Gov. Quinn has given the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees unionized state employees a 3 percent raise this year. He has scheduled to give them another raise in 2011 of 7 percent (1 percent on January 1, 2 percent on June 1 and 4 percent on July 1). On Jan. 1, 2012, they are due another bump of 1.25 percent.
This is 11.25 percent in raises over a three-year period.
Gov. Quinn has given these excessive raises when the current unemployment rate is stuck at 9.6 percent and the national average pay raise last year for salaried-exempt workers was 1.8 percent.
Ordinary taxpayers are not only not getting pay raises but they are getting their work hours cut, take home pay cut, having to work two jobs and losing their jobs.
Home foreclosures are at an all-time high and the state of Illinois is $13 billion in debt.
News reports say there was a 68 percent increase in Chicago area businesses filing for bankruptcy in 2009 compared to 2008. That came on top of a 59 percent increase in 2007. For consumers, there was a 39 percent increase in bankruptcy filings in 2009 compared to 2008; that came on top of a 46 percent increase in 2007.
Gov. Quinn just keeps stabbing the ordinary taxpayers in the back. The AFSCME union is just as bad and it should be ashamed of itself for demanding these excessive wage increases when most ordinary taxpayers are struggling to get back to even, the economy is in a crisis and the state's finances are in shambles.
Taxpayers on Social Security will not see an increase in the Social Security cost of living adjustment for 2010 because the government says there is no inflation. In fact, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation predicts there may not be any COLA for the next three years. The increases in AFSCME union wages will now translate into higher Illinois state costs which translate into higher taxes, and the ordinary taxpayer gets stuck with paying these higher taxes.
Then of course, Gov. Quinn will say that we need a state tax increase because the state needs the money to pay their bills. My head hurts from all of this. In exchange for these excessive 11.25 percent in raises over a three-year period, it is said that the AFSCME union will work with Gov. Quinn to help identify $50 million "cost savings." These "cost savings" will not require any concessions or sacrifices from the union.
First of all, the possible savings all sound phony baloney to me and will never happen.
Secondly, how much will the 11.25 percent in raises over a three-year period and the associated increase in pension expenses cost the state compared to the theoretical $50 million in "cost savings"? Also, note that these 11.25 percent in raises over a three-year period came at a time of the union's recent endorsement of Gov. Quinn.
This sure sounds fishy to me.
Is this the same as former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Pay-to-Play trial? Gov. Quinn states that pay raises are part of a collective bargaining agreement that he inherited from 2008.
Even so, he should have had the leadership and manhood to turn down these excessive raises in light of all that I have said above.