In part 2, I would like to give to you the gruesome details on what was implemented for FY 2010/11. I know that this will probably put you to sleep, so don't read this unless you had good night's sleep or ingested tons of caffeine.
1} Furlough days. We have another 3 days of unpaid furlough to take for this fiscal year. And of course, the state will use the money for things other than the budget. Like raises (delayed) and cost of living adjustments (which should be delayed but aren't). Color me cynical, but if I'm giving money back to the state to help with the budget, I don't want it given back out to cover contractual raises and bonuses, even with me being an intended recipient.
While furlough days are but a temporary hit to the wallet (next one doesn't hit until Thanksgiving), what the unions agreed to next is what got people up in arms, because its a permanent hit to the wallet, at least for about 1/3 of us.
Info dump: The State of CT gives lifetime medical benefits to their retirees and their spouses.
Problem: The medical benefit fund for retirees is approaching insolvency.
Solution: Another giveback.
Specifically, item 2} The brilliant idea they came up with, and that the union agreed to (in exchange for other things like raises) was to make effective July 1st of this year, all new hires and all current employees who have less than five years of total service, to give back 3% of their gross wages for up to a total of ten years. To give you a basic idea on the minimum amount an employee would give, we'll use as an example my job title (Payroll Clerk) at entry level.
Step 1 (officially, CL 15-1; CL stands for Clerical, 15 is pay grade, and 1 is what step your salary is at) is a bi-weekly salary of $1563.76, of which 3% = $46.91 per pay period. Total for one year would be $1224.35 (this is reached at multiplying the $46.91 by the amount of pay periods in a year, which is 26). And that's not counting things like overtime.
Imagine how thrilling it is to see on the average $1200 (plus a 5 to 6% per year adjustment for raises and cost of living increases) a year for the next five to ten years removed from your paycheck to fund someone else's insurance.
Raise? If you get one, chances are you will never see it. Same goes for cost of living adjustment. Oh, and don't forget for the semi-annual health insurance premium increase, currently pegged at 5% per six months.
Up next: A few ideas on who else can share the pain and what might be on tap in the future.