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Another optics problem

Friday, Jan 30, 2015

* This started off with a chief of staff for the First Lady and is now mushrooming into a full-fledged meme

While criticizing state spending and state worker salaries as too high, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is paying top members of his administration significantly more than their predecessors in Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration, a review by The Associated Press has found.

An AP review of state payroll records found nine of ten top administrative posts paying more under Rauner, who took office earlier this month. On an annual basis, those Rauner staffers will make more than the equivalent Quinn staffers by nearly 36 percent, or roughly $380,000.

Among those receiving more is Rauner’s deputy governor, Olin “Trey” Childress III, a former chief operating officer for the state of Georgia, who is making $198,000 a year, a 24 percent increase over Quinn’s deputy governor’s $150,000 salary.

Rauner has been bashing state workers, complaining about an exploding payroll and an unsustainable state spending spree, yet nobody thought this could happen when salaries were set? Or did they figure it would happen and didn’t care? That would be a perfectly stereotypical 1 percenter way of thinking. All for me and none for you.

* Also, he’s got plenty of protection money in the bank

Rauner hasn’t said how exactly he plans to spend that $20 million-plus, but he made it clear talking to reporters on the day after he was inaugurated this month that he’s preparing to charge again into the battle for hearts and minds.

“The voters need to be informed about the issues and what’s going on,” he said. “The voters need to understand my personal view of the issues and the agenda … . We’ve got to get our message to the voters and to the citizens, the taxpayers, the families …” […]

I can easily imagine his presentation repackaged into television commercials as he attempts to take his urgent “turnaround” message directly to the people, bypassing media critics and analysts who are challenging some of Rauner’s numbers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

149 Comments
  1. - Just Observing - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    It is possible some state positions in government are underpaid and a higher pay is needed to attract and retain top talent, and that some positions are overpaid. I’m not saying this is the case, and either way it looks bad for Rauner, but it is a possibility.


  2. - Mattman - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    would he have been able to make these hires at the same pay scale as Quinn, maybe with performance incentives written into the employment agreement?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    No matter the person;

    Why do you hire a CoS, like every other governor, and put that person on the state payroll with $20 million in the bank and you can easily pay out of campaign?

    It’s not the money…

    It’s the benefits.

    The CoS gets time awarded for a pension.

    The CoS is eligible for medical benefits.

    That’s why, those are the differences.

    What is Governor Rauner hammering on?

    High paying gigs, with even higher pensions down the road.

    Welp, you reap what you sow.


  4. - Peoria Guy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    Well, much of that is offset by Rauner taking no salary or benefits. Me thinks he will probably contribute to the mansion repairs too.

    You have to pay to get talented people at that level. As a taxpayer, I am fine with it.


  5. - QCLib - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    All possibilities aside, you don’t go around bashing your living wage workers for making too much, then follow that up by giving your friends huge pay increases.

    BR made this bed, and he has an entire term in office to lay in it.

    One term.


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    ===Well, much of that is offset by Rauner taking no salary or benefits===

    Sorry, the Raunerbots already spent most of that money on Mrs. Rauner’s chief.


  7. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll saying again …. The state workers who make an average of $34,000 neither caused nor can solely fix the $9,000,000,000 gap that has been festering since Thompson.

    And … Why isn’t the Governor bothering to address the overwhelming 2-1 support for a millionaires tax?

    The middle class has shared enough sacrifice. It’s time for Rauner and his fellow 1%ers to pitch in.

    Gonna be a long, myopic 4 years.

    That, or the Speaker will simply assume the duties of the Governor and override veto after veto.


  8. - foster brooks - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    Im with ya peoria guy wheres my pay raise?


  9. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    Instead of saying he wants to run the state like a business, he should say he wants to run the state like a walmart. 5% of people at the top of the chain make a huge amount of money, and the lower 95% make less than $12/hour. Simple.


  10. - D.P.Gumby - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    Pure Brucie/Oligarch Hypocrisy. From Koch on down to Repub. House, why should we be surprised. It’s not a question of optics, it’s simply a world view in a bubble that has no interest in the other 99%.


  11. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    You have to pay to get quality people in EVERY job. Obviously, to the guv, the jobs that surround him are important,any other state job…. not so.
    This is arrogance born of riches. Really in touch with the folks in the state. Unfortunately, this is probably only the beginning and we all just have to sit and watch it all happen. Get the blood pressure meds.


