Employee Benefits



    Salary freeze: Lynch makes it official

    The Union Leader | by Tom Fahey | September 27, 2011

    High-level state officials and political appointees will get no raises for the next year under an executive order Gov. John Lynch signed Monday.


    UW coach No. 1 for pay; Gregoire at No. 956

    The Olympian | by Brad Shannon | August 17, 2011

    University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian earned nearly $2 million last year, more than any other employee in the Evergreen State's government.


    Regents say salary increase is top budget priority

    Businessweek | by Chet Brokaw | August 12, 2011

    In a budget request to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, the regents asked that the governor make salary increases for all state employees the highest priority when he recommends a budget to the South Dakota Legislature in December.


    State this month will reimburse workers for personal days they gave

    The Columbus Dispatch | by Julie Carr Smyth | August 12, 2011

    Ohio will pay cash to tens of thousands of state workers this month to make up for personal days they gave up over the past two years to help balance the state budget.


    SC Budget Board Raises State Health Care Premiums | by Robert Kittle | August 10, 2011

    Public employees in South Carolina will pay 4.5 percent more for their health insurance next year, after the state Budget and Control Board voted to raise premiums for the state health plan to ensure the system is sound and has the money required to meet employees' health care needs.


    Employee salary shortfall looms in state budget

    The State Journal-Register | by Doug Finke | June 27, 2011

    There's another potential problem with the operations budget state lawmakers approved last month: Not enough money to pay all employee salaries for the full year that begins July 1.


    Cuomo Secures Big Givebacks in Union Deal

    The New York Times | by Danny Hakim | June 24, 2011

    The five-year agreement between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Civil Service Employees Association, includes a three-year wage freeze, the first furloughs ever for state workers and an increase in the amount employees must pay toward their health insurance.


    Jindal Proposes Privatization of State Employee Insurance Program

    State Budget Solutions | by Kristen Byrne | June 15, 2011

    Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal wants to get his state out of the insurance business and has proposed privatizing state workers' health insurance.


    Ga. Governor signs $18.3B budget, vetoes 9 bills

    Businessweek | by Shannon McCaffrey | May 19, 2011

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed an $18.3 billion budget that increases health insurance premiums for state employees, slashes funding for Georgia's college system and cobbles together money to go after tax cheats.


    Public Employees Receive Health Benefits Worth 217% More than the Private Sector

    State Budget Solutions | by Kristen Byrne | May 13, 2011

    State and local governments’ retiree health care plans are an enormous unfunded cost for taxpayers. With unfunded costs equaling to $1.4 billion, states will have to raise premium costs for public sector workers or find other ways to rein in cost.


    Public Sector Compensation 145% Greater than Private Sector

    by Kristen Byrne | May 5, 2011

    State and local government employees receive an average of 145 percent more in total compensation than private industry workers.


    Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to sell state health insurance plan to private company draws attacks

    The Times-Picayune | by Jan Moller | April 27, 2011

    Gov. Bobby Jindal's chief budget adviser defended the administration's plan to sell a state-run health insurance plan to a private company.


    Public sector retirement benefits 337% greater than private sector

    by Kristen Byrne, Bryan Leonard | April 16, 2011

    Government workers are getting better retirement benefit deals than employees in the private sector.


    Malloy's Contingency Plans Call For Cutting 10% More From Agency Budgets

    The Hartford Courant | by Christopher Keating | April 5, 2011

    Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is moving ahead with an alternative budget in case the ongoing talks with the unions fall apart.


    Hawaii State, Unions Agree to Furlough Settlements That Include Paid Time Off

    The Hawaii Reporter | by Greg Wiles | April 4, 2011

    Recent labor union settlements negotiated between the state and labor organizations will give thousands of workers at least four days off on a paid basis and bring an end to their furloughs.


    Kansas House panel resumes work on proposed budget

    Businessweek | by John Milburn | March 22, 2011

    The House Appropriations Committee is finishing work on a plan that would allow state government to spend almost $14 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1.


    Md. teachers, state employees protest budget cuts, pension changes

    The Washington Post | by Aaron C. Davis | March 15, 2011

    Teachers charged that the governor's budget, which would close a $1.6 billion gap partly by freezing education funding, abandons a hard-fought law mandating annual increases to improve the state's classrooms.


