It’s Been Four Years
Well, it has been four years since I started this blog. It has been a challenge to write more than 569 posts about things I find noteworthy about state employees and their plight. Gathering facts and trying to be clear about what I think is surprisingly difficult. This blog is something I like to do, so I do it.
The state employee tax is the most annoying. It is a duty only on state employees, specifically targeting them to help balance the budget with their salaries to pay for things everyone else wants. An example would be the stealing of millions of dollars from the health insurance plan’s reserves during the last legislative session. State employees had to make up the loss with higher premiums and fewer benefits.
The state employee tax is possible because state employees do not have collective bargaining rights. Because of this, state employee pay is less than local government employees and enjoy fewer benefits. State employees are sittings ducks for any legislator or governor angry at state government and wanting someone to pay a price; to take the blame. State employees are a perfect target. They cannot fight back. State employees who stand up to complain or even discuss an issue face harassment at work, and must endure severe discipline using flimsy “evidence”. Based on my years of experience in state service, if “they” want to fire an employee they will. For example, the legislature can simply eliminate a job from an agency’s budget and reinstate it later. The legislature did this a couple of decades ago when a state Fire Marshall would not cooperate.
The average state employee makes about $49,000 a year while the average Nevadan, about $50,000. Further, a fifth of all state employees make less than $25,000. State employees are paid up to 30 percent less than local government employees who have collective bargaining rights. State employees are not getting rich working for the state.
State employees pay significantly more for their retirement than the average citizen. A person contributing to Social Security pays 6.2 percent and a state employee pays 12.25 percent with a one percent increase planned for July 1st. State employees pay more than double for their retirement plan than the “average Nevadan”. They also pay ever higher monthly premiums for a high deductible plan meant to cover the only basics.
Still, there are so many who want more from state employees. It is about time for this to stop. It is about time state employees get respect as individuals and for the competent employees they are. It is time to treat them better.