Title of the post has a major disconnect with the content of the post.
Or does it?
Back in February, I made a post about the current state of the State as it pertained to the economic meltdown that was (and currently is) sweeping the nation. Last month, the powers that be (labor unions and the Governor's office) came to an agreement that will save about $637 million in the next two budget years.
So, as a state worker, this is what I got to look forward to for the next two to three years. I'm so blessed.
1} To start with, this agreement freezes wages for one year and requires us to take seven furlough days, one before the end of the '08/'09 FY and three in '09/'10 & '10/11. Financial hit: minimum 6% reduction in income.
2} It creates a new retirement incentive program to encourage those who are eligible to retire to do so now. Under this program, three years of service credit will be added on. However, payouts for leave accruals (sick, vacation, comp) will paid out in 1/3 installments starting in 2012. Basically if you retire now, you'll get the last of your money in six years. They did this previously in 2003, and the last payments were made in 2007.
3} All insurance premiums will rise by $350 a year (this should be neat) and co-pays for drugs will increase. Also, generics will be mandatory unless the doctor can medically prove that non-generics are necessary.
4} The establishment of a "Rule of 75", which means that in order for a retiree to start collecting health benefits, the age and years of service must equal or exceed 75.
5} This next one is a goody. All current employees with less than five years of service and all future employees will be required to contribute 3% of their earnings annually to fund retiree health care during the first ten years of their employment. Sound familiar boys and girls? Sort of like what D.C. wants to do with illegal immigrants.
6} No layoffs for two fiscal years. Under this agreement, the protection only applies to employees hired before 7/1/09 and would not bar the Governor from restructuring agencies or eliminating positions, provided the affected employees could transfer to a comparable position elsewhere.
7} It also contains additional provisions in case the economy keeps heading to Sulfur Springs. Like more furlough days and delays in scheduled payments or pension contributions.
We're voting on this garbage today. 'Course, it doesn't do nothing to reduce the ranks of upper management (where there is real savings to be had).
Gotta love it.
Updated (5/9): The majority of the bargaining units approved the concessions. For full details, click here.