About 50 people rallied outside the Legislature in Carson City Wednesday to demand pay raises and an end to unpaid furlough days, according to the Nevada Appeal. (Most of the story is behind a pay wall.)
The story quotes Shara Lynn Kern, a DMV worker for 13 years, as saying, “We have state employees who live in their cars, are on public assistance.”
Rally for more pay at the state Legislature. (Nevada Appeal photo)
Perhaps, but according to TransparentNevada.com there is a Sheralynn Kern, who works as a DMV Services Technician 3 and saw her base pay cut about $1,600 from 2011 to 2012. One can’t determine what happened to state workers’ total compensation, including benefits, because those weren’t reported to the Nevada Policy Research Institute, which maintains TransparentNevada.com, for the years 2008 to 2011.
By comparison, according to the Census Bureau, the median household income in Nevada has fallen 14 percent since 2008, when the recession kicked in.
Since 2008 this Kern’s base pay actually increased a couple hundred dollars, and, going back to 2007, when total compensation was last reported, her total compensation — what comes out of the taxpayers’ pocket — has increased from $37,000 in 2007 to more than $58,000 in 2012.
The Appeal also quoted a Jennifer Cooper, described as a 20-year veteran of NDOT, as saying, “The cuts have been excruciating to my family. We’ve lost our home; we can no longer afford preventative medical care.”
Meanwhile, a Jennifer L. Cooper
, who is listed as a Transportation Planner/Analyst 2, did see her pay reduced 6.4 percent since 2008. In 2012 she racked up nearly $43,000 in benefits. There was no listing in 2007.
Vicky McVeigh, a welfare employee for 22 years, told the newspaper the cuts have been so severe that “we will never regain the things we had prior to the decline.”
And neither will many of those in the private sector, I suspect.
A Vicki Y. McVeigh
, who apparently was promoted from Family Services Specialist 2 in 2011 to Business Process Analyst 1 in 2012, actually got a pay increase of $5,000. Though her base pay was cut by nearly $20,000 since 2008, and there could be many reasons for that, her total compensation since 2007 is actually up nearly $6,000.
“We have lost buying power,” the paper quoted Janet Brooks, a 13-year state worker, as saying. “We’ve lost our house, our security, our dignity.”
A Janet R. Brooks
, a Revenue Officer 2, had a $2,000 cut in base pay between 2011 and 2012, but the base pay is about the same as in 2008. Since receiving a promotion in 2007 her total compensation has more than doubled — from less than $30,000 to more than $68,000.
Keith Uriarte, chief of staff for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was quoted as saying some state workers have had pay cuts exceeding 20 percent. Perhaps he should have brought a few of them to the rally.
And perhaps the reporter should have looked up a couple of those salaries on TransparentNevada.com.
Here is some data from “Governing
” on public and private sector job losses during the recession: