(Chuck Muth) – Pack your bags, folks….we’re goin’ on a guilt trip!
For the life of me I will never understand the alternate universe our pampered princes and princesses of privilege – aka, government employees – live in. Some of these people are so disconnected from reality you’d think they were somehow related to Timothy Leary (ask you mom).
On Friday, using their taxpayer-funded email accounts, a number of employees from taxpayer-funded UNLV, launched a “Woe is Me” email campaign to state legislators outlining the supposedly devastating effects one-day-a-month furloughs have had on them and begging that no more misery be inflicted upon their poor, troubled souls.
Now before sharing with you some of the absolutely nauseating screeds, allow me to point out that the reason budget cutters are going after government workers is pretty much the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks: That’s where the money is.
Nobody is “picking on” state workers simply because they don’t like state workers. Much like light-skinned Negroes to Harry Reid, some of my best friends are government workers.
No, the reason there is NO CHOICE other than to do something about state employee compensation and benefits is that the vast majority of what the government spends its money on IS employee compensation and benefits. And that includes all the so-called “essential” employees at UNLV.
So without further ado, let’s go to the e-mailbag:
From email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org]
You are working on the Nevada State budget.
I am a State of Nevada employee assigned to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Department of Theatre.
You “gave” me a furlough day. It cost me my one dinner a week out, my one movie a month, cut my weekly church donation.
That is three entities also affected by my 8 hours of furlough. Multiply that by the others and you know why so many restaurants have closed putting those people out of work, costing the State a good deal of income from the sales tax revenue. The same with the movie theatre. The church is scrambling to pay their bills and have tripled the number of homeless people they assist with food and clothing.
I do not know quite where I can cut next. I am a single wage earner as my husband is disabled; we and the bank have us living in a little 1200 foot patio home, having one car, inadequate insurance, not having a social life of any consequence.
I’ve made my cuts for this state. Where are yours? What have you given up? What do you intend to give up?
Thank you for your careful consideration of these financial matters.
Theatre @ UNLV
Oy, vey! Somebody, please hand me a tissue.
Furloughs of state workers are putting restaurants out of business? The number of homeless has tripled (source, please?) because state workers have been furloughed one day a month? And as for Kim’s question about what legislators going to give up, I’d say…..start with UNLV’s Department of Theatre! Talk about non-essential. We have enough Hollywood liberals already.
Greetings: I am an 18 year classified employee at UNLV hoping to retire in the spring of 2013 shortly after I turn 70. In a perfect world, I would have been able to retire at age 65 but due to the windfall nightmare that wasn’t possible. The minute I retire on PERS my social security payment will be cut by 2/3. I was married a long time, was a stay at mom for many years, returning to full time work at age 48. I always assumed I would receive social security and whatever small amount of retirement I could accumulate…not so!!! If I could retire now, think of the salary savings the university would reap!!!!
I have been asked to share with you how the furlough days affect me personally. I am much better off than many of my peers, since I am also receiving social security. However, I have charged myself with the task of not dipping into that money to make up the difference of about $200 a month. The actual affect to me is I have given up some of the “fluff” of life. I no longer get my nails done, get a haircut every 6 weeks instead of every 4, a pedicure every other month instead of every month, eat out less often, etc. While these seem like small things, and trust me, in the scheme of things, they are…..but to the manicurist, the hair dresser,the pedicure gal, it is NOT a small thing. All have lost more than half their customers! The thing is, every time I take a pay cut, I spend less, which reflects in other people losing wages, loss of revenue to the state in general..the snowball affect. I see people around me really struggle–single parents especially. I wish for easy answers…but I know as well as anyone, facts are facts. I don’t see how cutting paychecks, reducing spending power, benefits anyone. When people lose wages and cannot make house payments neither can they pay taxes which results in less revenue, more pay cuts….a vicious cycle for sure.