  12. - Uncle Buck - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    I expected more from Bruce. I just can’t understand these politicians these days. Should you not lead by example Bruce. I figured you would cut their pay from what Quinn was paying his staff to show how serious you were about turning this state around. Guess we were duped again by another politician.


  13. - anon - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Maybe they need a huge salary increase because they are stuck with the Tier II pension.


  14. - The Captain - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Can anyone over there even play this game? Figuring this one out isn’t three dimensional chess, they’re failing at the tic-tac-toe stuff.


  15. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Rauner doesn’t care about the optics. As Rich points out he has enough money to spin this hypocracy into the latest trend in corruption fighting.


  16. - Wordslinger - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Good to see the governor recognizes the problem of income stagnation.


  17. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    Speaking of high salaries - http://wgntv.com/2015/01/27/new-municipal-salary-numbers-may-irk-taxpayers/

    ==52 village and city managers in Illinois made more than any of the 50 state governors.==

    Looks like this rabbit hole goes even deeper.


  18. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    What’s the saying, “he’s writing their commercials for them?” This is professional politics…all that matters in perception and creativity; right now it appears team Rauner is creating an all out war without attempting any sort of diplomacy. I do not know, but I am guessing Madigan is just quietly planning for tomorrow and beyond…


  19. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    @ Peoria Guy - “You have to pay to get talented people at that level. As a taxpayer, I am fine with it.”

    That might apply IF they were talented. ;)

    Seems to me the folks he’s bringing in are simply retreads that haven’t worked out so well in other states.

    Privatizing prisons? Ha! Arizona is simply handing over cash to the GOP-donor prison firms who are creating deplorable conditions, even for a prison, as they reap huge profits (a percentage of which they plow back into their Republican “investments”).

    Remember those stories about soldiers deployed to Iraq being fed tainted meat and being electrocuted in faulty showers all because the GOP-donor firms got no-bid contracts and had no oversight?

    Same idea.

    I’m glad you’re fine with your taxes being wasted like that.

    I’m not.


  20. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:04 pm:

    ==Sorry, the Raunerbots already spent most of that money on Mrs. Rauner’s chief.==

    Yep. There is only so far those ==savings== can be counted.


  21. - yo - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    “‘Restructuring’ for thee, but not for me.” Governor Baron Von Rauner. January, 2015


  22. - Fake Robert Breuder - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    I don’t see a problem here

    @fakerobertbreuder


  23. - Jocko - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    ==You have to pay to get talented people at that level==

    Using that logic, Jay Cutler is 90% better than Tom Brady.


  24. - Wensicia - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    So much for shared sacrifice. Apparently, only union supported state workers are overpaid, everyone else deserves a huge raise the first day on the job?

    He’ll need all of his $20 million to spin that as acceptable.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    Raunerbots;

    Once you count a savings, you can’t keep referring to that one instance.

    I keep remembering Evelyn was so excited Bruce “hired her.”

    I keep remembering Evelyn sending an email looking for a state job with Pat Quinn’s administration.

    Evelyn is getting checks now. I don’t begrudge her successfully getting her coveted state job. Wonder what the highest ELECTED Latina in Illinois feels about all these optics?

    While we’re at it, how does Durkin and Radogno feel about these optics?

    Hmm.

    The silence is deafening.


  26. - Stones - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    “Do as I say not as I do.”


  27. - okgo - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:11 pm:

    They have this, then they are talking about 20% pay cuts to all double-exempts.

    Do these salaries include or exclude that 20% pay cut?


  28. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:11 pm:

    “The voters need to understand my personal view of the issues and the agenda … .

    I should have caught the MY PERSONAL in this quote earlier. Sadly, he can pay for a lot of PowerPoint slides. And like campaign signs with the pretty colors it will work.


  29. - Worth it - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    The previous administration paid hefty salaries to many people who were under qualified and wouldn’t have been able to land a comparable job in the private sector. In my opinion, the difference I’m seeing in the hiring so far tells me that the individuals that Rauner is bringing on board clearly have strong resumes which could land them great jobs elsewhere. Kudos to them for being willing to come tackle Illinois’ myriad of problems.

    High level positions require high level talent, and as a taxpayer im happy that this administration is making it a priority to hire the best qualified individuals.


  30. - ABC Lawyer - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:16 pm:

    Love to hear Ducky’s and Willy’s “optics” commentary on the salaries of Union leadership.


  31. - Not it - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    Two thoughts: First, Governor Rauner really is hiring qualified people for these top jobs, not 20-something he met at a rally. Actual qualified people have real salary expectations. Second, I will reserve full judgment until after the total costs of the Governors Office are known. Right now we just have a handful of individual salaries.

