(PR) Amid Public Protest Union-backed Pension Hike Pronounced “Dead on Arrival”

Taxpayers achieve victory as egregious Pension increase taken off the table in the eleventh hour

Sacramento — On the eve of a crucial vote a Union-backed proposal to increase pensions at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was suddenly withdrawn among growing public outrage against elaborate pensions for public employees.

The proposal which would have allowed workers to receive 75% of their annual salaries upon retirement was scheduled to be voted on during a meeting of the district’s Board of Directors in Los Angeles today. However the proposal was pulled late last night after it was determined the package did not even have enough support for a vote.

“When the public employee unions are reaching into taxpayers’ pockets they prefer to do it without public scrutiny" said Jon Coupal President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. "But once the word got out about these new golden parachutes for MWD employees the public’s outrage helped water district directors to see the wisdom of reconsidering this sweetheart deal.”

Last week the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association launched a radio ad campaign that aired from Ventura to San Diego to San Bernardino. KFI’s top rated John and Ken Show tapped into public anger and stirred up listeners throughout the state. Other groups such as the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association also protested the issue. And thousands of taxpayers signed onto a letter from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that was scheduled to be delivered to the water district during today’s public hearing.

Under the pension plan nearly 2000 employees would have received the increase. One top executive at the water district was in line for an annual pension of almost $140000. All of this after the Metropolitan Water District actually increased water rates by more than 20% last year with an additional rate increase of 19% slated for 2011.

The pension issue would have affected approximately 19 million water customers in the Metropolitan Water District’s service area in Los Angeles Ventura Orange County Riverside San Bernardino and San Diego County along with 26 other agencies that receive their water from the MWD.