Please read my full Examiner article which contains the excerpt below:
What does this all mean for Delaware? Well, as I've mentioned in previous posts, the personnel costs in Delaware are 30% of the total budget. Meanwhile, the leadership of Delaware's public employee unions say:
In Delaware, public employees' health insurance and pension programs do not constitute a huge "budget buster," as they do in other financially troubled states. Our budget woes result primarily from the continuing effect of the Great Recession on state revenues.
Well there must be a fundamental disconnect her because I see 30% of the budget being devoted to employee costs as a "budget buster". The slide show on the left contains a couple of charts that show the benefit packages that state workers recieve and the current underfunding of Delaware's state worker pension packages. Also, let's keep in mind that Delaware state workers contribute 3% to their pension accounts while the state contributes 7.5% to that plan over and above. Add to that the fact that state workers are becomming more brazen and demanding to know "When am I going to get a raise..." even as the Governor is looking at the budget and seeing a nearly $300 million shortfall (almost twice what Wisconsin is closing with their bill). At some point, Governor Markell is going to have to face the facts that DSEA, AFSCME and other unions MUST have their deals restructured to ensure that out state remains solvent. That doesn't mean that we have to destroy the current way of life of union workers. We can institute changes that affect new hires, we can offer early retirement to those who are at the end of their careers and we can make minor changes to the current benefit packages (like increasing employee contribution by 2% and decreasing State contributions by the same amount making the contributions equal at 5% each).