated it missed out on $11 billion in gains during a “lost decade” for private equity.

The unusually candid presentation to board members of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as Calpers, showed returns lagging behind other large pensions in almost every asset class during the past 10 years, with private equity trailing the most, 1.3 percentage points.

In each year between 2009 and 2018, the presentation showed, Calpers put $5 billion or less in new money into private equity, an asset class that public pension funds have relied on heavily in recent years to amp up returns.


More turnover at the top of Calpers....from the WSJ this week:

Departure of Calpers’ Musicco Casts Pall on Its Private-Equity Push

Investment chief Nicole Musicco, who said she was leaving for family reasons, focused on private markets in her drive to boost returns at the biggest U.S. public pension

Departure of Calpers’ Musicco Casts Pall on Its Private-Equity Push
Investment chief Nicole Musicco, who said she was leaving for family reasons, focused on private markets in her drive to boost returns at the biggest U.S. public pension.

Nicole Musicco strongly advocated for investing in private markets during her short time as chief investment officer of the largest U.S. public pension.

Brought in from RedBird Capital Partners last year, she made investing in private equity a central plank of her strategy for the $463.58 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System after a decade of subpar returns brought about, she believed, by a lack of investment in private assets.

On Friday, Calpers said Musicco would step down as chief investment officer at the end of the month. Her exit jeopardizes the drive to expand Calpers’ private-markets bets, and by extension, the possibility of future returns for the underfunded system.

The system has had at least six CIOs over the past two decades and it took about 18 months to find and hire Musicco after her predecessor left. By contrast, the $316.7 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System has had just one CIO, Chris Ailman, since 2000.

“Calpers has tried different ways of building private-markets exposure. Because of staff turnover, it has never been able to stay the course,” said a senior executive with one of the largest U.S. pension consulting firms.
And the kicker which perhaps Newsom should focus on instead of the other stuff

As of June 2022, Calpers still had a funding shortfall; it had just 72% of the assets needed to cover current and future pension checks promised to about two million public-sector workers and their dependents.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.