    But I agree fully it is an optics problem.


  32. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    Nonunion jobs do put more money in your pocket


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    - ABC Lawyer -,

    Who is paying the Union Leaders?

    “I’ll hang up and listen to your answer.”


  34. - poor start - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:21 pm:

    You aren’t earning your salary when you do this: “in response to AP questions, Rauner’s spokesman Lance Trover wrote Thursday in a one-sentence email. . . ” When the AP calls, you best pick up the phone.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    Optics matter. Your message matters.

    Trover’s response?

    “So…”

    Yikes.

    Optics matter here.


  36. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    First off I think that Union leadership salaries are subject to a 30% increase on a whim. I know that these people come with really impressive resumes and that they should be compensated but this is State govt. and they needed to realize that before they took the job. The State does not pay what the private sector does at those at those positions. If they wanted to make more money these people shouldn’t have left their old jobs. As far as Rauner goes this just proves that the clown in the governors chair just changed costumes, that’s all. Talk is cheap. It seems that fiscal responsibility only applies to the employees. What a louse. Makes you wonder what’s next.


  37. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    I’d be OK with the higher salaries if he had hired people with a track record of success.

    Instead, he hired the people who screwed up Georgia and Kansas.

    Even though I didn’t vote for him (mostly because of the sales tax plan) I really wanted to like this guy. We went through fourteen years of govs who were both incompetent and pretty lousy people generally. It would have been nice to have a person who was somewhat competent and somewhat of a decent person.

    Instead, we end up with a guy who takes office and decides to kick around the little guy and reward the big guys.

    All the optics of the meetings with state reps are lost due to these moves.

    What a terrible start.


  38. - Sangamo Sam - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    After Blago and Quinn, IMHO Rauner has a narrower window of opportunity than most of his predecessors to show that he’s competent and has the skills to do the job before the public begins to turn on him.

    He may genuinely think State employees are paid too much and that plays pretty well, but he’s terribly inconsistent when he says that for Chief of Staff, General Counsel and Deputy Governor he will “pay what we need to bring in talented people” while wanting to cut other employees’ salaries.

    He is saying that he needs to attract the best talent to work on politics, messaging and budgets, but we can no longer afford the most talented people we can find to tend to our veterans, take care of abused children or make sure our food is safe to eat and the water is safe to drink.


  39. - spsa - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:31 pm:

    it will be interesting to see if he finally rewards the underpaid hardworking Spsa


  40. - Anon. - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:31 pm:

    Well, so far Rauner is better than Quinn in one respect. When it hit the news that Quinn was giving pay raises to his insiders and not to merit comp, he responded by giving merit comp workers double furlough days. So far, at least, Rauner has left us alone.


  41. - ABC Lawyer - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:31 pm:

    Hang up Willy. All of those “underpaid” workers. You know them, the 99.5% crowd. The Union leadership’s pay should be in line with the rank and file. Right?


  42. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:33 pm:

    I wanted to be open-minded but now already tired of this stuff.
    A poster (Ducky LaMoore) above referred to Wal-Mart and that is what this smells of.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:34 pm:

    - ABC Lawyer -,

    Who is paying the Union Leadrship?

    Simple question.


  44. - Wordslinger - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    In Trover’s defense, what’s he going to say? It is what it is, on its face. You start with a lot of silly spin and you just invite more questions that you can’t answer satisfactorily given the boss’ rhetoric.

    Say as little possible and hope it goes away is his best strategy. He can’t help the boss’ myopia and hypocrisy.


  45. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:37 pm:

    === Nonunion jobs do put more money in your pocket ===

    Tell that to the State merit comp employees who haven’t had an increase in 8 years. That’s why a ton went into the union.


  46. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    ABC Lawyer,

    Those unions execs are not demanding more for themselves while claiming that the rank and file are overpaid.

    Son, try to follow. The objection is that Rauner wants to give more to the rich and take money from the poor.

    Get it now? It really is not all that complex.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    - ABC Lawyer -,

    Is that from dues? Are labor leaders elected? Do they serve terms?

    Counselor, what are you driving at?


  48. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:42 pm:

    - wordslinger -,

    That was my sub point.

    My first point was they believe in how it’s going… but the sub point is you can’t defend what optically is hypocritical.

    The point beibg that is the best they can do should tell them something.


