State Workers Protest Cuts

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

"Legislators get the gold mine, workers get the shaft," state employees chanted in frustration outside the Capitol building.

Governor Rick Snyder's budget proposal asks state employees for 180 million dollars in cuts, including some state jobs--jobs like the 300 he plans to eliminate from the Deparment of Human Services. That's where Jayne Vankirk has worked for five years.

"They can fire every state employee in Michigan, but you're not going to fix the budget cause you're not generating revenue," said Vankirk.

Vankirk says too much is being asked of too few. She says increasing the sales tax by one percent would more evenly distribute the burden.

"Everyone in the state of Michgian is responsible for this debt, not just state employees, not just the poor, not just kids trying to get an education," she added.

State workers rallied on the corner of Capitol and Allegan so legislators on their way to Governor Snyder's budget presentation would hear their message.

"Taking away from workers or asking them to give more does not create jobs," said Glenn Freeman, president of the Greater Lansing Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Ken moore, president, msea hit time
"Let's close up the corporate loopholes where some of the big money's at. Let's close those up so we can get back to a reasonable budget," said Ken Moore, president of the Michigan State Employees Association.

Moore says workers want to be part of the budget solution -- not a casualty in the process.

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  • by Beth Location: Lansing on Feb 21, 2011 at 03:12 PM
    This state can not continue to balance the budget on the backs of the state employees. State employees are getting consistently lower pay, less benefits and everything else that we have to pay for is going up. Food, gas, education and even keeping our homes has continued to rise while state workers are continued to receive less and work longer hours. Some "American Dream"!
  • by Tim Location: Jackson on Feb 21, 2011 at 02:06 PM
    I was a correctional officer for 29 years, as a MDOC employee, I have been taking one cut or another since 1980. Again and again I was told by prisoners the State will lie and cut your retirement and everyone else, why?: No one will stand up for you and your fellow officers. From the Governor's office to line sergeant when it comes to the benefits the people will believe what ever the political spin masters will tell them. It's that simple, and then we (the cons) will win. You can't maintain a high level and professional correctional work force without paying for it. I saw many correctional officers take the quick or dishonest path and loose their jobs, rightly so. But for we the brave, we the suckers who did not take the bribes, and who believed in the State of Michigan these cuts and extra State taxes on our retirement is a travesty. I retired with honor will these leaders who forcing this position claim the same.
  • by State Worker on Feb 20, 2011 at 10:04 PM
    If you guys want to get frustrated with State employees, you may want to take a look at the Legislators. Your hard earned tax dollars are paying them 200,000 dollars a year for working 3 days a week (at the most), benefits for life after 6-years, paid weeks off for hunting, catered lunches ect... while the state employees who are doing the genuine work for this state are taking unpaid time off, 3% decrease in wages, contribution to a "retirement plan" that we will never see and more. I make 3 times less that I could in the private sector, but I am passionate about what I do and I stand for it. If you want to look at who should be to blame, you may want to take a look at the people who pass the laws, not the people who are at work for the State and have no control. I never take my job for granted. This is no longer the era of "bloated, lazy State workers taking a 30-year nap" we are all getting paid less and working harder than ever and the legislators are not taking ANY concessions.
  • by Tammy Location: Potterville on Feb 19, 2011 at 08:04 PM
    I have worked for private sector and now work for state. We are paid just as much as private sector and we have to pay taxes just like everybody else. It is time for senators and house of reps to take a look at there health care and salary. Even Gov Snyder makes more then state workers and private sectors so he should take a big pay cut and not have us fix his house in Detroit so he has protection when we have a gov house in Lansing. I think enough cuts on state workers.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2011 at 12:43 PM
    Lets face it people,working,retired or in this mess as most are,Rick may be a business man,may have a few million $.But he surely don't get the real working person at the low end of stuff.We aren't working for him @ one of his business.He's not paying our wages,insurances,ect.We are PEOPLE over a million.All I can see out of his plan is job loss for a lot more people.People having so much less who are all ready poverty,Schools closing or over crowded classes,not enough police protection or fire dept people.More people going hungry and more sick people with no insurances.Cuts?this is population control at the start. This looks like a wonderful way to keep the rich, very rich.Food bank,charities and those helping out there can't do much more.Stressed to the max.many have so little left to offer.Rick don't know all about the poor,needy,charities ect.He don't use them.He is blinded by being so rich.I'm glad I don't have that problem.
  • by State Worker on Feb 18, 2011 at 08:18 AM
    RT, You do realize that state workers pay the same taxes as you do? You do realize that over the years copays an the premiums we pay have increased? You do realize that we pay 3% of our wages to retiree health care with no guaratee that we will receive a benefit when we retire? You do realize that many of us are doing the work that used to be done by four people? You do realize that any state worker hired after 1997 does not have a guarateed benefit pension? And Ricardo, you do realize that most college grad professionals do NOT make more that their private sector counterparts?
  • by Larry Location: Grand Ledge on Feb 18, 2011 at 04:35 AM
    If you are really unhappy with this you should quit your job and get a job in the private sector.
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Feb 18, 2011 at 04:14 AM
    I like the idea of firing every state employee, then offer to rehire them realistic wages! This just might work out great. It definately needs to be investigated! Thank you. Ricardo
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Feb 18, 2011 at 03:29 AM
    I am LOVING this!!! This governor was elected to get this state back on its' own fiscal two feet and that's EXACTLY what he's doing. With this new budget all the predictable responses are on the table. The special interest groups are whining not to cut the tax money going to them. Shame on them. Shame on all you State workers, who are paid by the tax-payers (you're welcome, by the way), to demand the tax-payers keep shelling out more for your benefits. Remember you work for THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE and we're broke. I've had to pay more for my benefits where I work too...welcome to the REAL world.
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