We Win One Battle, but the War Continues

7 April 2005

From:    CFT President Mary Bergan
To:        CFT Activists, Leaders and Staff
Re:        The Governor’s announcement withdrawing his pension initiative from circulation

We Win One Battle, but the War Continues

We are pleased that Governor Schwarzenegger has seen the writing on the wall and is backing off his poorly-considered pension initiative.  It is clear that this represents the recognition that his pension proposal was damaging his credibility along with his chances to pass his other ballot measures. So he cut his losses.  One for our side.

But the governor’s war on public sector workers and their unions is ongoing.  He hasn’t even admitted that the initiative would have eliminated death benefits to public safety workers, only that there’s a “misperception” that it would have. It wasn’t a misperception; it was part of the badly written, half-baked ballot initiative.

The governor is still planning to reintroduce his privatization scheme as legislation, only without the death benefits gaffe.  And if that doesn’t work-and it won’t-he made it clear that he will make this “fix” and bring it back to the ballot.  He is still determined to eliminate the security of our defined benefit pensions.

Of course we are still facing the other bad initiatives on tenure, merit pay, paycheck deception, and destructive state and local spending caps.  We can smile for a moment at this announcement, but we can’t relax our efforts to inform the public about the governor’s bad policy ideas.

Keep up the good work.  As you can see, it is making a difference.

Fred Glass, Communications Director
California Federation of Teachers, AFT/AFL-CIO
One Kaiser Plaza, Suite 1440
Oakland, CA 94612
ph. 510.832.8812  fax 510.832.5044