Furlough deception

By From page A7 | March 22, 2013


A ratepayer in Pollock Pines today brought up the issue of El Dorado Irrigation District’s employee furloughs in 2010-2011 and the sacrifices that employees made to soften rate hikes.

But while EID heavily publicized five days of per employee furloughs in both 2010 and 2011, they failed to tell ratepayers that, in return for an effective 2 percent reduction in employee compensation from the furloughs, EID concurrently decreased the employee pension contribution from 8 percent to 4 percent for the two years of 2012-2013. So the net combined impact of the furlough and pension contribution changes was a 2 percent increase in employee pay.

As if not deceptive enough that employees netted a non-publicly revealed 2 percent net pay hike from these two concurrent changes, EID’s management and board recently reversed the decrease in employee pension contribution and has touted the reversal from 4 percent back to 8 percent as a new permanent 4 percent pay sacrifice by the employees. On top of this, of course, is that more than half of EID employees will receive a 7 percent pay hike in 2014 after a 6 percent pay hike in 2013; 5 percent of the wage hikes for both years were concealed from ratepayers.

It is increasingly infuriating that ratepayers cannot take EID claims at face value. The so-called “employee furlough sacrifices” de facto was but a cunning ruse … the equivalent of “three-card Monte” to deceptively attempt to placate rate-hike weary ratepayers.

Deception of ratepayers has become an all too common occurrence since the 80 percent rate hike brouhaha in early 2010. EID’s cumulative claims of more than $25 million of savings since 2009 simply do not align with 102 percent of board-approved rate hikes for 2010-2015.

It is high time the “D” in EID stopped standing for “Deception.”

Cameron Park

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