Ending Balance More Important than Kansas Families
Thousands of State Employees will Lose their Market Adjustments
Statement from Jane Carter, Executive Director
“Today the Kansas Senate conceded to the House’s push to defund state employee market adjustments for the next two fiscal years. This move is an unjust act of discrimination against those who labor, day in and day out, for every citizen in Kansas.
“Three years ago the Legislature made the state employees of Kansas a promise, to bring our wages up to comparable market rates and we believed they would follow through. Today, budget negotiators gave up on that promise, setting Kansas back decades.”
“The concept of stripping market adjustments from future budgets, which have not been hashed out yet through the legislative process, clearly demonstrates the concerted effort to balance the budget on the backs of our public servants.
“Let’s be very clear: Our budget deficit was not created from the excessive wages of public employees. In March, USA Today released analysis that lists Kansas as 49th in pay and benefits compared to the private sector[i]. The findings were established through the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and rank Kansas public employees nearly $3,300 below private sector compensation.”
“Over the last few years, our services and the jobs we do have been cut to the bone. We have sacrificed, and we must continue to do our jobs while making next to the lowest wages in the country. During this session, we have seen threats of substantial pay cuts to our already low salaries, significant changes to our hard earned pensions, and now an idealistic tax on our health insurance. Sadly, this is only the beginning of the harsh attacks to come on state workers.
“Our hard work kept Kansas moving during the worst recession in decades. To take away equitable pay for a KDOT worker who makes $22,000 per year, or a direct care staffer at Larned who makes $19,000 is not only sad, it is despicable.
“Thousands of hard working families will suffer because of an extreme political agenda focused on an idealistic, arbitrary ending balance. Working families should not be left behind because of politics. State workers have dedicated their lives to Kansas and our neighbors, only to once again have members of the Legislature turn their backs on us.”
[i] Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY Feb. 28, 2011