Do you believe that career ADVANCEMENT in Commonwealth employment should equate to LOWER pay? If you do not, and you recognize the deleterious effects that such a pay structure can have on how an organization functions, then please sign this petition.
Between July of 2008 (in some cases earlier) and July of 2012, a unilateral pay freeze was imposed on Pennsylvania nonunion state employees (and only nonunion employees) by Governors Ed Rendell and Tom Corbett. During that time, no concessions were been made by or forced upon any other branch, agency, or office of Pennsylvania Government (a few elected officials claimed to be donating their raises to charity, but their raises were fully funded and paid nonetheless). As a result, a substantial pay disparity of more than 14% has accumulated between similarly classified Civil Service employees that bears no relationship to merit and is based solely on whether or not the employees are considered "management" - with management being paid less, in a backward sort-of way. The disparity in pay has accumulated to such a degree that thousands of subordinate employees have now surpassed their supervisors in pay. And thousands of less qualified or poorly rated employees who have been denied promotions to management now earn substantially more than the more highly rated employees who were selected for promotion. Nonunion employees were targeted for this freeze because we are the only group with no voice or representation.
Why should you care? Because this continued policy makes no sense from any business perspective and has had a profound effect on government operations and efficiency. Morale among the leadership of all Pennsylvania agencies has been severely degraded and will continue to decline for as long as the pay disparity persists and grows.
Recruitment into management positions is becoming increasingly difficult - why would anyone ever accept a promotion into a position of greater responsibility when it pays a lower salary range? There is no incentive now for non-management employees to excel in their positions and strive for advancement because that advancement will come at a personal cost to them. The end result is that employee motivation and performance are dragged down across the board. The current pay disparity benefits no one, taxpayers included. It must end now.
In addition to the correction of the pay disparity, we also need legislation that will prevent such a discriminatory attack on management salaries from occurring in the future. Even if the pay disparity is corrected tomorrow, Pennsylvania will continue to struggle to recruit new managers because of the perception that they will be placing their livelihoods at risk by joining management, whereas if they remain non-management their livelihoods are protected. Legislation is the only way to restore faith in the system and enable the Commonwealth to recruit quality leaders. To be clear, we are NOT asking for legislation that prevents concessions in times of need; we are simply asking for legislation that ensures that those concessions are applied consistently and fairly across all Civil Service employees.
Let's look at some facts:
1) The initial cost savings of the pay freeze, according to Ed Rendell was $14.3 million, or 0.05% of the budget. For comparison, more than $32 million was allocated that year for Legislative PRINTING expenses alone (what are they printing over there?).
2) The Commonwealth had a $780 million surplus in 2010, yet they claimed there are no fiscal resources available to correct the pay disparity. They have continued to grant salary increases to all other State employees, including the negotiation of new contracts that grant new raises. The Governor even granted raises in excess of $10,000 to several of his staff in order to correct a pay disparity in his offices. In the words of his spokesman, correcting the pay disparity in the Governor's office "makes good management sense". It follows, then, that it makes good management sense to correct our pay disparity as well.
3) According to Office of the Budget, the total operating cost of the Pennsylvania State Government is $64 billion. The Administration's estimate of the total cost of eliminating the pay disparity is now at $120 million, or 0.17% of the budget. That cost is affordable now, but will continue to grow until the disparity is fully corrected.
4) When adjusting for inflation, management salaries have DECREASED by at least 0.4% (more for some agencies) since 2003. All other similarly classified employees have seen adjusted increases of at least 17% during that time.
Governor Corbett had an opportunity to correct the pay disparity in concert with the 2011 budget process and union contract negotiations, which would have made sense given that these are all pieces of the same puzzle. Instead, he chose to ignore it. Now management morale is plummeting, recruitment has been debilitated, and government operations are suffering.
If you know and care about a Commonwealth manager, you should sign this petition. If you are a Commonwealth employee and want to preserve your career advancement opportunities, you should sign this petition. But most of all, if you are a Pennsylvania resident and you care about the effective, common-sense operation of your government, you should sign this petition.