At work, it is quite obvious the affect the furlough days have…..no one can get their work done in a timely manner. People are exhausted and stressed. One of the things I do most semesters is volunteer at an AskMe booth on campus. I noticed this time it was harder to get volunteers and I suspect the reason is because departments cannot afford to let their people be out of the office for that time frame. Lack of personnel creates all kinds of other losses. Morale on campus especially with classified employees is at an all time low. The lowest paid people got hit the hardest…. A shameful situation at best. I do hope that if more furloughs are implemented (and I am pretty sure they will be) they will be across the board–equal to everyone. (If classified staff have to take 24 days in two years so should everyone else.) I will never understand the logic behind that decision. The biggest cuts should come from the top not the bottom or at least be equal.
The only way I can make a real stand as a tax payer and a voter is to make a commitment to be very cautious of who I vote for at this next election. I will not support anyone who, as I see it, is part of the problem and unfortunately, that could mean you will not receive my vote if you are up for re-election. There are no easy answers—-but that does not excuse unjust decisions.
No one likes increased taxes, fees, etc but as I see it that is the only fair way to increase revenue.
Human Resource Coordinator
Office of Information Technology
HWB 101D (702)895-0712
OMG! This poor thing has to do her own nails?? The horror! The horror!
As for low morale: Imagine how low morale would be if these whiners were LAID OFF (as many should be) instead of “suffering” one furlough day a month.
Is your blood boiling yet? No? OK, on with the show…..
To Whom It May Concern:
I just wanted to let you know how I felt about the above situation. Voting on more cuts to classified staff at UNLV is just morally wrong. I have been hearing from staff all over campus and the situation is sickening. People are filing bankruptcy, losing their homes, cutting out essential medication, cutting out meat, and working harder than ever in a very tense situation.
What I don’t understand is why you cannot just raise the gambling tax by a few percent and maybe raise property taxes by $100 or so. I would be willing to pay $100 extra on my property tax rather than having hundreds of dollars taken out of my pay each month while paying into retirement at the pay rate I should be receiving instead of what I am actually receiving. My medical has gone up $68.00 a month. We were forced to purchase staff parking permits instead of student parking permits which is a big difference in cost.
Another cut to classified staff will hurt the economy of Las Vegas even more by us having even less money to spend, more foreclosures and more bankruptcies.
Please think about what harm your vote can do if you vote in favor of more cuts to classified staff at UNLV.
Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Oh, good grief. Morally wrong? Which commandment, pray tell, is the one where “Thou Shalt Not Reduce the Pay of Government Employees” again?
Cutting out meat? Oh, the humanity! Then again, I thought meat was bad for us anyway?
As for being willing to pay $100 more in taxes….who’s stopping you, Ruthie? You are free to voluntarily write a check to the State of Nevada and make a $100 donation to the general fund. But why should the rest of us who would rather see your non-essential job eliminated completely be FORCED to pay an extra $100 just to keep you in rib eyes and New York strips?
OK, one more….
To all whom may be concerned,
Having the classified furloughs every month has been really hard on me and my family. I lose over $100.00 every month that could be put to use for bills or groceries. I have two children under the age of 7 years old and it is my responsibility to take care of them and that is hard to do when money is being taken away. I do not make a lot of money, so every penny counts for me and my family. With losing pay, having parking and health insurance rates go up, price of gasoline going up, the cost groceries being expensive, and many other problems arising, it is hard to make ends meat. Just one furlough day is hard enough and I feel that if a second furlough day was added I would not be able to afford to live anywhere. It might be next to impossible.
Make ends “meat”? Hey, if you can’t make both ends meat, make one a vegetable.
Seriously though, if having to take a second furlough day might make it “next to impossible” “to afford to live anywhere,” imagine what it would be like to lose your job ENTIRELY – the way hundreds of thousands of workers in the private sector already have.
If whoever told these people to send these sappy emails to legislators (I’ve been assured it was NOT the school’s president) thought this would help their cause, they were sadly mistaken. All it did was reaffirm the public perception that these often overpaid government workers with their Cadillac benefit programs are out of touch with reality and a bunch of spoiled crybabies who wouldn’t last two days in the private sector.
Where are those pink slips?