  49. - Because I said so.... - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    =Two thoughts: First, Governor Rauner really is hiring qualified people for these top jobs, not 20-something he met at a rally. Actual qualified people have real salary expectations. Second, I will reserve full judgment until after the total costs of the Governors Office are known. Right now we just have a handful of individual salaries.=

    I read that as an assumption that the mid-level state workers that Rauner keeps basing, aren’t qualified and don’t deserve to be paid adequately, but Rauners direct reports do.


  50. - Juvenal - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    === The previous administration paid hefty salaries to many people who were under qualified and wouldn’t have been able to land a comparable job in the private sector. ===

    Um, it sounds like most of the people mentioned in the press are not coming from the private sector but from the public sector. Even Arduin was a consultant for the public sector who was being paid with taxpayer dollars.

    So, that argument really does not wash.

    Aside from that, according to one news report, Childress was making only $139,000 in Georgia. That is a $60,000 pay raise for a job with less responsibility.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/perdue-staff-climb-pay-scale/nQnFd/


  51. - Anonymoiis - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Wasn’t there a good deal of turnover in some of Quinn’s staff the last few years, with some of those there at the end making less than those they replaced?


  52. - Well then - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    To the masses, this is meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Is Mr. Edgar advising BR?


  53. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    === Counselor, what are you driving at? ===

    Obfuscation. That’s what most lawyers like to do.


  54. - AC - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    If Rauner keeps working against his own self interests like he has this week, I’ll soon be convinced that he was replaced by Henry Bayer in platform shoes and a John Lithgow mask.


  55. - Mouthy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    Wait until he gets around to the mansion chef, kitchen and cleaning crews. Maybe he can get Gordon Ramsay on the cheap…


  56. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    This is an insider’s blog, so I will make an insider point.

    Governor Quinn utilized a great deal of “shared staff”. At one point he had approximately 40 people who were working for him but were paid via another agency. Those employees were direct state employees - not contractors who received no fringe benefits - and the total tab for the 40 ranged anywhere between $2.5 and $3 million.

    Rauner’s talking points about state employees make him look like a hypocrite. But for those of us who frequent this site and actually know how government works should remember that Rauner’s predecessor was quick to “borrow” staff from other agencies.


  57. - Rockin' Robin - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    Evelyn has not tweeted since before the election. What the deuce?


  58. - Yatzi - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    Anonymous - non-union jobs in Illinois (SPSA’s) do NOT make more than union workers - no raise since 2003 - one restoration by Blago of a cut by Edgar - a person I hired entry level make over $30,000 more than me now


  59. - walker - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:52 pm:

    The other thing which is concerning about Rauner’s close-in staff, is how many of them appear to have “communications,” “image,” and “campaign” roles.

    No problem on that score with his Directors and “Restructure” team, but Rauner did bring a lot of staff over from his campaign, whose skills are pretty limited.


  60. - Abe the Babe - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    @ Team Sleep

    The AP compared salaries for the same positions. It didn’t compare total office budgets which I believe it said it could not do yet with all the turnover and hires. Your point is a valid one just not completely related to the story.


  61. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    === really is hiring qualified people for these top jobs, not 20-something he met at a rally===

    None of the people in that story replaced kids. They all replaced professionals, most from the private or not-for-profit sectors.


  62. - Cassandra - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:58 pm:

    Well, I hope he fires them if they don’t produce. But first, he had to tell them what to produce. That still seems a little fuzzy.


  63. - Mouthy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    ===a person I hired entry level make over $30,000 more than me now===

    I don’t believe that..


  64. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    ==- Worth it - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 12:12 pm:==

    If these people are so talented that they could get “great jobs elsewhere,” why have so many of them been career government insiders?


  65. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    Abe - it is relevant if Rauner never borrows any staff for full-time assignments. Quinn was using approximately 140 people for a statute-limited staff of 99. So yes - Quinn kept the amount owed to staff under the allowed amount/appropriation, but he was pulling in other staff to make it happen. Optics.


  66. - White Denim - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    No, no. You’re right, Gooner. They don’t “demand” more for themselves and claim everyone else is overpaid. They demand more for their workers, but then take a cut of the check and pile it into their stack of cash. Some of those Union bosses are making $500k a year or more. I bet the rank and file has no clue what they make. But hey, it’s all about “optics” right? As long as you say* the right thing, who cares what you actually do*.


  67. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===Some of those Union bosses are making $500k a year or more. I bet the rank and file has no clue what they make.===

    I bet you have no clue what the specific “Union Bosses” make…

    Please cite your $500K number. Thanks.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    Also, of that $500K, break out where that all comes from.

