Both Sides of the Chafee Raises
I have to admit, I’m torn on this one. The headlines and many people are screaming because Gov. Chafee wants to give two 3% raises to his cabinet members, just six months apart. Yeah, he wants to give more than a 6% raise, in less than a year to directors already making well into the six-figures. How dare he!
Additionally, last year the Governor balked at giving URI faculty raises.
In April, Chafee denounced the faculty raises, saying they were inappropriate “at a time when Rhode Islanders are struggling and when other state employees are making a daily sacrifice to help the state remain fiscally healthy.”
But let’s be fair and look at some more facts. These directors haven’t had a raise since 2002. Yes, yes, they make six-figures, but if you want to have good people in the jobs, you need to at least pay appropriately. We’re talking about fourteen people and the total given in both raises to the directors would be $111,590. Of course not a drop in the bucket, but also it wouldn’t be unreasonable to call this the cost of doing business.
Lastly, also mentioned in the article is that the directors have been doing a much better job at meeting their assigned budgets. For the first time in a while, no supplemental budget is required. Ok, so maybe a response to that is “staying within their budget is their job, we’re going to reward them for doing their job?” Well, yeah. Do we all think that we have to go “over and above” every year in order to justify any pay increase in our job each year?
I just keep going back to the lack of raises for the last eleven years. That sounds crazy to me. But I get that it’s been lean times since then. Is it time to give these people an increase? Maybe a single 3% increase for the year is more appropriate? What do you think?
Clarification: The *positions* have not been given a raise in eleven years. The current set of directors have not been in the positions for that long.