Outrageous Salaries And Benefits For State Workers

December 13, 2012

Outrageous Salaries And Benefits For State Workers
A quote from the Bloomberg piece by Mark Niquette, Michael B. Marois, and Rodney Yap, which shows how wildly lucrative “public service” can be:

Forty-two nurses in California’s prisons and mental hospitals have reaped especially rich overtime payouts. They made an average of $1.3 million each during the seven years, including $674,000 in overtime.

The highest-paid nurse in the seven years was Lina Manglicmot, who worked at a state prison in Soledad, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) south of San Francisco. She collected $1.7 million from 2005 through 2011, including $1 million in overtime, the data show. Manglicmot declined to comment.

I have loads of respect for nurses, but $1.7 million in six years, including $1 million in overtime? For giving out Benedryl at a prison?

Public employee unions have made some concessions at the bargaining table, such as contributing as much as 5 percent more of their earnings toward pensions, and forgoing overtime pay for some holidays. State worker furloughs under Schwarzenegger amounted to a 15 percent pay cut; under Brown, they’ve been about 5 percent.

Yet the legacy of California’s collective bargaining, budget battles and court struggles over inmate care continue to elevate its payroll, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Allowing that to happen was a mistake, and taxpayers will be dealing with it for years, said Bob Stern, president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles.

“The labor unions really called in their chits, and Davis went along with it,” Stern said by telephone. “In hindsight, they should not have done it, because they made future generations pay for the benefits they approved.”

Agreements are agreements, it seems. As disgusting as the agreements are. I don’t really see a way out of this — until California becomes so debt-laden that it simply breaks off and falls into the Pacific.

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