Florida ranks last in pay for state e...

Florida ranks last in pay for state employees

There are 131 comments on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel story from Mar 23, 2008, titled Florida ranks last in pay for state employees. In it, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that:

Eight years ago Kelvin Haywood needed surgery for a dislocated spine after he was choked unconscious by an inmate at the state hospital where he works.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Mike

West Palm Beach, FL

#43 Mar 24, 2008
Change the Channel wrote:
<quoted text>
Typically you look at GAW (gross annual wage) by the hours worked.
No, "typically" you do that only when actual work hours are specified or measured, and thus actually comparable, but not with some loose, self-serving estimate of "hours worked" many teacher advocates like to throw around. When you actually punch a time clock and recieve pay only for those hours actually on that clock, we can use your hourly comparisons. Teacher compensation complaints are generally accompanied by whining about grading papers, attending meetings, etc.. The actual time a teacher is required to be present at the job site is rarely more than 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and they have a very liberal holiday schedule, as well as a 9 month "year" in most locations. Many educated, salaried employees in the private sector work more hours per week, all year long, for similar compensation on an annual basis. I have often heard the complaints of "long days" from teachers but I have also seen that the teaching staff parking lot traffic flow oddly matches the student's schedule, with very little midnight oil being burned at our public schools. Certainly there are some educators who spend far more than the required time and effort, and it is unfortunate that the teacher unions oppose methods designed to compensate individual teachers based on the mesured results of such extra effort. And most coaches do it for the love of the sport. It is by its nature not something the taxpayer needs to pay a compensatory wage for, being EXTRA-CURRICULAR, and a voluntary activity.

Please recognize that the compensation problem for public education is relatively simple, your long time teachers and your top heavy "administrators" suck up far to much of the total payroll under your union socialist, time in grade,seniority system, leaving starting salaries far too low to attract the better new graduates. It is also unfortunately true that teaching is now basically a "closed shop" and very difficult for even much more educated AND more experienced individuals than your average teacher to enter later in life without being required to take a series of largly useless "education" courses supporting both the public education monopoly and the weakest link in higher education, the teacher certification instructors and "education" Phds. In sum, for a doctor, lawyer, engineer or accountant to enter teaching later in life as something other than a "substitute", they are first required to take "bean bag 101"and its equivelant at some teachers college, often for two years, thus eliminating a potentially valuable source of teaching talent that specifically may not be motivated by the jobs income potential, having already been financially successful in real world careers. Additionally, the dominant short year schedule, designed primarily for a rural farming student lifestyle, is retained by and tends to attract new "professionals" who value time "not working", or at least "time not at the jobs location" far more than your average, equally educated professional. I hope you have also read today's article about new Charter school experiments with significant increases in teacher pay,and support such efforts, but merely pouring more money into pulic education under todays structures will be merely good money after bad.
Typical White Person

Deerfield Beach, FL

#44 Mar 24, 2008
I'll just keep paying my taxes, whether I like it or not, and contiue to get lousy government service by Haitians with benefits I can only dream of...
FredFish

Clermont, FL

#45 Mar 24, 2008
This is rather simple math.
If you take 100/10 = 10.
If you take 100/5 = 20.
So, if you can't grow the 'pie', then
make the slices bigger, less people get a slice.
Reduce the public's appetite for govt to do all sorts of things that they want, but don't really want to pay for. Maybe more 'user' taxes on those who actually use those services.
How about a admission charge to enter the library...just for starters.
2 Cents

United States

#46 Mar 24, 2008
FIREMEN R GREEDY wrote:
When someone takes more than their the deserve, someone else gets less than they deserve.
Firemen make over $100,000 per year for 8 days a month, great benefits, and a $7,000 per month pension with 3% increases after 25 years , some at age 45.
Now state workers get much less, someone is screwing you good. The taxpayers are taxed to death, firemen are stealing the other workers wages. Nice guys, they are my hero's.
Shop at publix, watch tv and sleep on the job.
What do you mean by 7000 per month pension? Are you saying the government contributes 7K a month per fireman to FRS for a future pension or that this is what the retired veteran on the Retirement plan takes home now?
Eric

