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Two Sides to the Pay-Spiking Issue

March 20, 1994

* Subject: Huntington Beach Pay-Spiking Program: What does the Internal Revenue Service think of this idea of a double set of figures to compensate for which end of the paying and receiving seesaw you see fit to be on? Isn't this like keeping a double set of books?

This is what our mayor and City Council want us to be taxed extra for?

PHYLLIS PEARSON

Huntington Beach

* Just to set the record straight, I have never cheated anyone. I pay my bills, and am always kind to small children and little old ladies.

I am really incensed by all the talk about "spiking." When I started working at City Hall in Huntington Beach, I was advised of my hourly wage, my insurance coverage and future retirement benefits. All of the conditions of employment were completely explained and acceptable.

A year prior to my employment, during contract negotiations, the city offered the employees some added retirement benefits in lieu of any immediate cash salary increases. This action would allow the city to retain more of its budget for current expenses.

This agreement was satisfactory to both parties and was instigated in 1978. It allowed for 7% to be paid by the city into the employees' retirement fund. This same agreement also allowed for employees to forgo their vacations for a year to convert vacation time to salary for their final year before retirement.

There have been some instances of possible abuse when car allowances and other perks were counted as salary. Most retiring city employees had never had any of these benefits in the first place. There has never been sick leave benefits for any of these retirement figures.

It would be nice to have the people who speak out so all-knowingly about these things do a more thorough investigation before they make hurtful accusations.

BETTY A. WALKER

Huntington Beach

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