Seattle’s Minimum Wage: Bad Hygiene and Lower Wages

California’s minimum wage is set to gradually increase to $15 by 2022, following in the footsteps of minimum wage pioneer city Seattle.

Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of Seattle’s minimum wage experiment are starting to show, both in deteriorating restaurant quality and in decreasing wages for low-income workers.

According to the latest study, Seattle’s 2016 minimum wage hike approved by the Seattle City Council appears to have pushed restaurants to deal with rising labor costs by cutting corners in hygiene. Researchers at Ball State University in Indiana concluded that overall restaurant health code violations increased by 6.4% and less severe violations increased by 15.3% with each dollar increase of the minimum wage.

Bad hygiene is gross, but it isn’t the only serious consequence of Seattle’s minimum wage increases. Researchers from the University of Washington published in June their finding that Seattle’s increase from $11 to $13 coincided with a decrease in actual wages for low income workers – the exact opposite of the policy’s intended result.

According to the study, the 2016 increase to $13 led to a 9% decrease in hours worked at low-income jobs, while hourly wages rose by 3%. This means that on average people in low-wage jobs earned around $125 less per month than they earned before. Instead of helping people in low wage jobs, significantly raising the minimum wage in Seattle has actually hurt their earning ability!

Charlottesville: Political payday for the American Federation of Teachers

Assembly Bill 119 Mandates Union Access to New Employee Orientation and Other Information for Public Employers

Former LAUSD Superintendent draws $238k pension

Retired LA schools chief Ramon Cortines received pension benefits totaling a remarkable $238,383.67 last year, possibly through a controversial pension-spiking practice known as “air time” – the purchase of credit for time not worked.

LAUSD – Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez, pro-school-choice candidates defeat union-backed rivals

25 UC Retirees Receive Annual Pensions Exceeding $300,000

Twenty-five University of California retirees receive more than $300,000 annually in retirement,  the California Policy Center has learned. The information, contained in documents released to CPC through a public records request, comes amidst controversy over excessive compensation at the UC system and revelations of a secret slush fund at the system’s headquarters. CPC’s findings were broadcast by KPIX San Francisco and other CBS affiliates on May 5.

The highest paid pensioner is Professor Lewis L. Judd, a UC San Diego Psychiatry professor. He receives an annual pension of $385,765.

Lewis surpasses previous pension champion, Dr. Fawzy I. Fawzy, a UCLA Psychiatry Professor who retired in 2014 on a $354,469 annual pension. Assuming annual cost of living increases of 2%, Dr. Fawzy is now estimated to be receiving around $369,000 annually. But Fawzy also draws a UC salary, one of several hundred UC retirees brought back to teach after retiring. “Recalled” retirees, such as Fawzy, are eligible to draw both a salary and a pension. Fawzy’s total university income exceeded $650,000 in 2015.

Behind the shocking numbers is a six-month battle with university administrators who tried to block release of compensation. CPC Director of Policy Research Marc Joffe originally sent the UC president’s office a Public Records Act request for pension data in December 2016. After numerous delays and negotiations with CPC General Counsel Craig Alexander, the university released a limited amount of data to Joffe today. CPC made the request in connection with its 100k Pension Club project, a website database that contains a list of 50,000 retired California public sector employees who receive annual pensions greater than $100,000. That website is at

Ultimately, UC provided a list of 2015 and 2016 retirees, eight of whom are receiving $300,000 or more. The remaining 17 names were included in UC’s previous pension disclosures, last updated for 2014. UC did not provide precise cost of living adjustments for each retiree. CPC estimated their current pensions by adding 2% per year since their date of retirement.

The complete list appears below:


Retiree Name Appointment Type Last Employer Annual Pension Benefit Date of Retirement
JUDD, LEWIS L Teaching Faculty San Diego $ 385,765 Jul 1, 2016
MATTHEWS, DENNIS L Non-Teaching Faculty Davis 370,880 2012
FAWZY, FAWZY I Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 368,790 2014
DE PAOLO, DONALD J Non-Teaching Faculty Lawrence Berkeley 359,922 Jul 1, 2016
HOLST, JAMES E. Staff Los Angeles 358,428 2006
RUDNICK, JOSEPH A Non-Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 344,925 Jul 1, 2016
VAZIRI, NOSRATOLA D Teaching Faculty Irvine 340,410 2011
GREENSPAN, JOHN S Teaching Faculty San Francisco 339,243 2014
GRAY, JOE W Non-Teaching Faculty Lawrence Berkeley 335,482 2011
SCHELBERT, HEINRICH R Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 333,247 2013
BRESLAUER, GEORGE W Non-Teaching Faculty Berkeley 328,476 2014
MARSHALL, LAWRENCE F Teaching Faculty San Diego 324,067 2010
KRUPNICK, JAMES T Non-Teaching Faculty Lawrence Berkeley 323,957 2012
DISAIA, PHILIP J Teaching Faculty Irvine 323,839 2010
GRUNSTEIN, MICHAEL Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 322,150 Jul 1, 2016
SIEFKIN, ALLAN D Non-Teaching Faculty Davis 322,101 2014
KENNEY, ERNEST B Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 320,608 2012
DARLING, BRUCE B. Non-Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 320,403 2012
DONALD, PAUL J. Teaching Faculty Davis 317,156 2011
CHERRY, JAMES D Non-Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 315,449 2013
ROLL, RICHARD W Non-Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 315,418 2014
TILLISCH, JAN H Non-Teaching Faculty Los Angeles 311,732 Aug 1, 2016
CYGAN, RALPH W Teaching Faculty Irvine 306,734 Jul 1, 2015
BRAFF, DAVID L Teaching Faculty San Diego 306,407 Feb 1, 2015
EISENBERG, MELVIN A Teaching Faculty Berkeley 305,012 Jan 1, 2015

While Retired City Manager Golfs, New Americans in El Monte Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Over a fourth of El Monte’s residents live in poverty, but, among public-sector workers poverty is unlikely. Retired City Manager James Mundessen told the LA Times that he personally receives $216,000 a year in retirement – an amount that finances a lavish lifestyle that includes golfing trips in Scotland. Mundessen is one of eight city officials collecting over $200,000 per year.

