CA Public Pension Debt

Here is an excellent article from the LA times (for once) regarding the Calpers debt:

How a pension deal went wrong and cost California taxpayers billions

The article failed to mention Former CEO, Fred Bueorostro, was sentenced to prison earlier this year on a pay to play scandal.

Luckily (for once), San Francisco runs its own system, SFERS instead of participating in CALPERS. Occasionally it sticks its head in the news over some divestment protest - this week it was divestment in ammunition - but it's been remarkably void of controversy and press. This is the perfect environment for more pay to play scandals and subject to a civil grand jury report on overly optimistic assumptions back in 2012.

An important reform I would suggest is to implement a COIN ordinance to avoid overly generous unfunded pension liabilities. These are wildly opposed by unions, so it would be difficult to sell here, but there might be enough private sector resentment it could go through on an initiative. COIN was recommended to Marin County and Orange County by their civil grand juries.

COIN is "Civic Openness In Negotiations," and it can apply to all government contracts, including with private companies that finance supervisors' campaigns. COIN basically introduces transparency in labor negotiations, so that the public can chime in if a proposal contains an unfunded liability, such as the one with SB400 described in the LA Times's article.

My favorite public union contract clause in San Francisco is any stagehand employee at the War Memorial has to be paid overtime for any schedule past 6 PM. It's an opera house! They show up at 6:00 pm! Do bartenders get paid like this?

Here are the details on COIN: