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Richard Rider

Nobody wants a San Diego city job? SERIOUSLY???

Michael Zucchet, president of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association, said . . . restoring those [past city worker] cuts will require hiring new workers, which he described as a struggle because many city positions have salaries below market rate based on pay freezes and some pay cuts in 2010.“Funding the positions is only half the battle,”

Zucchet said. “It’s just not clear the city is going to be able to hire those people at the current compensation.”


Interesting hypothesis: Nobody wants a San Diego city government job. Seriously??

Zucchet’s “below market rate” is comparing with other CITY jobs in the region — cities that haven’t yet adopted San Diego’s pay and pension reforms. But that’s not the real labor market, and well he knows it.

Let’s test this hypothesis: Give me an advertising budget of $100,000, and I pledge I’ll get the city all the qualified applicants it needs for these mundane jobs — with a money-back guarantee if I fail. I suspect I’ll need at most $20,000 to get the job done, and can pocket the other $80+K as obscene profit.

Obviously the city won’t accept my greedy offer — nor should they. They don’t want to be flooded with thousands of unneeded extra applications. They would be costly to process, and embarrassing to boot.

Local CA governments are very careful NOT to widely advertise job openings — especially advertising the pay, benefits and rock-solid job security. While not a secret, few in the public realize how much more local government pays than the private sector — especially for these routine jobs described in the article above.

These city job openings are for routine positions often requiring only minimal skills.  From the article:

Nine of those additional employees would work in code compliance, with four targeting landlords who don’t properly maintain apartment buildings in poor areas and three focused on shutting down the roughly 50 illegal marijuana dispensaries still operating in the city.
Other new employees would include 16 maintenance workers focused on city buildings, 20 recreation center staffers and 22 civilian employees in the Police Department.

Most such city positions pay 25-40% more than the average private sector wage for the same work, and the city benefits are usually at least twice as good — even with the dramatic San Diego city reforms.  Few job openings would be easier to fill.

If city MEA labor union president Zucchet were honest, he’d admit that this is all too true.  But he’s not paid a six-figure income to be honest — his position calls for quite a different skill set.