Things are just different in government


 Exhibit A: “Sacrifice” doesn’t mean “sacrifice.”  It means “postpone slightly.”

You may have missed a story in yesterday’s Boston Herald about the pay raises that Deval Patrick approved for 30,000 state employees. I almost did, but a friend sent the article to me and I am paying it forward.  Click on that link and read the whole thing, but the title really says enough: “State unions in line for hefty raises through 2013.”

In case you are wondering, the nine percent pay increases referred to in the story will cost us more than $150 million according to my own back of the envelope calculations that were based off of the state’s projected costs of the previous contracts for the same three unions. That’s in addition to the costs of the four percent that they already received over the last two years.

And to sweeten the pie, the new contract also agrees to “swap” two holidays – Bunker Hill and Evacuation Day – for two additional personal days. That detail was missing from the story but NAGE has it posted on its website. Never mind the fact that there really aren’t any holidays for the state to “swap” with the employees since both paid holidays were eliminated by the legislature last year. Note to state: you got nothing in return for that swap!

The state is defending the new contracts by claiming that previous concessions saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars:

“This administration has negotiated historic and unprecedented wage concessions with unions. We thank our union partners for working with us to renegotiate their contracts,” said Alex Zaroulis, spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

“In agreeing to do so, this administration has been able to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and has helped us manage through the global economic recession.”

That simply is not true. The state did not negotiate a reduction in employee salaries that cut payroll spending by hundreds of millions of dollars. All the Governor did was delay the timing of the increases that he approved.

Under the original 2009 contract… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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