While I recognize that exempt government employees have not had a salary raise in at least a decade, it is hard to imagine justifying raises at this time. Frankly, these proposed salaries are quite healthy and quite in line with middle-management salaries in corporate America. But there is a critical difference here: The private sector exists under the discipline of the market; the public sector does not. Therefore, it is rather unwise to compensate government employees this well without including a process for accountability.
Would government employees be willing to endure layoffs, salary cuts or salary reductions if their organization's performance did not measure up to some externally agreed upon standard? Until the day that the answer is "yes," civil servants will have to bite the bullet.
Everyone else is biting the bullet already. Intel is laying off valuable employees every day. Every major corporation in the world is doing the same thing.
It is unconscionable that the governor has taken this executive action to increase the salaries of his senior administrators to make them among the highest-paid civil administrators in the country. The government cannot afford it. The action is unjustifiable.
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to email@example.com.