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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

House panel rejects state employee pay raise

April 20, 2012

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— The Republican-controlled House committee has rejected the idea of restoring a pay-raise program for some Kansas public employees.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the committee on Thursday voted down a motion to set aside $8.5 million to resume a plan to raise salaries of the state's lowest-paid government workers.

The motion was defeated by a 9-11 vote.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, a Newton Republican, said state employees should consider moving to the private sector if they think that state pay is too low.

Others raised concerns that the state was losing qualified employees, especially nurses at state hospitals, who leave for the private sector.

Comments

akuna 2 years, 9 months ago

Republicans are such (o) these days. I long for a time when Republicans understand the value of quality, competent workers in all sectors of our economy.

Shane Garrett 2 years, 9 months ago

Amen, they used to stand for exactly that: quality, and competent workers. Now they view the lowest paid amongst the state as something less. Republican legislators are telling them to leave for the private sector during an economic depression. What a crock. I guess only the rich and powerful can have a sense of civic duty.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 9 months ago

"House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, a Newton Republican, said state employees should consider moving to the private sector if they think that state pay is too low."

Marc Rhoades obviously has no clue as to what the cost of employee turnover is. Considering having to cover necessary work during the turnover period with overtime, as well as the cost of training a new employee, there is a clear cost benefit associated with retention.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Employee retention may or may not be the desired goal. Businesses expand and contract as a normal part of a business cycle. Should government behave likewise?

progressive_thinker 2 years, 9 months ago

"Businesses expand and contract as a normal part of a business cycle. Should government behave likewise?"

Answer to this question is absolutely. If a need contracts, then the state should [and does] lay off or if not, at least not refill positions.

A more realistic example example of what confronts our state is our prison system. Some facilities experience turnover among corrections officers in the range of 25 percent per year.

Before a newly hired officer can go on post, they are in training for a minimum of five weeks. They are paid during that five weeks. While the new officer is in training, the post that they will be assigned to cannot be left vacant, for obvious public safety reasons. It has to be covered by someone, on overtime, who is trained and qualified. Therefore the taxpayers are paying more than double to fill this position during the training period.

KDOC frequently loses corrections officers to a private prison in Leavenworth that pays about a dollar an hour more than the state. That private prison essentially gets trained personnel at the expense of the Kansas taxpayers. As well, KDOC loses trained and qualified employees to counties, other states, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

This same scenario plays out in state hospitals, the Juvenile Justice Authority, and the Department of Transportation. The DOT training program for the hardworking folks that run our snowplows is at lest two years.

Want to have the snow cleared this winter?

How about having experienced and qualified staff watching over our crowded prisons?

How about having qualified staff oversee our state mental hospitals?

It is a good thing to think abut employee retention.

Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 9 months ago

Sure. When demand is less, the "business" of government should contract. When demand is higher, it should expand.

Demand is pretty high now, are you advocating for an expansion of government?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Demand for government services will never, never, never go down. The question is, can our elected officials force us to demand less during hard economic times. The alternative is an ever expanding public sector.

chootspa 2 years, 9 months ago

I suggest you read up on your history. We didn't always used to have a social safety net. Since the system worked so well, we never established one either. Oh wait...

mom_of_three 2 years, 9 months ago

so basically marc rhoades is saying if you think government pay is low, guess what, the private sector is even lower. quit yer whining.

why shouldn't a government employee, especially among the state's lowest paid workers, expect a raise now and then?

Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

"so basically marc rhoades is saying if you think government pay is low, guess what, the private sector is even lower..."

You can't have it both ways. If the private sector is "even lower," then state employees are already making more than others who possess the same skills or do the same work. Why then should they get a raise?

mom_of_three 2 years, 9 months ago

You should get a raise because you do a good job and your skills are improved. But rhoades provided no proof of anything. Since we don't know which jobs they are talking about, we don't know what the pay is.
Just denying someone a raise and say go private sector is kinda dumb.
Wonder if he will give up his per diem?

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

So in other words, "you get what you pay for" only applies to bosses. Worker drones should be happy with whatever crumbs the bosses decide to throw their way. You want smaller government with the lowest-possible paid employees? Then be prepared for longer lines and processing times, lots of mistakes, and the sort of surly or disengaged customer service one receives at the megastores.

mom_of_three 2 years, 9 months ago

I am wondering what these great benefits are, because the people I know who work for the state do not have any better benefits than those in the private sector.

esteshawk 2 years, 9 months ago

At will means employees can be fired without notice ( or cause).

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

Odd. I shop at home depot and best buy a lot and find their employees much friendlier and helpful than government employee I've dealt with.

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Odd, indeed. I'm polite and friendly to public and private sector workers, and get treated politely and respectfully in return. Perhaps people with a chip on their shoulder against a particular work force get treated rudely.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 9 months ago

Why do you always make such general statements? Public sector employees are not lazy and rude. Private sector employees are not industrious and couteous. Some people are lazy. Some people are industrious. Some people are rude. Some people are courteous. All of these people can be found in both the public and private sectors.

Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh, I don't doubt Lana's right, nor do I have a problem with state employees getting a raise. I was merely pointing out the logical problem with claiming that state employees are among the states lowest paid workers while everyone else makes even less.

mom_of_three 2 years, 9 months ago

Rhoades said go work in the public sector and I interpreted what he said. It doesn't make it true.
besides, nothing in politics is logical.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 9 months ago

Many trend toward public service because they can't hack it in the private sector.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Ahh the old "Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach." canard.

chootspa 2 years, 9 months ago

Many live in igloos because they don't like red tents. Both of our statements are equally supported by evidence.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 9 months ago

Your comment is based on what? My experience is that work in the public sector is far more difficult than work in the private sector. If you don't respect people, maybe you should live on a desert island in the south pacific.

tomatogrower 2 years, 9 months ago

Yet, CEO's of companies who run their companies into the ground deserve their huge bonuses? Pity the poor 1%. They are irreplaceable. Prison guards, clerks, state troopers, etc. are all a dime a dozen. They should have gotten an MBA, if they wanted a living wage, right? Wake up, people. It's so obvious that conservatives could care less about working people, and most of you are working people. Yet, in Kansas you vote against your own interests?

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

"Yet, in Kansas you vote against your own interests?"

I'd rather vote for equal opportunity for everyone be they rich or poor than waste my vote lining my pockets. Equal protection is more important than all the money in the world. I'd rather be poor than vote for a law that gives me money I didn't earn.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

(In response to the headline.) Why of course they did!

progressive_thinker 2 years, 9 months ago

Here is a good article in today's JW. demonstrating some of the problems associated with paying state employees below market wages. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/apr...

question4u 2 years, 9 months ago

What an embarrassment to be Marc Rhoades! Does he think that a comment like that speaks well of his intellect, let alone his ethics? Has Kansas really sunk this low?

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 9 months ago

...said state employees should consider moving to the private sector if they think that state pay is too low.

Oh yeah. Where are those jobs in the private sector you speak of, and what makes you think the private sector pays any better?

chootspa 2 years, 9 months ago

The highly competent workers will migrate to the private sector or to another state leaving only the retired-on-the-clocks and the trapped and resentful to prove the legislators right when they say the government can't do anything well. It's like starting a company to prove that companies can't be run well. These people are silly.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Interesting that this is reminiscent of Brownback's statement that if women want insurance to cover their birth control to "go work somewhere else".

Corey Williams 2 years, 9 months ago

Why did you copy/paste without giving your source?

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 9 months ago

I would like to know if he has declined participation in KPERS since he is a part time citizen legislator. He clearly is a legislator because he is dedicated to public service like the state employees he ridicules.

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