Here is an excellent article responding to the Reno Gazette Journal’s editorial about PERS information being made public:
“RGJ’s editorial on Nevada PERS privacy misguided: Jack Harris”
A state employee collective bargaining bill has been submitted this session (SB 486) and it was heard on April 7, 2017. Unfortunately it will fail like all the previous bills proposing collective bargaining.
SB 486 would require the executive branch to negotiate wages and benefits.
It is unlikely the bill will make it to the governor’s desk and if it does, he will most certainly veto it. A veto override would be unlikely during the next legislative session in 2019.
State employees make 25 to 30 percent less than a county employee. State employee wages are quite low and some employees are undoubtedly on public assistance. It is not what I want but it seems Nevada’s political and business masters don’t see a problem with this. The disparity will continue o grow and in 10 years,what then? Very small cost of living increases, though appreciated will never help that much.
The 1977 legislature gave state employees a cross the board 15 percent pay increase because wages fell so far behind. That 15 percent helped with the cost of living deficit but state employees were still way behind.
The legislature and the governor think state employees as second class citizens to do with as they please.
This is shameful and must stop.
Because a person is a public employee does not mean their right to privacy goes away. Too many think it should. In 2013 the Nevada Supreme Court ruled retiree benefit information was public.
The Legislature is processing a bill (SB 384) which would improve the privacy protections for retired public employees. The bill would clarify what information about retired employees would be public and names would be confidential.
The bill as introduced. The committee’s amended version has not been posted. The hearing was held on April 5, 2017.
Hopefully the bill will become law. It now goes to the State Senate for discussion and vote.
SB 4 proposes that any executive branch agency can be designated by the governor as a “charter agency”. The bill states any agency designated as a charter agency would operate under different rules and all employees of the agency would become unclassified and subject to removal at any time and presumably for any or no reason. There would no longer be civil service protections and this bill if it becomes law, would inject extreme politics into the operation of any or all state agencies.
For example, if you become an employee of a charter agency, you could be fired for being in a political party the governor or his executive director does not like.
The bill started its path last November. There is no name attached to the bill which is typical of a dishonest politician who craves secrecy over transparent democracy.
The following paragraphs give the reader some idea of what is being proposed:
Sec. 2. 1. The Governor, by executive order, may designate or rescind the designation of any department established by law within the Executive Department of the State Government as a charter agency. Such a designation or rescission must not become effective until the next following July 1. One year after the effective date of the designation of a department as a charter agency, all employees of the department become employees in the unclassified service of the State.
The Governor, by executive order, may designate or rescind the designation of any department established by law within the Executive Department of the State Government as a charter agency. Such a designation or rescission must not become effective until the next following July 1. One year after the effective date of the designation of a department as a charter agency, all employees of the department become employees in the unclassified service of the State.
Emphasis is mine.
|Attorney General’s Office||325||301|
|Business and Industry||595||581|
|Charter School Authority||–||11|
|Colorado River Commission||35||33|
|Conservation and Natural Resources||624||641|
|Economic Development Commission||24||40|
|Employment, Training and Rehabilitation||1,116||820|
|Gaming Control Board||342||290|
|Health and Human Services||4,670||5,536|
|Information Technology||122||Under Admin|
|Judicial Discipline Commission||3||5|
|Legislative Counsel Bureau||284||287|
|Lieutenant Governor’s Office||4||5|
|Military (National Guard)||118||124|
|Mineral Resources Commission||10||10|
|Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission (POST)||17||15|
|Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP)||31||30|
|Public Employees Retirement Program (PERS)||65||65|
|Public Utilities Commission||91||88|
|Secretary of State||114||115|
|Silver State Insurance||–||13|
2007 there were 20,245 employees
PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) is still one of the best retirement plans in the nation. It is conservative, well run and gets great investment returns. This news will not be good for those politicians and conservatives who want to destroy the system. Watch for their posturing and proposals at the next Legislative session which begins February 6, 2017. NV Legislature.
The contribution rate for regular state employees will remain at 14 percent for the next Biennium. It will be 20% for police/fire employees. Social Security participants pay just 6.2 percent.
NOTE: Many counties pay the entire contribution for their employees such as teachers. State employees do not have that benefit because they do not have the right to collective bargain.
Further, the unfunded liability has is now 25.9 percent and the revenue for the past year increased to $35.9 billion year which is a 7.7 percent return on investment.
PERS has not only state employees contributing but also 190 government entities employing just over 105,000 employees. There are about 14,000 state employees.
The annual individual deductibles would change to $1,600 from $1,900.
The annual family deductibles would change to $3,200 from $3,800.
The co-insurance will stay at 80 percent.
The annual dental benefit would stay at $1,500.
The the hearing aid benefit would be $1,500 per ear.
Deferred decisions, pending Economic Forum projections are:
Changing the $25,000 life insurance benefit to $10,000 for employees. For retirees it would be $5,000 instead of $12,5,00.
They also deferred action on cutting the HSA contributions for both employees and dependents.
In January 2017, they will make their decisions relying on the Economic Forum‘s revenue projections. It’s not looking good.