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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 7:31 PM
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Why Illinois Is In Trouble - 63,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Salaries Cost Tax

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Why Illinois Is In Trouble - 63,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Salaries Cost Taxpayers $10B

Adam Andrzejewski , Contributor

Illinois is broke and continues to flirt with junk bond status. But the state’s financial woes aren’t stopping 63,000 government employees from bringing home six-figure salaries and higher.

Whenever we open the books, Illinois is consistently one of the worst offenders. Recently, we found auto pound supervisors in Chicago making $144,453; nurses at state corrections earning up to $254,781; junior college presidents making $465,420; university doctors earning $1.6 million; and 84 small-town “managers” out-earning every U.S. governor.

Using our interactive mapping tool, quickly review (by ZIP code) the 63,000 Illinois public employees who earn more than $100,000 and cost taxpayers $10 billion. Just click a pin and scroll down to see the results rendered in the chart beneath the map.

...........................

Taxpayer-Expensive Educators

Some of Illinois’ K-12 schools are spiking salaries and padding pensions. Data reveals nearly 30,000 teachers and administrators earned $100,000+ incomes. However, just 20,295 of those educators are currently employed; the other 9,305 are retired, resting on six-figure pensions.

Here’s how it breaks down in two of 900 school districts. Just 1,236 of the 2,147 educators with $100,000+ incomes are currently working.
  • In Township High School District 214, there were 500 retirees receiving six-figure annual pensions in addition to 640 working educators.
  • In Palatine Township High School 211, while 596 educators earned a six-figure salary, 491 retirees received six-figure lifetime pensions.

............................
https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamand.../#612c94551141

Interesting topic for discussion. My own city is having similar problems where pensions have exceeded initial estimates and has resulted in the city not being able to afford to hire much needed policemen and firemen due to still paying people who retired 10 years ago.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 7:56 PM
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As someone who works for the state (Texas) not sure why it's a big deal or an issue to have employees earning six-figure salaries. Not everyone who works for the state is a DMV clerk or a 6th grade English teacher. Most people in my office has at least a masters degree and command a salary well north of $100k
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 8:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Reverberation View Post
Interesting topic for discussion. My own city is having similar problems where pensions have exceeded initial estimates and has resulted in the city not being able to afford to hire much needed policemen and firemen due to still paying people who retired 10 years ago.
Should there be a limit to how long someone retired is actually paid
Then that is not retirement, but severance or something.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 8:15 PM
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As someone who works for the state (Texas) not sure why it's a big deal or an issue to have employees earning six-figure salaries. Not everyone who works for the state is a DMV clerk or a 6th grade English teacher. Most people in my office has at least a masters degree and command a salary well north of $100k
I also work for the state, and it amuses me how state employees are dumped on relentlessly by the same conservatives who then bitch about how badly the state government works.

If you want quality, you pay for quality. Seems like a simple enough business principle to me, but no... We're pretty much required to deliver platinum results on a tinfoil budget.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 8:18 PM
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Should there be a limit to how long someone retired is actually paid
Then that is not retirement, but severance or something.
I think what created the most trouble is the adoption of a defined benefit package as opposed to a defined contribution package. On one hand, promises should be kept, but on the other hand, if the city is bankrupting itself keeping those promises and still can't afford to hire the people necessary to serve its citizens, then for f**ks sake stop making those promises and figure out another strategy and apply it going forward.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 8:23 PM
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I also work for the state, and it amuses me how state employees are dumped on relentlessly by the same conservatives who then bitch about how badly the state government works.

If you want quality, you pay for quality. Seems like a simple enough business principle to me, but no... We're pretty much required to deliver platinum results on a tinfoil budget.
Nobody is necessarily complaining about high salaries. In many of the cases that the article mentions, it has become SOP to strategically spike overtime in order to claim higher earnings, which then get applied to pension payout. It's a matter of highly paid retirees squeezing out new highly paid workers.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 8:24 PM
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Nobody is necessarily complaining about high salaries.
No, they're pretty much complaining that those greedy teachers, social workers, cops and the like would dare request a salary at all. Apparently we're supposed to be doing all of this on a volunteer basis.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 8:40 PM
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I mean, I'd do my job for minimum wage if I had to, and I don't plan on ever being able to retire, so it's not like I need a pension that I'll probably never see. I work for county government though, not a state.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 9:06 PM
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Nobody is necessarily complaining about high salaries.
yet you post an article taking issue with employees making over $100,000.

It mentions university doctors earning $1.6 million. That's a bargain considering they are apt to be highly regarded in their field and bring in millions in grants and funding. Not too mention endowments...which often pay for a portion of these salaries.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 9:24 PM
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Of course everyone from SSP earning over $100k working for the state is well worth it, but that shouldn't stop the conversation. I know that the pendulum of pay vs benefits sometime in the early nineties swung to far in favor of public employees. I chose not to go into government work even though the benefits were good, I figured I could find more thrilling work and earn my way forward. At that time pay and benefits for public employees was much more moderate than it is today. My best friend chose to work for the state, with no degree, and now is well compensated around $140k, 6 weeks vacation time and will retire with 100%pension, which for the most part no longer exists in the private sector. Some agencies are tightening up on new hires which is necessary. For a long time the public agencies and unions fought for as much as they could get comparing to private counterparts. Now the same argument can be used against them at least in terms of retirement planning and contribution.
For those of you that work for the state, do you know people and positions that are redundant, wasteful or not needed? I ask that honestly, because my buddy who works for the state of California tells me in his agency there are tons of redundant positions.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:14 PM
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We could/will probably (and I don't mean to imply that we should) privatize most of the criminal justice system in Arizona eventually. Hell, we've already privatized a good chunk of the Department of Corrections and the City of Mesa just opted for a private jail rather than send pretrial defendants to Maricopa County facilities.

