Skip to comments.State worker severance packages scrutinized
Posted on 01/19/2012 5:34:28 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB
Minnesota lawmakers today will begin looking into the issue of payments for unused sick and vacation time to retiring state employees.
The joint legislative subcommittee hearing follows reports by the Pioneer Press and KSTP-TV in November about $57 million paid out in unused sick time to state employees - a practice largely unheard of in the private sector - and $32 million paid out in unused vacation time between January 2008 and June 30, 2011.
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The problem here is that the state government commits itself to huge amounts of deferred compensation for the employees, yet makes not provision for paying the bill when the services are actually performed.
It just kicks the can down the road to a future administration to pay and hides the true cost of the employees. The old Wimpy ploy of “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”.
If a state government, or other employer for that matter, wants to pay its people in this way I guess its fine. But the whole bill for whatever you decide to pay the people should be accounted for at the time you make the commitment.
Unlike the private sector, state employees who retire are paid for unused vacation and sick time, sometimes resulting in obscene and absurd payouts.
The Pioneer Press recently revealed that some high-ranking college administratorsin the state colleges and universities system received monster payouts.
For example, the former chancellor of the State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU), raked in nearly $93,000 for unused sick time and nearly $47,0000 for unused vacation time.
Another MnSCU bigwig, Jon Quistgaard, walked off with a $126,000 check when he retired from Bemidji State University.
Two other administrators from MnSCU got six-figure payouts as well.
This practice is defended as one that prevents the abuse of sick leave and vacation time.
Funny, I thought the prevention of abuse came from state employment policies that prevent - guess what? - the abuse of sick leave and vacation leave.
Moreover, the problem first stems from the fact that public employees get obscene amounts of sick and vacation leave in the first place.
Lets take a look at a janitor at a local public community college. The janitor, the kind of downtrodden Workin Man lionized by the Left, is represented by the AFSCME public employee union.
Heres what the contract says about holidays, vacation, and sick leave for a janitor with seniority:
* Independence Day
* Labor Day
* Veterans Day
* Thanksgiving Day
* Day after Thanksgiving Day
* Christmas Day
* New Years Day
* Martin Luther King Day
* Presidents Day
* Memorial Day
Vacation: 234 hours (29.25 days) of vacation each year.
Sick leave: 104 hours (13 days) of sick leave each year.
Thats 418 hours (52.25 days) of paid time off each year. Thats about 20% of a normal work year!
Im unaware of any private sector company that offers this
kind of paid time off.Also unaware of any private sector company that offers unused sick and vacation payouts.
No wonder these big payouts are happening. Its next to impossible to take 20% of the work year off.
heres the solution: legislation that caps the amount of vacation and sick leave an employee gets. Second, ban
the practice of payouts for unused sick and vacation leave.
Take these issues away from the bargaining table and fix them by legislation. After all, Governor Dayton is now negotiating a new deal with the very unions that backed his candidacy. Who is representing the taxpayer?
This is a crap issue, folks who show up for work instead of calling in sick, get a benefit, for being a good and loyal employee. At one time government jobs paid less, oh wait in most cases they still do. In private business people don’t sell back sick leave because the company pays them a bonus - not often available in public.
Folks who show up get to stay employed.
I bet there are plenty now unemployed who’d take these gubmint jobs in a hot minute.
yea and I’d like to make an investment in Amazon,Apple, Microsoft, Google or Netflix at the time each was about 20.00. The fact people take or stay in a job is about where they feel they are doing their best, after all a huge number of gov. jobs are at universities or doing manual labor on roads, the folks that are there 20 years are to be admired. We on the right have been bashing every government employee unior or non union. I think we make a mistake.
“public servants”, my ass.