    Thanks.


  69. - Abe the Babe - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    @ Team sleep

    Again, they compared the salaries for the SAME positions, not overall budgets. When they do the latter is when your point becomes relevant.


  70. - Jimbo2 - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    I’ve seen this thought: “High level positions require high level talent, and as a taxpayer im happy that this administration is making it a priority to hire the best qualified individuals.” echoed several times.

    I guess it is only the Governor who will have the “best qualified”. The disabled, the prisons, the children can all make do with whoever will work for minimum wage?


  71. - Cassandra - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:11 pm:

    I believe it. If I had to guess, I’d bet that some or all of the management employees Blago/Quinn allowed into the union got catchup pay. On top of that, regular raises and before long your recently unionized manager is making more than you, his non-unionsupervisor.

    The state’s compensation system is beyond crazy.
    So, one of Rauner’s new, highly paid aides should be tasked with straightening it out. If he doesn’t, fire him. He’s at will.


  72. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    White Denim.

    You hate unions. We get it. How is that relevant to this discussion though? The discussion here is about Rauner cutting pay for those making low dollars and giving more to those who make more. Seriously son, try to stay on topic.

    For what it is worth — before I went into my current line of work, I was a union member. During those years, I could not possibly care less what the union management was paid, as long as they got us union members a good contract.

    So no WD, I really don’t think they care.


  73. - White Denim - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    Sure thing, Will. How about Patrick Flynn, president of Teamsters Local 710. He made over $500k in 2013 in that position. And he’s not exactly an outlier–fish around the website a little and see what you can see.

    Just type his name in here: http://kcerds.dol-esa.gov/query/getOfficerEmployeeResult.do


  74. - Mouthy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    ===- Cassandra - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:11 pm:===

    You left out “entry level” An entry level position, by it’s nature, has no catch up pay.

    The $500,000 union bosses post is worthy of Onion or FOX but not here..


  75. - White Denim - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    I gotcha. It doesn’t matter what “our guys” are doing. What’s important is what “your* guys” are doing. Or saying, rather. Cause it’s all about optics, right?

    When your bottom quarter of employees are making less than 10% of what you’re collecting every year, you’re no longer a representative of the little guy. You’re a fat cat.

    I don’t hate unions, Gooner. I just can’t stand the hypocrisy.


  76. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:20 pm:

    Gooner is spot on.


  77. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    White Denim, where’s they hypocrisy in “we all want to make more money.”

    Give it some thought, lad.


  78. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    Is Patrick Flynn…

    Elected?


  79. - How Ironic - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    @ -Worth It-
    “The previous administration paid hefty salaries to many people who were under qualified and wouldn’t have been able to land a comparable job in the private sector.”

    Wow, generalize much? I don’t even know what you do, who you do it for, and how long you’ve been doing it. You are being overpaid by 50% at least.

    See how easy that is? Make up stuff, then pretend it’s really how it is.

    Dope


  80. - anon - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    I don’t know what “union bosses” you think make 500K. I served on the board of my public sector union for a few years and did it as a volunteer. I received the exact same paycheck and had the exact same job responsibilities as all of my co-workers.


  81. - Distant Viewer - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    Is anyone really surprised to find out a guy who worked in finance and private equity thinks that the people around him must be paid a lot and the rest of the state payroll is overpaid? It’s classic private equity strategy. Maybe Rauner is planning to sell Illinois to a neighboring state once he reduces payroll and squeezes out the revenues for his top staff.


  82. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    WD, that local was put into receivership a few months ago by the International over financial problems. So, yeah, he was paid a lot of money, but he gone.

    Also, they mostly represent UPS workers.


  83. - Mouthy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    ===When your bottom quarter of employees are making less than 10% of what you’re collecting every year, you’re no longer a representative of the little guy===

    I was a state local union leader for over a decade and I don’t think you have a clue about unions.


  84. - Mama - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    Rauner announced on the 12:00 news today that a lot of State jobs will be cut. However, I did not hear him give any details about those jobs.


  85. - Peoria Guy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    The Raunerbots thing is juvenile. We can’t expect to make progress fixing the state’s problems–or even have a civil discussion here–by name calling.


  86. - anon - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    == An AP review of state payroll records found nine of ten top administrative posts paying more under Rauner==

    Here I thought Quinn was supposed to be the Big Spender. Turns out he is the more frugal one.


  87. - Del Clinkton - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    @peoria guy:

    I could care less that Intern-Governor Bruce wants to work for free. His ignorance is beyond contempt.