Most of us in PSPRS and CORP will probably lose our jobs and pensions but so long as it saves the taxpayers some money...
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:15 PM
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For those of you that work for the state, do you know people and positions that are redundant, wasteful or not needed? I ask that honestly, because my buddy who works for the state of California tells me in his agency there are tons of redundant positions.
Not in child welfare, no.

I'd also like to go on record here saying that I work at a very stressful job. So stressful, in fact, that the person I replaced left the position because her hair was falling out from said stress after a year. I'm genuinely curious what you think I make doing this job.

Go on and hazard a guess. And remember that while I technically work for a county, I'm part of the big ball of wax that is the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:17 PM
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I'm guessing somewhere between $35,000 to $40,000? That's about what I make as an Arizona county Superior Court probation officer who is also regulated by and trained according to the statutes of the Arizona Supreme Court.

And as if this doesn't already piss off the locals, county employees (all 1,100 of us who are employed full-time) just got a 2.5% raise to compensate for the state's minimum wage increase to $10.00 (local minimum wage increased to $10.50) which began July 1.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:24 PM
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I'm guessing somewhere between $35,000 to $40,000? That's about what I make as a probation officer for the Arizona State Supreme Court
You win a cookie!

$35,651.20 per year before taxes, if you really want to know. This is what I get paid for dealing with psychotic children, children with personality disorders, parents who threaten to kill me or any other social worker who sets foot on their property, parents who sic pit bulls on me, people who let their babies roll around on dirty needles in their cribs, children who have had godawful things done to and with them, and asshole lawyers who can and do get their clients exonerated of doing said godawful things because our justice system is the best that money can buy.

So... I kind of get really fucking sick and tired of all the bitching about what public employees make. I'm not paid a quarter of what it's worth to put up with the shit I see on my job.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:32 PM
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As someone who works for the state (Texas) not sure why it's a big deal or an issue to have employees earning six-figure salaries. Not everyone who works for the state is a DMV clerk or a 6th grade English teacher. Most people in my office has at least a masters degree and command a salary well north of $100k
It's because Government's role is to Govern, not to employ as many people as possible.

Plus, you can't have that many people on the payroll making that much money + pensions if you're broke (Illinois).

Plus, a lot of Illinois retirees take their pensions and move somewhere warm like Arizona. So it's bleeding Illinois money to enrich another State.

This article is not so much taking issue with State worker salaries, but about how bad of a problem it has become for Illinois specifically
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:32 PM
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@hauntedheadNC, I make about $41,000 per year and live in the city with the highest COL in AZ. I'm probably about to lose whatever stability I once had with healthcare if the Senate passes their so-called "skinny repeal" so I doubt that even what I make now will be enough to afford Insulin for Type 1 Diabetes (not to mention the affordability of insulin pump supplies), which I've had since I was six years old...

My brother worked for AZ CPS for two years (right around the time some intrepid reporters at the Arizona Republic discovered that five or six hotline dispatchers ignored over 5,000 calls for investigations into child mistreatment statewide). His starting pay was around $33,000 and he lasted longer than most of his coworkers. The only meaningful change to come from that debacle was changing the name of CPS to the Department of Child Safety and removing it from out underneath the umbrella of the Department of Economic Services to make it its own organization overseen by the governor's office.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:41 PM
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You win a cookie!

$35,651.20 per year before taxes, if you really want to know. This is what I get paid for dealing with psychotic children, children with personality disorders, parents who threaten to kill me or any other social worker who sets foot on their property, parents who sic pit bulls on me, people who let their babies roll around on dirty needles in their cribs, children who have had godawful things done to and with them, and asshole lawyers who can and do get their clients exonerated of doing said godawful things because our justice system is the best that money can buy.

So... I kind of get really fucking sick and tired of all the bitching about what public employees make. I'm not paid a quarter of what it's worth to put up with the shit I see on my job.
See I would recommend a position like that to get hazard pay, where as the article and what I'm talking about is something entirely different. While I do empathize with your position, that is not the end of the story.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 10:42 PM
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Those damn teachers, educating people, and stealing our money. What's next? Are they going to start getting the same pay as those who actually contribute to society, like NBA players, and movie stars?
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 11:50 PM
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^ Well, the only solution is to raise taxes. But you will never raise taxes enough to pay their pensions, because people will flee to low tax states.

Illinois is in a catch 22 and should declare bankruptcy, except that it legally can't. Plus it's politicians are sleezebags. We need to build a big ass casino in Chicago. That's the solution
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Old Posted Jul 27, 2017, 12:01 AM
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^ Well, the only solution is to raise taxes. But you will never raise taxes enough to pay their pensions, because people will flee to low tax states.

Illinois is in a catch 22 and should declare bankruptcy, except that it legally can't. Plus it's politicians are sleezebags. We need to build a big ass casino in Chicago. That's the solution
ie - democrats
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