Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Cost of State Employees: "Sick Days"

State union folks tell us that their pay (salary or hourly) is less than private-sector comparables.

Well, maybe. There is little evidence either way.

Conservatives tell us that union pensions and health bennies are very rich.

No argument. They're rich.

But there's more than just pensions and health plans.

State workers have the option to purchase their own health insurance through the state after retirement. They can convert unused sick leave over their career to pay for such coverage. The benefit can be worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most state workers get a little over 16 days of sick leave a year...

Think about that. Sixteen DAYS (108 hours) of paid sick-leave every year--and what you don't use, you KEEP? Forever?

And why, you might ask, would a State worker need money to purchase a healthcare plan?

Because they can and WILL retire after 30 years of service. They won't be on Medicare for a number of years after retirement. (They'll probably be double-dipping.) So they need a health plan, and the taxpayer will take care of that.

Most private employers offer paid sick-time. Five days, maybe 10 at the most. If your sick-time requirement is longer than that, they fill in with short-term and long-term disability.

And if you do not use sick-time in a given calendar year, it's gone, baby. Nothing left of it. Start all over again next year.

In effect, State workers are being paid for at least 10 days MORE than they work every year.

Tell me again how small the pay is...

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