• John Ley

3 Percent Pay Raise Gets Worse

In an era when the state is now expecting an $8.8 Billion budget deficit (over the next 3 years), cutting expenditures should be the primary focus of our state’s chief executive. It is what private sector businesses have been doing for months, ever since Governor Inslee shut down the state’s economy with his “emergency order”. It is what most Washington families have been doing – tightening their belts.

But the Governor wants to INCREASE expenditures for state employees. Only in government, is this even slightly conceivable.

From ShiftWA:

Democrat Governor Jay Inslee Hands Government Workers More $$$ and More Days Off

June 26, 2020/blog excerpts --

“A 3% raise for state employees is scheduled to take effect on July 1, but Jay doesn’t want to cancel the raise (the second one in two years) as that would upset his union campaign donors. Instead the raise will go into effect July 1, with up to 10 days of furloughs per employee supposedly offsetting the increased pay level.
The result of Inslee’s policy? For the same amount of money, Washington gets a lot less government work done, and it doesn’t help the budget deficit crisis. The 40,000 state employees will work up to 80 less hours a year for the same amount of money.
Put another way, Jay Inslee just gave 40,000 state employees an additional two weeks of paid vacation a year.
And even worse, Inslee and his union backers devised this furlough scheme in a way to exploit the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis (the CARES Act), so that the workers can claim unemployment for their furlough days, thus costing taxpayers even more money. All while paying state employees more money than if they were working!
So, while most of the rest of Washington’s workers have been ordered, by Inslee, to stay home, he won’t even cancel a raise for his friends who have been kept on the government payroll, even if they weren’t actually working.
And Inslee is making sure they can scam the federal government for more tax dollars.
For the more astute readers, you will also realize that unless the furloughs continue after 2020, or the 3% wage increases are cut from the budget next year, the state will still have to pay the 3% increase in the long term.”


“Since Inslee has not been prescriptive in which government agencies the furloughs will occur, the Employment Security Department, which still has 81,000 residents waiting for unemployment checks, could be especially hard hit.
“Republicans, and a few sensible Democrats, have called repeatedly for a special session to start addressing the budget issues head on, without wasting more time. The Democrat leadership has resisted”


“Ex-Speaker of the House, Democrat Frank Chopp, not wanting to be left out of the action, has released his own plan for Washington. Not shackled by being Speaker and having to protect vulnerable Democrat legislators anymore, Chopp is able to show his true ‘tax and spend’ colors. In response to the biggest economic downturn in Washington history, Chopp is proposing a massive $2 billion per year tax hike on Washington residents to expand government further. That’s over $1,000 per year in new taxes for a family of four, or $260 for every man, woman and child in the state.”


“Inslee has repeatedly said, “We are all in this together”, but it’s obvious that doesn’t apply to himself (since he, already the 6th highest paid governor in the country, is also getting a big, non-merit based pay raise July 1), Frank Chopp, or his friends in the government. They want the hard-working Washington workers to pay for their free ride.”

At the end of the day, the state workers will have their pensions based on higher earnings. They will have more taxpayer money in their bank accounts, not less. When the legislature does convene, be it later this summer in an emergency session, or next January, any cuts in spending will start from the higher employee pay raise.

The Seattle Times said in an editorial, that cancelling the entire 3% pay raise for all state employees would save $800 million.

In an era of an $8.8 Billion shortfall, that is about 9% of what is needed, IF the entire pay raise was truly cancelled. Yet Governor Inslee plays games, alleging he’s saving $50 million, while allowing state workers to get unemployment from you and me, and while collecting their taxpayer funded salaries.

It’s time for a change in leadership in Olympia. It’s time to hold Governor Inslee and his administration accountable for their outrageous decisions.


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