RE: DCYF’s Problems
Pat Crowley–who throws ad hominem attacks around like a Fenway Park Vendor throws peanuts (though they’re more accurate)–has peeked in to drop a couple bombs concerning my DCYF post. However, he did attempt a more substantive critique at Kmareka (a post which Justin already mentioned). Crowley thinks that my calculations don’t take into account compounding of salaries–“each year the raises are on the raises from the prior year”–and that they “are skewed because they count certain things twice….Vacation, for example. If I get to take a week off, I get paid right? But I don’t get paid twice. AR…count[s] my regular salary AND my vacation pay… they count it twice, in other words.”
To start with, there was no intention to shape the stats to fit my argument, as he implied. I kept hearing how the overall budget has increased so much since 1998, that I got the State Budge docs from as far back as I could (2001) and proceeded from there. My “technique” was simple: crunch some numbers in a straightforward way and post the results. The 29% increase in salary per position since 2001 was derived from the difference of the average DCYF salary then ($47,500) until now ($61,300). But the increase in the total amount devoted to salary from year to year is only part of it: the other part is the reduction in the number of positions and how, taken together, there has actually been an overall increase of salary per position.
I think most people would ask: has my salary increased 29% ($13,800) since 2001? But let me amend that: these increases are for positions, not people. A better question would be: has my salary increased 29% ($13,800) since 2001 even though I’ve never been promoted?
OK, you asked for it: more fun with tables. As they say, there are lies, damn lies and statistics, right? Well, here is a year-to-year breakdown that may assuage Crowley’s compounded concerns.
|Year||# FTE’s||% Change # FTE’s||Total Salary ($Mil)||% Change Ttl. Sal.||Avg. FTE Salary||% Change||Inflation Rate|
As the table shows, calculating things in a slightly different way reveals that changes in total salary for the entire DCYF aren’t exactly the same as changes in the average salary per FTE position. If anyone wants to suggest alternate methods, feel free.
Crowley’s example re:vacation might be applicable when calculating total payroll (salary and benefits). I used the budget numbers by the state to calculate total payroll per Full Time Equivalent position. Genuine question: Is he saying the State–including the Budget office and the Legislature–has been using faulty math for at least the past decade in calculating those numbers?
ADDENDUM: In the comments, “Bobby O” believes I’m excluding important comparative data. I’ve added Inflation rate to the above table. Bobby also believes that I’m not taking into the number of caseloads. Well, according to RI Kids Count:
Between 2000 and 2005, in Rhode Island, the total Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) caseload remained relatively constant at around 8,000 cases. In 2006, the number of children on the DCYF caseload increased to 9,414, a 19% increase from 2005.
That’s the most up-to-date I can find. Bobby ties the high caseloads to the need for the State to make an attractive compensation package to lure workers. My first thought was, “where are all of the altruistic RIC grads?”, but the question really goes back to the argument made before: slightly less compensation = a few more workers = lighter caseloads = better service.
Hey Bobby, here’s a thought. If you want to cut jobs in one place to add more workers at DCYF, why not turn your eyes to the Legislature? (Hey, I can play this game all day).
|2001||2008||Change (Value)||% Change|
|Total S+B / FTE||$64,463||$98,579||+$34,116||+53%|
The numbers speak for themselves.