Taxpayers will foot bill for state worker ‘savings’

Aug. 16, 2012

Katy Grimes: With the recent payroll and vacation buyout scandal at the state Parks and Recreation Department, state worker compensation is under a microscope, and should be. Despite that microscope and public scrutiny, it appears that in the long run, state worker pay and benefit cuts and furloughs will end up costing taxpayers more.

How?

“The 2012 Budget includes $2.4 billion for state contributions to the California Public Employees Retirement System for General Fund programs–$350 million more than 2011.  The state’s contribution for all funds (General Fund plus Special Funds) cost taxpayers $4.3 billion.  The budget did not include any provisions to reduce current or future retirement costs,” according to the California Budget Fact Check.

State worker salaries

“State employees will continue to receive salary increases in 2012-13, at a cost of more than $110 million,” California Budget Fact Check reports. “Since 2008-09, state employees have received salary increases that have cost state taxpayers more than $1.7 billion.”

Hold on and read on…

The California Budget Fact Check found that:

* The 2012-13 budget assumes one-time General Fund savings of $420 million from employee compensation.  These savings are achieved by adopting a one day a month unpaid Personal Leave Program (PLP) for most state workers, which represents a 4.6% pay reduction.  According to the Legislative Analyst, the savings are one-time in nature and may cost the state more in the long run. 

* State employees will continue to receive salary increases in 2012-13, at a cost of more than $110 million. Since 2008-09, state employees have received salary increases that have cost state taxpayers more than $1.7 billion.  

* In the current budget, the state will pay $350 million more than last year in increased retirement costs.  No provisions to curtail growing retirement costs were adopted as part of the budget. 

Savings One-time in Nature

“21 bargaining units have agreed to a one day per month unpaid Personal Leave Program (PLP).  However, the budget still assumes that those remaining bargaining units that have not agreed will have a one day per month unpaid leave program imposed.  This is equivalent to a 4.6 percent pay reduction for 2012-13 only.  This pay reduction does not affect the employee’s retirement benefit.  Under the Governor’s furlough provisions, employees’ retirement benefits will be calculated at their full salaries, as if they did not take a furlough day.

According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, this provision saves the state money in 2012-13 but will cost the state more in the future. This personal leave can be banked and taken at any time.”

Read the full report: “Taxpayers foot bill for state worker “savings.” And be sure to read the many other excellent reports by the California Budget Fact Check.

19 comments

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  1. Julee A.
    Julee A. 16 August, 2012, 16:24

    So, let me get this straight: I’ve been without a job for over 1.5 years, my unemployment has run out, lost my home and I am suppose to support continual raises for state workers. Go to my local DMV (Pomona) and see how those state workers actually work…totally unprofessional, tenured so no urgency in doing their work and I heard one lady talking loudly with someone about a recent ticket he received which was quite personal. Have they ever heard the word “discretion?” Why don’t we hold off on the raises until people in CA can get back to work and our State get its books in order. Sickening.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 16 August, 2012, 17:00

    “State employees will continue to receive salary increases in 2012-13, at a cost of more than $110 million,” California Budget Fact Check reports. “Since 2008-09, state employees have received salary increases that have cost state taxpayers more than $1.7 billion.”

    The comp isn’t just going UP when it should be going DOWN, or at aminimum a freeze, but it is going up at exponential rates, rates well above inflation.

    Reply this comment
  3. Lowell Landowski
    Lowell Landowski 16 August, 2012, 17:30

    Beat up on the $25 per hour public civil servants, no raise since 2007, only cuts, and protect the crony government contracted (+ or – $300 per hour) consultants; that is the Country Club Republican way. The Tea Party is starting to become informed about the scam going on at the corrupt Parks Department, and State Administration, and so is the religious right and the true fiscal conservatives. What we are fighting is the far left who are allied with the checker pants republicans. Like the one two punch of the crooked Schwarzenegger/Brown Administration, who kept the same Finance and Parks Directors, to keep the scam going. Too bad you crooks are starting to be found out.

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 16 August, 2012, 19:05

    Beat up on the $25 per hour public civil servants,
    Average comp for San Jose public employees is $175K per year, that is $85 an hour, or 4 times (400%) your bogus $25/hour claim.

    no raise since 2007, only cuts,
    Gov pay has been going up @5% per year since 2000, if you’re public safety it is nearly 10% per year since 2000.

    and protect the crony government contracted (+ or – $300 per hour) consultants;
    Link please.

    that is the Country Club Republican way. The Tea Party is starting to become informed about the scam going on at the corrupt Parks Department, and State Administration, and so is the religious right and the true fiscal conservatives. What we are fighting is the far left who are allied with the checker pants republicans. Like the one two punch of the crooked Schwarzenegger/Brown Administration, who kept the same Finance and Parks Directors, to keep the scam going. Too bad you crooks are starting to be found out.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 16 August, 2012, 20:50

    PACK AND SHIP!

    2000 high income earners leaving California each week per THE REGISTER newspaper today!

    With this great weather and tasty burritos why leave?

    Reply this comment
  6. Bob
    Bob 17 August, 2012, 07:26

    Nothing is too good for our government masters and their minions.

    And I’m sure the Stealy one and UPull would have it no other way.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 August, 2012, 07:46

    Bob. Lighten up. It’s only a website. You posters are knarled up like they are taking your spam and grits away!