Testing Pension Club with TablePress

NameTitlePension SystemLast EmployerTotal Amount ReceivedPension AmountBenefits AmountDisability AmountYears of ServiceYear of RetirementReporting Yearnotes
Charles MehringerLos Angeles County PensionCOASTAL CLUSTER-HARBOR/UCLA MC419665.92395466.624199.32041.6220152015
Michael D JohnsonCalPERSCOUNTY OF SOLANO388407.56388407.5642.920112015
William HabermehlCalSTRSORANGE COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION354643.38354643.3847.1520122015
Fawzy I FawzyTeaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles354469.44354469.4440.4420142014
Robert MorinLos Angeles County PensionCOASTAL CLUSTER-HARBOR/UCLA MC344079.72319880.424199.32052.6720152015
Leroy BacaLos Angeles County PensionSHERIFF342849.36328410.2414439.12048.0820142015
Dennis L MatthewsNon-Teaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis342635.88342635.8839.0820122014
Stephen R MaguinCalPERSLOS ANGELES COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT NO. 2340810.7340810.74120122015
Joaquin M FusterCalPERSUNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES33841233841245.220022015
Marvin MarcusTeaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles337346.16337346.1640.5720112014
Thomas TidemansonLos Angeles County PensionPUBLIC WORKS336988.56312789.2424199.32038.7519942015
Larry WaldieLos Angeles County PensionSHERIFF336838.08319170.1217667.96044.0820112015
Thomas OrloffDistrict AttorneyAlameda County Pension335865.84335865.842015
Carol MeyerLos Angeles County PensionHEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION329218.8300886.5628332.24041.3720112015
Ruth E StringerCounty CounselSan Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA)County of San Bernardino328945.95328945.9533.4420112015
Michael JudgeLos Angeles County PensionPUBLIC DEFENDER328867.2311199.2417667.9604120102015
John S GreenspanTeaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco326070.12326070.1238.1720142014
Harry StoneLos Angeles County PensionPUBLIC WORKS324113.04312666.2411446.8040.5820012015
Rinaldo CanalisLos Angeles County PensionCOASTAL CLUSTER-HARBOR/UCLA MC320766.6296567.2824199.32036.6720102015
Stephen CooleyLos Angeles County PensionDISTRICT ATTORNEY318530.88304091.7614439.12040.0420122015
Hye Kyung KimEXEMPT MED STF PHYSIContra Costa County PensionCONTRA COSTA COUNTY316886.42316886.42032.6920112015
George W BreslauerNon-Teaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley315720.48315720.4843.2320142014
David GoldsteinLos Angeles County PensionNORTHEAST CLUSTER (LAC+USC)314553.48292811.1621742.3203520122015
Albert NidenLos Angeles County PensionNORTHEAST CLUSTER (LAC+USC)314364.36302917.5611446.8039.9220132015
Heinrich R SchelbertTeaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles314026.56314026.5640.5420132014
Raymond Fortner JrLos Angeles County PensionCOUNTY COUNSEL313884.6289685.2824199.32039.3320092015
Richard BrayCalSTRSTUSTIN UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT312921.24312921.2443.8320112015
Michael PetersonCaptainAlameda County Pension311967.96311967.962015
William GarrettCalPERSCITY OF EL CAJON311364.84311364.8438.520042015
Edward Hernandez JrCalSTRSRANCHO SANTIAGO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT310269.3310269.340.3120102015
Allan D SiefkinNon-Teaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis309593.04309593.0436.1720142014
Ramesh VermaLos Angeles County PensionSFV CLUSTER-OLIVE VIEW/UCLA MC308935.08291267.1217667.96036.6220112015
Nosratola D VaziriTeaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvine308320.08308320.0836.7520112014
Virginia ShattuckCalSTRSNORWALK-LA MIRADA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT306346.86306346.8647.9420092015
Daniel IkemotoLos Angeles County PensionAUDITOR - CONTROLLER306270294823.211446.8038.5819932015
Albert YellinLos Angeles County PensionNORTHEAST CLUSTER (LAC+USC)305836.3228163724199.32039.6720022015
Vena RickettsLos Angeles County PensionSFV CLUSTER-OLIVE VIEW/UCLA MC304440.24298736.525703.72035.6720132015
Sharon HarperLos Angeles County PensionSHERIFF303913.44290600.6413312.8040.520102015
Joe W GrayNon-Teaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaLawrence Berkeley303855.96303855.9638.5620112014
Alfred ZuckerCalSTRSLOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT303624.99303624.9935.8220152015
Richard W RollNon-Teaching FacultyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles303170.28303170.2834.820142014
Richard A BeemerUndersheriffSan Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA)County of San Bernardino302917.17302917.1738.8220102015
Dewitt ClintonLos Angeles County PensionCOUNTY COUNSEL301882.8280815.8421066.96036.9219982015
James F StahlCalPERSLOS ANGELES COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT NO. 2301801.96301801.9637.720072015
Robert MannLos Angeles County PensionSHERIFF301174.3227697524199.32033.4219992015

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