    Tools for Better Budgets

    Manhattan Institute for Policy Research | by Josh Barro | March 3, 2011

    This Issue Brief lays out policies that state and local governments can enact to reduce and control the cost of employee compensation. These recommendations are heavy on strategies to reduce the cost of employee benefits. Growth in benefit spending has been especially rapid in recent years, and, all things being equal, it is more efficient to pay workers in cash than in benefits.


    Snyder stands firm on budget

    The Detroit News | by Nathan Hurst and Marisa Schultz | February 25, 2011

    Governor says he wants labor unions' input on concessions.


    Budget battles stretch across U.S.

    February 24, 2011

    Legislatures from New Jersey to California are struggling to tackle yawning deficits, longstanding pension obligations and health benefits and some broader questions about how unionized labor will fit into America's evolving political landscape.

  • Read more articles



    An Open Letter to Gov. Gregoire from Washington Policy

    October 20, 2011

    The Washington Policy Center proposes seven ideas for balancing the budget that, if adopted, would put Washington on the path to long-term financial stability so lawmakers do not feel they have to increase the financial burden they place on citizens by raising tax rates.


    State Workers and N.Y.'s Fiscal Crisis

    The New York Times | March 7, 2011

    In all, the salaries and benefits of state employees add up to $18.5 billion, or a fifth of New York’s operating budget. Unless those costs are reined in, New York will find itself unable to provide even essential services.


    Bargaining for a Solution

    by Bob Williams | March 3, 2011

    With pension liabilities and health care benefits out of control and unions asking for more, states are finally taking action. Here's a look at some of the effort-within and beyond Wisconsin-that are underway.


    The Writing on the Wall

    by Bob Williams | February 24, 2011

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's pursuit of reform in public employee compensation incited a vitriolic response from public unions and a de facto boycott by the Democrats in the state legislature. Amidst the political drama and the flashing headlines, there are lessons to be learned.


    Why Governor Walker should not negotiate with the government unions

    by Bob Williams | February 20, 2011

    The reasons why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker should refuse to negotiation with unions range from their attempts to push more generous contracts through a lame-duck legislature to teachers' demands for Viagra despite 480 of the colleagues being laid off.


    Why private-sector unions are much different than government unions

    by Bob Williams | February 19, 2011

    The dispute in Wisconsin is not a traditional private sector dispute between labor and management. It is in reality a question of important public policy –can states afford past unsustainable agreements for government employees salaries and benefits.


    Showdown in Wisconsin

    by John Stephenson | February 18, 2011

    By reforming collective bargaining, governors and legislators would have a stronger hand in contract negotiations to demand concessions to balance budgets and save taxpayers money. Some argue that reforming collective bargaining and labor laws could be a more realistic alternative to dealing with health care and pension costs than state bankruptcy. The stakes are high for both sides. Whatever happens in Wisconsin over the next several days will have ramifications for the rest of the nation.


    Athens in Mad Town

    The Wall Street Journal | by Editorial Board | February 18, 2011

    Unions in Wisconsin are trying to trump the will of the voters as overwhelmingly rendered in November when they elected Mr. Walker and a new legislature. As with the strikes against pension or labor reforms that routinely shut down Paris or Athens, the goal is to create enough mayhem that Republicans and voters will give up.


    Sharing the Load

    by Bob Williams | February 18, 2011

    Now, when nearly every state is tottering on the edge of a fiscal cliff as they try to balance their budgets, public sector workers are being forced to shoulder a share of the financial burden.


    New Sherriff in Town

    by Bob Williams | February 11, 2011

    Someone should tell the unions (in Wisconsin, at least) that there is a new sheriff in town.  And he's not afraid to call in the National Guard to quell unrest among state employees.


    Gregoire releases 2011-13 budget

    by Jason Mercier | December 16, 2010

    Combined with her other calls for pension reforms and agency consolidation, Governor Gregoire's budget represents a good framework for the Legislature to debate how best to move Washington forward in a sustainable, core-function focused way.


    Iowa's departing governor approves a six percent wage increase for state workers

    by John Stephenson | November 23, 2010

    Two months before he leaves office after losing a bid for re-election, Iowa's Governor Chet Culver approved a new two-year contract for unionized state employees that includes a 6.13% wage increase.


    Campaign Promises or Real Reform?

    by Keli Carender | September 9, 2010

    Oregon's Gubernatorial candidates are both running campaigns promising to negotiate harder with public sector unions. Should we believe them?