Boca Raton, FL

#47 Mar 24, 2008
Mike wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, I was astonished at the retirement package given to Browards former director of indigent legal services, I believe his name was Finklestein. It certainly was more than competitive with what sole practitioners or small firm lawyers representing poor and middle income folks for 20 years often have at retirement, and extremely generous by the standards applicable in many areas of the country. You of course will never match the incomes of highly successful attorneys in large firms or businesses doing complex legal work if you work for the government, but in my experience government lawyers rarely put in 60-70 hour weeks for years on end, as many of the most successful in large practices do. Similarly, government lawyers have selected a comparatively low risk career path, especially compared to the significant amount of capital at risk that a modern law firm partner may experience and the civil service protections often afforded marginal public employees but clearly not applicable to poor, or even average performers, in a large firm. Quite simply they are culled with a vigor that might benefit government service, but which has not been a hallmark of public employment in recent memory.
There are two systemic problems with public employment. The first problem, seniority based compensation, plagued the highly unionized private sector until very recently and probably accounts for more imbalance between employee compensation and productivity than all other factors combined. Quite simply, if you pay 2 or 3 times more to "retain" your more senior workers, who have by their seniority mostly demonstrated their lack of mobility to a more highly compensated private sector anyway, you have far less to pay your entry level and younger workers. The result is that you have a lower skilled group of folks to select from as new employees AND you are overcompensate at least some sludge that has been around for 20 years but who, from a productivity standpoint, you would have been better off motivating to move on.
The second problem is irrational deferred compensation and benefit promises, the same problem that continues to experience a harsh reckoning with market reality in the private sector, especially airlines, autoworkers and basic metals. Because the only practical constraint on such uneconomic craddle to grave schemes in the public section is political will to raise taxes, and since public employees and their allies have become a near dominant political force in many areas, this problem grows as more and more public employees retire early and live longer. Neither of these national public employee problems will be easy to solve, and given the nature of Florida's political leadership exemplified by our panderer-in chief, Empty Suit Charlie,I seriously doubt Florida will lead the way.
Well said!
Dingleberry

Boca Raton, FL

#48 Mar 24, 2008
I've worked for the state of FL in higher education for 13 years. Know what my "retirement" salary will be?$195 a MONTH!!! It really is hard to believe. They ought to stop putting a limit on Social Security earnings (for those under 66), because you just can't live on $750 a month (SS) and a limit of $15k a year that you can earn before they take away bennies. That, and the stupid $195 a month won't put food on my table or even help pay rent and insurance. Meanwhile, we have the highest paid college presidents (and their immediate staff members), and the lowest paid staff members who actually RUN the universities. Jealous, anyone??? I think NOT!!! And listen here - we actually PAY for our parking decals here at work, too!
Helio

United States

#49 Mar 24, 2008
freespeech- wrote:
I’ve had 3 years without a raise from the state. No raises in site either. Plus we get threatened that we may have to give up 3 months salary or lose our jobs completely soon.
Good people are leaving and they don’t replace them because there is a freeze on hiring. Some people are doing 4 or more full time jobs for less than doing any one of the jobs in the private sector. Why should I stay working for the state when I can make $40,000+ more for any of the jobs I do elsewhere? Plus, sometimes I work 80+ hours a week to get all the work done. There is no overtime or comp time for extra work performed. Somehow our annual incomes on our W2’s actually keep going down every year.
This is bad, especially with the rising inflation and gas prices.
Good people do not work for government.
Please Teach

United States

#50 Mar 24, 2008
Teachers are paid for 196 days of work. They have 5 paid holidays.

Their days is 7.5 hours with a 25 minute lunch.

Planning and preparation for classes is swallowed up by meetings.

Go into education if you want. Having the knowledge and being able to impart it to students is important.

Many times the knowledge of subject matter is overtaken by having to teach basic reading skills to students who despite being retained, tutored and given additional help still can not read.

Many times their vocabulary is limited and their attitudes are limited.
Duh

Boca Raton, FL

#51 Mar 24, 2008
Helio wrote:
<quoted text>
Good people do not work for government.
Get off of the computer and go apply for your green card idiot.

