Coffee heat rising

State of Arizona Employ: Goodbye, so long, adios!

Arizona’s bumbling state legislators, faced with a budget deficit that would challenge far better men and women, approved a 5 percent cut in pay for state employees.

This will more than negate the 6.2 percent increase they generously ladled out a couple of years ago. You have to understand, every raise for state employees is accompanied by what we call a “retroraise.” A retroraise happens when you get a raise but then your employer jacks up the cost of benefits so that your take-home pay actually drops. Often a state of Arizona pay increase is in actuality a retroraise.

For GDU employees, that 6.2 percent increase was quickly erased by GDU’s decision to inflict a $770 per year parking fee and by the switch from bimonthly to biweekly pay, which effectively meant a pay cut in 10 out of every 12 months. For me the change to biweekly meant a $480/month drop in gross pay.

Well, goodbye to all that! Just imagine: if I continued with GDU past the end of this month, the 5 percent pay cut would have worked out to a $3,275 drop in gross annual income.

If I didn’t have enough reasons to be happy they threw me in the layoff brier patch, there’s another one! If they keep that up, before long my salary would be the same as my cobbled-together postretirement income.