Thursday, April 07, 2005

Teachers and Nurses 1 Schwarzenegger 0

Schwarzenegger backs off pension plan

By John Hill -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:06 pm PDT Thursday, April 7, 2005
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday backed off his plan to overhaul the public pension system this year.

The Republican governor, whose plan to shift public pensions to a 401(k)-style plan for employees hired in 2007 and beyond, had been battered by critics, said he would try again next year barring a legislative agreement.

"Let's pull it back and do it better," the governor said in a surprise news conference at the Capitol.

The move represents a huge political defeat for Schwarzenegger that illustrates the perils of governing by initiative. Unions and Democrats said the governor's retreat would help open the way for discussions of problems they said were more pressing to most Californians.

The governor said he had listened to the concerns of survivors of public safety officers killed in the line of duty and others who claimed the initiative would end death and disability payments. While the governor said the initiative was never intended to end the special benefits, he acknowledged that the criticism had clouded the issue.

He denied that he was swayed by public pressure.

"The protestors or poll numbers have absolutely no impact on what I do," he said.

The pension overhaul was one of five proposals the governor has proposed for a special election ballot this year, along with plans to change the way political districts are drawn, give more budget-cutting power to governors, eliminate teacher tenure and institute merit pay for teachers.

Teachers and Nurses 1: Arnold 0. but, we are still in the first quarter of the game.

As you may have heard, Arnold has withdrawn the pension initiatives because they contained a error which would have made them defeatable. He promises to return in June 06.

There are still two anti teacher initiatives headed for the ballot.
The first issue,

Should teachers unions, or CSEA, be able to use members money to fight the Scwarzenegger project.
He can raise $50 million from his corporate buddies. Can teachers fight back?

Should teachers have tenure. Or, should they be subject to Principal's whims. Sort of like working for Civil Service or working as a political appointee.
This attack on teacher tenure is motivated by the Republican’s failure at school reform. See articles below.

Duane Campbell
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