Thorpe Targets “Excessive” Public Employee Salaries

(2012/Creative Commons)

Representative Bob Thorpe introduced legislation, HB2273, that establishes a compensation cap for public employees in an effort to curb excessive public employee salaries.

HB2273 would cap the annual salary and benefits package for public employees at four times the median family income for Arizona.

Arizona University Leaders Call New Budget “Devastating”

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and Arizona State University President Michael Crow complained about state’s budget just passed by the Arizona Legislature. On Friday, the first structurally-balanced plan since 2007 was passed by the Legislature during a grueling all-night session.

The budget includes more than $600 million in general fund dollars for universities.

Arizona Representative Dr. Randall Friese echoed Crow and Hart as he complained bitterly about the budget during the floor discussions on Friday. Friese, who earns $404,000 as a professor of surgery, according to University of Arizona records, called the budget “devastating.”

In September 2014, the Arizona Board of Regents gave Crow a 20 percent raise in base pay. As a result, his total annual compensation rose to almost $900,000. Hart, receives $475,000, and can earn up to $40,000 in bonuses for meeting certain goals. According to the Arizona Republic, “Both have the potential to earn far more in 2015, up to $180,000 for Crow and $170,000 for Hart.”

The burden for keeping hundreds of staff on the payroll for hundreds of thousands of dollars each will surely be passed on to the students. Of those employees over 500 make $200,000 a year, these 500 employees’ salaries total over $145 million.

“Last year it was reported that over 1,200 public employees in Maricopa County alone were pulling in over $100,000 per year,” said Representative Thorpe, who earned the nickname Thorpedo. “Taxpayers must ask themselves if these administrators, some of whom are earning over $300,000 a year, are truly bringing more value to the state than the average Arizona worker earning a quarter of this salary.”

“In Pima County, we have seen requests for salary increases from $280,000 to $288,000 for one county administrator, as well as the salary for the city manager of Phoenix sitting at a staggering $319,000,” continued Thorpe.

“We have seen other states go down this dark path of paying public employees excessive salaries, and the trend is beginning to find its way to Arizona,” continued Thorpe.

In 2015, it was reported that Pima County had a count of 219 employees with salaries greater than $100 thousand per year. These public sector salaries are far outpacing private sector salary growth and reforms are needed. I applaud Rep. Thorpe for introducing this much needed legislation and will fully support the passage of this bill,” stated Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller.

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  1. And the next thing that needs to be targeted is the obscene banking of sick leave and vacation which is then used to spike gov’t employees’ pensions or provide a huge cash payout at retirement

    It appears that no one ever gets sick or takes vacation during the last few years of gov’t service when there’s money to be made and buddy punching to be relied on. Yet we all know that they take time off, plus the bulk of the TUSD and other school districts’ workforce is off for several months each year.

    They need to go to the military system, i.e. you can only sell back a total of 60 days of vacation for cash in your entire working career. If you have vacatrion days left, you use them to retire early, nothing else.

    Plus at most civilian employers I’ve worked for, sick leave doesn’t carry over year-to-year and can’t be sold back for cash or used to spike a pension.

    And it goes without saying that no gov’temployee should be able to buy pension credits for years that they haven’t actually worked.

  2. Maybe with this they would be more concerned with getting better jobs here. Then the median family income would go up and they could get more pay for actually doing their job!

  3. Look into our Tucson Police Dept. – Top heavy with commanders who serve only themselves and the last thing on their mind is to reduce crime and fight it. They work from their homes 20 hours per week, drive out of city limits to eat lunch in the suburbs they live in. Their business calendars are always blocked to hide the banker hours they keep. Look at the commanders sick leave usage compared to the average line officer, they never get sick. They bank the hours and sell for cash.

  4. This is why they want to sell Marijuana, make ghost governments that pass out grants. Then monies for service appropriated by the legislature can go to pension plans.
    AZDHS/mmj director can at any time order testing of the products that are allowed to go to market.
    They dont need to rewrite the Marijuana proposition to do his job it is that simple. Just looking to rob the coffers like they did with all the RICO funds state wide.

  5. I have a 35 yrld son who pulls down 300+ I ask how can this happen? I asked him and my other children why is it you can make such great monies? They all left Arizona to work in the cities of the coast. In Arizona public administrators were able to see such great salaries because of federal subsidies. So Our PUBLIC employees want the same as those cities proving they just want the monies. like ex sheriff Boykin getting a salary $100,000 with perks for over 20 years now a retirement and he didn’t work a day after he left the sheriffs dept.

  6. All one has to do is look at Chuckles making about $400K a year and know that a bill like this is needed. You talk about feeding at the public trough?? These are pigs of the first order.

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