The Backyard

The Backyard

Thursday, February 5, 2009

No More Pay Raises -- But Do We Need Them??

The official letter came this morning that my pay is frozen for the remainder of my working years - yes, the REMAINDER OF MY WORKING YEARS. Pennsylvania's Governor Rendell froze all management and non-represented (union) employees until 2010, and since my planned retirement is early 2011, in essence my raises are over. Yes, first thoughts are @*()@!&*#*$^, but my next thought was do we really need those raises? Many of you will say ABSOLUTELY! But isn't this the opportunity to think through our spending and lifestyles a little more? Us "affluent Americans," as Sharon Astyk writes, live way, way, way beyond our means and I'm going to try to look at a frozen pay raise as blessing in disguise -- a way to really crack down, think spending through, be more resourceful, etc. Cut the heat more, think about NOT using as much electricity (we stopped using the dishwasher a long time ago -- a drying rack was set up to cut dryer usage, etc), darn those damn holes in my socks for a change. And the food -- BIG savings in the food department if you really, really think it through and plan meals. Sharon Astyk has great ideas here on eating cheap. Need more help on cost savings? Check Sharon's website or read her book, Depletion and Abundance -- its an eye opener!

February 4, 2009

Dear Commonwealth Managers and Non-represented Employees,

On December 3, I informed you of a freeze on all management and non-represented employees’ salaries. The longevity and salary increases that were anticipated in January did not occur, saving the commonwealth $14.3 million this fiscal year. In that letter, I also said that I could not predict whether future anticipated raises would be affected.

I understand your need to closely manage your household finances in this challenging economy so I will share information about decisions that may impact your compensation as swiftly as possible.

Today, as part of my budget address, I announced that the salary freeze will be extended and that anticipated increases for managers and non-represented employees in July 2009 and January 2010 will not take place. I am sorry; I regret that the current $2.3 billion anticipated budget shortfall requires such a far-reaching measure. Please know that freezing salaries is one of many actions being taken so that we can preserve as many commonwealth jobs for as long as possible.

Thank you for your continued dedication and service to the commonwealth’s citizens, many of whom are relying on us to get through these difficult times.


Edward G. Rendell

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