Snyder Proposes to Cut Employee Benefits and Wages

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Rick Snyder ran some of his economic plans up the flag pole today. The biggest one would cut back on state employee benefits. He wants to get them more in line with the benefits private sector workers get. The state employee unions think they've already made their share of sacrifices.

"We have already done our part to balance the state budget," said legislative liason Ray Holman of UAW 6000.

In the last 7 years, state employees have cut more than 7 hundred and fifty million in wages and benefits. They say there is no room to cut anymore.

"People think we have Cadillac benefits but we don't," said Holman.

Snyder plans to restructure some state programs to be more efficient. The Michigan Economic Development Program has one president, 10 vice presidents, a chief financial officer and a director. It is an area Snyder says can expect changes. These reforms from the top down are changes the state employees union can agree with.

"We need more people doing the work. So if he's talking to make the state department more efficient, we'd like to partner with him," said Holman.

Snyder says municipalities will likely have to make large fundamental reforms.

"The state level has made cuts. But the municipalities haven't made any reforms," said Rep. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge.

All parties agree, the state is facing financial crisis with a projected $1.6 billion deficit for next year.

"Not everyone will be happy but we have a choice, massive tax increases or reforms," said Rep. Jones.

Snyder says he plans to "talk to the people" to decide the best way to reform. He plans to have a two-year budget by next June.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Oakland County on Jan 3, 2011 at 11:47 AM
    People neglect to remember that state employees do the jobs that no one wants but are important. The Secretary of State and the Department of Human Services are two major entities that are necessary for the state government to function. Lets see what everyone is saying when they can't drive because they can't get their license or plates renewed due to lack of employees. Or maybe when you or your lower income family member can't get health care because their is no one to process their medicaid. Let's all be realistic, cutting worker benefits is not putting any money directly back in your pocket, it's only funding something else that a politician deems more important at the time.
  • by non anonymous on Dec 23, 2010 at 07:40 AM
    The govt. is now feeding on itself. The U.S is a dying organism. Those of you who thought you were on the winning team that was screwing the private sector, your masters are gonna turn on you. Elite Democrats, Elite Republicans... all the same.. those two top groups will make sure they survive and to hell with everyone else.
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Dec 23, 2010 at 06:29 AM
    I usually don't comment much on other peoples replies but, Steve from Charlotte is quite amusing. He tells me (and others) to go back to school and get an G.E.D., while his post are loaded with misspelled words. I am assuming he represents the more "educated" segment of the state employee pool? Oh well, at least I managed to read what was said. (And I do have more than a G.E.D. education.) Thank you. Ricardo
  • by Jen Location: Williamston on Dec 23, 2010 at 06:10 AM
    To all the State employee detractors, my friend would like to thank you for all your lovely expressions of understanding as it gives her something to ponder when she sits home on a furlough day for which, as furlough goes, she doesn't get paid for. Wise up, ignorant lemmings of Michigan, there is not a State of Michigan worker I know living the high life and taking ritzy vacations. Most of them have to struggle to get by, just like so many of us. Imagine a new boss coming in every few years and having to worry about whether you'll still have your job or not because they may decide you don't fit into their new plans. "Citizen Sane", my only comment to you is that you need to change your moniker to "Citizen Clueless" as the majority of the benefits you're referring to are offered to legislators and upper level supervisors and not your general peon-type employee drone.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 22, 2010 at 05:52 PM
    upper gov needs some cuts in wages,Dose any one see that happening?There is only one thing that will fix this state,JOBS BY THE THOUSANDS.Engler help ruin this state,so lets bring him back?TAXES run a state and with out jobs,we won't see as much tax money as we need so look out poor ones and certain others that will become poor.It is sad the wrong throats will be cut.The more people get push into a corner the end results can't be good.
  • by steve Location: charlotte on Dec 22, 2010 at 04:28 PM
    TO John in Marshall, Andrea,Ricardo go back to school and get your G.E.D. Then maybe if you have any skills you can get a job. Then you could make a descent wade so you won"t be so bitter to those that do! And by the way I have friends that work for Post, GM, Kelloggs, That all make more than I do. Even my wife who works for a fast food co. so quit being jalousie. And get your self a good job and education! Go to MI.Gov to apply
  • by Citizen sane on Dec 22, 2010 at 02:44 PM
    It's obvious that working for government throughout the U.S. has gotten to be a better deal than working for private industry. Government employees contribute less of their own money for health care, get pensions which are basically non-existant in the private sector, and get health care extensions into retirement which is also virutally non-existant in the private sector. This is unsustainable as the government retiree count continues to grow and grow, while the supporting tax base cannot. We need to keep our promises to the existing gov. workforce, but reduce the promised retirement benefits for incoming future workers.
  • by gordie Location: rives jct on Dec 22, 2010 at 01:37 PM
    first let the legeslaters take a huge cut in wages and benifits then maybe others would be willing to help...
  • by FactCheck Location: MI-7 District on Dec 22, 2010 at 01:30 PM
    I also hope that Gov. Snyder reduces his, the state senators, the state representatives, and his cabinet officers salaries; plus office expenditures, by a significant amount. After all, they are state employees too.
  • by Not a State Employee on Dec 22, 2010 at 01:25 PM
    If we cut state employee wages doesn't that mean less tax revenue for the state since the income tax is based on a percentage of income. Also doesn't it mean less sales tax revenue for the school aid fund since state employees will have less money to spend. This proposal will hurt every community where state employees live.
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