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July 29, 2004

Those Coveted Slots

In March, Rhode Islander Donald Hawthorne did some comparative math between increases in state aid to our educational establishment and a moderate family budget. Let's just say that I wouldn't be inclined to complain, much less proclaim a crisis, if my employer told me that budgetary considerations required that my promised $15,000 annual raise would have to be reduced to $14,250.

Last week, Mr. Hawthorne listed some of the benefits of being a public employee in Rhode Island, for reader comparison to their own deals:

The unions say they represent working people. Test that claim with this nonfiction test. If you are a working person or retired working person, has your work environment included:

Annual salary increases up to 12 percent?

Automatic increases simply for showing up, not based on merit?

Additional longevity bonuses, just for showing up?

No-layoff provisions?

Seniority valued more than expertise or organizational need?

Zero co-payments on insurance premiums?

Eleven weeks of paid time off per year?

A pension equal to 60 to 80 percent of your salary for the rest of your life, starting immediately after retirement and with as little as 28 years of service, regardless of your age?

Today, state- and local-government employees and teachers receive some combination of the above terms, paid for by working people, single parents, and retirees, many of whom earn nothing close to those terms.

Posted by Justin Katz at July 29, 2004 11:27 AM
Rhode Island