Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Mayor's failure of leadership on wage freeze

In the news today, the Herald reports that the Mayor and his staff are taking a 3% pay cut. They report that the savings of $122,000 will basically offset the raises just handed out last August.

But, this is not true. The raises handed out last August come to more than $148,000. So, they are still making more money than they were before. This also does not include the bonuses the Mayor handed out of 10 months of retroactive pay.

Meanwhile, according to the Mayor's own numbers he is projecting a 55 million dollar increase in the pay of the city workers according to the contracts that he negotiated. This is about a 5% increase.

To sum up, the Mayor is going to lead by taking a 3% pay cut while he asks all of the city workers to take a 5% pay cut. That is not leadership, that is absence of leadership.

He should take the same pay cut he is asking the unions to take, admit that he negotiated bad contracts, and rescind the bonuses he handed out to his inner circle. Then maybe we would take him seriously that there is a serious budget crisis. We need someone to lead by example. Why not take a measly $100,000 for the year and save one teaching position? That would send a statement about how much he cares about education.

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