Since: Nov 07

Miami, FL

#52 Mar 24, 2008
Too bad this isn't the sitch with city and county employees. Especially at the top.
All i Want

Boynton Beach, FL

#53 Mar 24, 2008
quasar wrote:
It is amazing how politicians promise the world to get elected, and once they are in office, it is everyone else's fault or some other circumstances' that causes them not to carry out the promises' they made, ie, lower property taxes, lower homeowners insurance, fair wages for all, and the list goes on.
Another Republican that says one thing and does another. But, we in Fl never seem to get it. we follow blindly over the edge to our demise.
Are you kidding, black jack and vegas slots casinos coming SOON!!!!!!!!!!
jack

Tallahassee, FL

#54 Mar 24, 2008
There are pension benefits 1.3 to 3% per year depending on the type of job, but there are no health-care benefits for retired state employees.
FIREMEN R GREEDY

Miami, FL

#55 Mar 24, 2008
Dingleberry wrote:
I've worked for the state of FL in higher education for 13 years. Know what my "retirement" salary will be?$195 a MONTH!!! It really is hard to believe. They ought to stop putting a limit on Social Security earnings (for those under 66), because you just can't live on $750 a month (SS) and a limit of $15k a year that you can earn before they take away bennies. That, and the stupid $195 a month won't put food on my table or even help pay rent and insurance. Meanwhile, we have the highest paid college presidents (and their immediate staff members), and the lowest paid staff members who actually RUN the universities. Jealous, anyone??? I think NOT!!! And listen here - we actually PAY for our parking decals here at work, too!
All the firemen are laughing at you stupid state workers. Extort the taxpayers for $100,000 per year for 8 days a month. Retire at age 45 healthy and get paid $7,000 per month and great health benefits. All you stupid state workers,tough luck, the firemen took all of your money.
Mike

Hialeah, FL

#56 Mar 24, 2008
Let's hope these state employees have the ability to leave and find other jobs in the private sector. It'll serve the state right. Everyone is completetly sick of overpaid, corrupt administrators and the the underpaid workers they manage. How about that bimbo that was just hired at 100k a year by Crist..... The whole thing is pathetic.
Xxx

Vero Beach, FL

#57 Mar 24, 2008
...and starting salaries for faculty with Master's degrees is around $35,000.
snowbird

Baltimore, MD

#58 Mar 24, 2008
As s state employee in the mida-atlantic region, I know the difference in proper state oversight of public programs. Florida must invest in their public employees. Maybe if the State pays better it will recruit and retain the best people so that the citizens of Florida and the rest of the country will not have to read about more children being "lost" in the Florida foste care system!
disgusted

Athens, GA

#59 Mar 24, 2008
You should see what they pay RN's and LPN's. Do they ever review salaries?
EXSTATEEMPLOYEE

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#60 Mar 24, 2008
Clinton suxxxx wrote:
bitch and moan .... bitch and moan....
If state leaches I mean employees do not like it ... QUIT
Go get a job at Subway
These leaches get benefits you could only dream about with their fat pensions and life long healthcare .....
piss on em.
Let's see, I'm going to get a FAT pension??!!?? Look at the facts, you idiot. I'll be getting about 45% of the average of my 5 years highest salary. This was after being on the front line with the State DBPR for 19 years.

Let's see, I'm going to get LIFELONG HEALTHCARE??!!?? Again, ring the buzzer on this moron. Once I retire, I can pay through the nose to have COBRA coverage, or try to pay for private insurance, until I can get Medicare.

Pal ... I don't know what state employees you're talking about, but they sure as heck are not Florida state employees.
EXSTATEEMPLOYEE

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#61 Mar 24, 2008
Please Teach wrote:
Teachers are paid for 196 days of work. They have 5 paid holidays.
Their days is 7.5 hours with a 25 minute lunch.
Planning and preparation for classes is swallowed up by meetings.
Go into education if you want. Having the knowledge and being able to impart it to students is important.
Many times the knowledge of subject matter is overtaken by having to teach basic reading skills to students who despite being retained, tutored and given additional help still can not read.
Many times their vocabulary is limited and their attitudes are limited.
AMEN!!!!(On behalf of my wife -- in her 34th year of teaching)
EXSTATEEMPLOYEE

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#62 Mar 24, 2008
FLORIDA CITIZENS GET WHAT THEY PAY FOR OUT OF THEIR STATE EMPLOYEES. SINCE THEY PAY THESE PEOPLE CRAP, THAT'S WHAT THEY DESERVE.

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