Job in state gold mine is STILL not enough.....
Here they go again...the state employees already lobbying for an even BIGGER RAISE this year.....We need to be CUTTING spending, not raising it.
Pay hike least of our worries
How would you like a job that offered you 12 paid holidays each year, a real retirement plan (not a shaky 401(k)), the ability to carry over a full month of vacation after five years of service, health and life insurance, generous vacation and sick leave, educational benefits, and the ability to work from home via telecommuting?
Does anybody hear the late Fred Astaire crooning, "Heaven, I'm in heaven ..."?
And no, we're not talking about a career in the military; those perks are part of the package Virginia state employees get.
Now, given all that, would you be so bold as to expect a 6 percent pay increase, too? That, however, is what the Virginia Governmental Employees Association is lobbying for state workers to get, even though they are already slated to receive a 3 percent pay increase next year.
Out here in the real world, us working stiffs are ecstatic if we get a 3 percent hike. Five holidays a year, max. Retirement? Maybe, if you save enough. Health and life insurance? Maybe, if your employer can afford it. Telecommuting? Doubtful. Educational benefits? Probably not. Carrying over vacation? Uh-uh.
So when we hear the argument floated that state employees deserve that 6 percent pay hike because they're 17 percent behind their counterparts in the private sector in base pay, well, don't make us laugh. State employees must be at least 20 percent ahead of the rest of us when it comes to bennies and perks.
Don't get us wrong; we know state employees work hard, just like the rest of us do, and we appreciate that. But most of us would kill to get half of the package that state employees are getting, and hold the pay hike.
Another argument being made to sweeten the proposal to hike state employees' pay an additional 3 percent is the good state of Virginia's economy and the burgeoning surplus.
So, what about our chronically under-funded school systems? What about transportation, ignored year after year? We think those (and a host of other things) come before a state pay hike.
We'd remind lawmakers who might consider throwing their support behind this idea as a vote-getter that there may be 116,000 state employees, but there are almost 7.5 million of us "regular" folks. We vote, too.
Opinions expressed in this feature represent the majority opinion of the newspaper's editorial board, consisting of: Roger Watson, president and publisher; David Fritz, executive editor; Cindy Corell, city editor; Jim McCloskey, editorial cartoonist; Dennis Neal, opinion page editor; and Macon Rich, production director.