    Reply this comment
  8. State Worker
    State Worker 17 August, 2012, 11:37

    The information noted in the supposed California Fact Sheet is quite misleading. Most state workers have not received a pay raise for past 5-7 years so it would be nice to see exactly where those numbers in the fact sheet are coming from. people can slice it and dice it any way they want but most state retirement benefits are a form of deferred compensation. what will you say when they come after everyones 401k’s (that will be next). the governor and the legislators have misspent taxpayer dollars or allocated dollars when they should not have and now that the well is running dry they are simply looking for another source of funds. so they keep saying that it is the pensions. they know that if they say it enough everyone will start to go believe it. the fact that it is a lie does not stop them from saying it. very sad that legislators are not held to a higher standard.

    Reply this comment
  9. James Belushi
    James Belushi 17 August, 2012, 11:52

    First, State workers have not gotten a raise in the last 2 years. The current contract bargained for a 3% increase on 07/01/2013 for those at the top of their current payscale. Forget that the State employee has taken a 4.62% PAYCUT for 24 of the 26 month contract.

    Second, a State worker in San Jose makes the same as a State Worker in Sacramento, which a high majority are not at $175k/year. The head’s of most agencies don’t make $175k/year.

    Third, the current State employees aren’t allowed to bank this additional day off. They have to use it in the month they accrue it or lose it. Where the State will pay more, is down the road when those staff didn’t take a vacation day, but used this new day instead. Contrary to popular belief, 95+% of State Workers, outside of Safety Retirement folks, have no way of earning more than what their highest gross was.

    The author of the article should have done some more research before posting.

    Reply this comment
  10. Sam
    Sam 17 August, 2012, 11:57

    It is so wrong when the press does not clarify facts, 80% of state workers have had nothing but cuts in pay and have currently accepted another 5% cut in pay. I have been with the state for over 30 years and only make 30,000.00 a year, most people I work with make less than that.

    Reply this comment
  11. Dixon Cougar
    Dixon Cougar 17 August, 2012, 12:40

    Julie-since you don’t have a job..you’re not a tax payer this year so when you file your returns this year if you still need to, be thankful for your REFUND that was supported by those of us still working! But as an employed state worker I am a taxpayer. You might want to ask what kind of hit private companies have taken due to the roll back of wages to state workers. Is everyone so shallow to think that California is in poor fianancial shape we are because of state worker wages and retirement benefits …come on now! THINK. Instead of be a hater because state workers still get a pension when private companies have all but disbanded the concept…call on private companies to reinstate what they’ve removed.

    Reply this comment
  12. David Kuang
    David Kuang 17 August, 2012, 14:09

    I am a state employee. Who said “State employees will continue to receive salary increases in 2012-13,” & “Since 2008-09, state employees have received salary increases…” I have not received any salary increase since 2010 -2011; instead we are forced to take a day off in a month without pay. I strongly believe whoever made up that story owe us (the hard working state employees) an apology!!

    Reply this comment
  13. John Caldwell
    John Caldwell 17 August, 2012, 14:28

    Compare apples to apples. A san Jose city worker is NOT a state worker.
    Most cities and counties pay more than the State.

    Reply this comment
  14. Connie Chang
    Connie Chang 17 August, 2012, 15:44

    I strongly agreed with David Kuang. Your article is totally misleading. I am a State employee and I haven’t received salary increases for so many years. Now we are even forced to take a day off in a month without pay. Our salary is far below employees worked for Federal Governement and private industries comparing to the same range. If you mean the top personnel working for the State, please point to them specifically. Don’t include all state employees! We don’t deserve this!

    Reply this comment
  15. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 August, 2012, 16:38

    The pity party in full bloom…..maybe your performance or future viability are stunting your pay……state workers take lots of breaks and take personal days, sick days and have generous vacations…your really needed? Are we France?

    Reply this comment
  16. John Caldwell
    John Caldwell 17 August, 2012, 16:51

    I get 8 hours a month sick leave. I get 10 hours a month for vacation which equals three weeks. We get two 15 minutes breaks a day. Our pay is based on job classification. Once you top out, there are no more pay raises. A for personal days, we get two a year.

    Reply this comment
  17. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 August, 2012, 17:31

    I have not been on vacation in seven years while you bask in mucho outrageous total days off with no job worry free time better than in France.

    If your a slug at top of your pay rung…do something to get promoted instead of crying in your posh pension papers!

    Reply this comment
  18. Kim
    Kim 20 August, 2012, 09:42

    Ulysses Uhaul, since you seem to have all the answers about what state workers should be doing, maybe you should start following your own advice. You choose to have a job that doesn’t pay vacation days, but there are lots of jobs out there that do. Your comments seem to come from jealously not knowledge. The average state worker is never going to get ahead on the salary they are paid. The above reference for vacation and sick leave accrual has happened after years of service. It’s a reward for loyalty. I have found that those who complain the most about how “great” the State Worker has it, have never worked for the State!!! It is an unglorified and unappreciated job to be a civil servant!!

    Reply this comment
  19. marti reyes
    marti reyes 30 September, 2012, 01:05

    I don’t know what Planet this guy is from. Just anti state worker. During the Arnold S. Governor gutting out/ transparency/ Smoke Tent days, I was forced to take a 3 day a month furlough. All in all approx. 15 percent pay cut. Add another 5 percent gross reduction for retirement contributions. Total retire contribution as high as 428.00 a month. Total salary gross $48,000 Fed tax 414.00 State Tax 181.00 union dues 42.00 Does that sound about right Fellow State Workers? We worked hard just to qualify for the positions, I mean the majority of us. Best of the best right. Remember how you qualified for the position? They have no right to treat us the way they do. The politicians balance the state budget deficit on our backs. That guy must be real proud. Do you think Maria will take him back.

    Reply this comment

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