Commentary: How would you like a 23 percent raise?

This editorial appeared in the Sacramento Bee on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.

Here is the reality for West Sacramento firefighters. Their last contract gave them a 23 percent pay raise over three years. Pay for top-step firefighters went from $63,192 a year in 2006 to $71,136 now. By the end of 2009, it will be $77,736.

Very few workers in the private or public sector can boast pay raises of that magnitude. But apparently that's not generous enough for West Sacramento's firefighters.

Their union, Firefighters Local 522, has spent at least $20,000 so far in an independent expenditure campaign to defeat West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, who voted for their pay raises. That's the biggest single outside contribution that has been made in this race so far.

Despite Cabaldon's support for their raise, union reps say Cabaldon has not been "proactive" enough on behalf of public safety.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.