Saturday, September 17, 2011

Embattled Walker Aide Enjoying Public Service Benefits Years In The Making

You couldn't miss in this Journal Sentinel story the details about accumulated, banked and transferable sick leave benefits being used by Cynthia Archer. (Or how she and other Walker political appointees have gotten big raises in "broke" Wisconsin.)

...Archer was using banked sick time and some vacation time to cover her paycheck while she was off. Archer asked that 120 hours of her banked sick time be used to pay her during her medical leave, which would cover three of the four weeks she's had on leave.

Archer had accumulated 344 hours of sick leave before cashing in a portion of it. She worked for the state earlier in her career, from 1987 to 2003, according to her résumé. She started as an analyst with the Legislative Audit Bureau and worked as a budget analyst and division administrator for the state Department of Corrections.

After leaving the state government employment in 2003, Archer worked as an administrator for Blackhawk Technical College, Brown County and Milwaukee County.

"When a state employee is hired by another state agency, the employee's leave time transfers to the new department," said Stephanie Hayden, spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families. "Employees may use earned leave time at the discretion of their supervisor."

Greg Gracz, state employment relations director, said state employees who quit their jobs can resume using banked sick leave if they return to a state position within five years.
For top state officials, the rules are even more generous.

Under state law, Gracz said, state workers appointed to "career executive positions" have their accumulated sick time restored if they later return to another career executive post, regardless of how long they were away.
I do not begrudge her the benefits, but it was my experience in both local and state government that benefits enjoyed by management-level employees originated at some level with benefits negotiated by unions and then made available to management more or less routinely after contracts with workers were ratified.

If I am wrong in this case, I will post the correction.

My point here is that while public employees have become the Walker administration's leading scapegoat, managers there, from the Governor on down - - and in the Legislature as well - - have with their dependents the benefits of pension, sick leave, vacation and other perks and privileges and that were won for all state employees by unions, negotiators, leaders and voting rank-and-file.

I'd love to see some gratitude in the collective attitude emanating from the Walker and Fitzgeralds' crews.


Anonymous said...

I can tell you one thing- managers in the City of Milwaukee have not enjoyed the same pay raises as those given to the unions. Pay has been frozen for managers since 2008. Why - because the managers have no bargaining rights. So there ya go.

James Rowen said...

Ok - - though I was addressing the benefit packages and rights

Anonymous said...

In Madison Public Schools, administrator raises are based (or at least used to be before Walker) on pay raises granted teachers in bargaining. I believe the same was true with state employees. Non-union (non-represented) workers received packages based on union settlements.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to label ourselves Anony 1,2,3.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Given that Milwaukee County has its own pension system, it would have made sense for Archer to cash in her sick leave when she left state service to work for Walker a few years ago.

Unless her plan was to get back to state service, probably on the backs of a GOP administration. Not that this is necessarily evil, but it does tell you where Archer's head might have been at in Milwaukee County- and it wasn't involved in policies that would help the average person in the 414.

Boxer said...

" . . . the benefits of pension, sick leave, vacation and other perks and privileges . . . " (+ the $88.00 per diem they claim for each day they "work" which wouldn't cover half of Sen Bob Jauch's daily expenses, but is a money-maker for the Fitzgeralds, Waukesha County leges, and St Kedzie as they don't need much more than gas money.)

The same benefits enjoyed by our legislators who are VERY part time and totally unaccountable for their time and even their duties: that is, representing the people of their districts.

And don't even try to give me that baloney that they're accountable every 2 or 4 years to the voters. Institutions such as Neal Kedzie or any of the Waukesha County legislators whose reelections are virtually reassured, ignore their constituents habitually, and then claim they heard from "so many of my constituents that I should vote this way. . . " No one buys that crap any more--they vote the way the corporations who fund their campaigns tell them to.