    If Bruce was contemplating a career change, and wanted to try out Government, then why not fill out the appropriate paperwork to be an intern. Then he could be refilling the copier paper for Michael Madigan and learning about Government.

    Plus since he’s an intern, doesnt his leave the state liable if he slips and falls on Government property?


  88. - White Denim - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    Nice dodge, Will. It doesn’t matter if he was elected, appointed or ordained by God. The point is, he was making $500k a year to represent people who average about $65k.

    and that’s the hypocrisy of it, Gooner. I thought it was about spreading the wealth. If so, why doesn’t he return some of that money to his members? Take a lower salary. Take no salary. It’s about enriching himself. More for me today, better days coming for you… tomorrow.

    Rich, point taken. But he isn’t the only one. There are literally hundreds. With the link I provided you can search the names of plenty of union leaders right here in Illinois making $500k a year. If it were just Flynn it’s be a different story. But it’s not.


  89. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    White Denim,

    If you are hearing voices telling you about wealth spreading, seek psychiatric care.

    Nobody here is talking about that.

    We are talking about cutting pay for the lower paid people and giving raises to the highly paid.

    Seriously son, conversations are far more interesting when we are all talking about the same topic.


  90. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    I keep seeing folks saying they were duped or mislead by another politician (Rauner), you obviously were not paying attention or had selective hearing during the campaign. This man was a walking contradiction from the get go. He is doing everything he vaguely said he would do. I think some just chose to hear/see what they wanted. I also thought the southern part of the state would have been wiser to a man who walked around in a clean Carhartt.


  91. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===Nice dodge, Will. It doesn’t matter if he was elected, appointed or ordained by God.===

    It kinda does, considering even a Dope like me can find that, electing Union Leadership means they face the rank and file on everything from the contracts and benefits the members get, to the salaries leaders get, with the supervision of the National.

    Yeah, um, it matters.

    Being elected is an oversight, so is the national oversight.

    I still am bewildered at what point you could be making. Please go to Fox News and find it, your explanations are lacking.

    If they are elected it goes a long way to just “taking a salary”


  92. - Worth it - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:41 pm:

    Jimbo - absolutely not, and nowhere did I suggest that anyone you mentioned - disabled, prisons, OR children should make do with “whoever will work for minimum wage”.

    Putting words in someone’s mouth is a sure barrier to a healthy debate. Check yourself.

    Also check out the state payroll databases. I think you’ll find plenty of people working for “the disabled, the prisons, and the children” who do NOT fall into the category of “whoever will work for the minimum wage.” To suggest that these positions are filled with minimum wage employees is absurd.

    My personal observation is that there are a multitude of examples of people making in the 100-120k range that have freely admitted that they don’t do a whole heck of a lot. That’s the example of hefty salary I was referring to. There aren’t a lot of outside jobs that pay 6 figures for jobs that arguably don’t entail a high level of work. I would agree that no one deserves to make minimum wage for these jobs, but I’d also argue that there it’s wasteful to spend 6 figures on someone who is unqualified. We’ve gotta find some balance in the compensation on all levels of government, in all agencies and departments…..but hey, that’s far above my pay grade. :)


  93. - Jimbo2 - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:45 pm:

    I find it interesting that the counterattack to complaints about these new hires high pay is union bosses. Not a word about the salaries of the CEOs they have to bargain with (At least the one mentioned) How much does the CEO of UPS get paid?

    Gee, it’s 10.7 Million see: http://news.yahoo.com/ups-ceo-got-10-7-215823225.html

    Jim


  94. - Skeptic - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    “I know that these people come with really impressive resumes” My resume is pretty darned impressive and I make about half what the CoS will make.

    “Guess we were duped again by another politician. ” Who is “we?” I cast every vote I had against Rauner.


  95. - A guy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    It’s an optics problem to be sure. Even an easy criticism very tough to defend at the outset. The real proof will be the accountability and performance of these people. If they get the job done well and save the state a lot of money or in some cases, add a lot of revenue, the optics will change.

    Right now, they just have to take the criticism and put it towards resolve.


  96. - liandro - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    I have to be honest: I don’t get Ruaner on this one. I get that those positions aren’t the average state job by any means, but come on…as Rich stated, these jobs were already being held by professionals.

    I think I have to side with Willy. If Rauner didn’t think he could get the best talent without the pay raises, he is going to eat it on optics even if he’s right.

    Although Cassandra makes a good point that Quinn did take care of people with cushy jobs before/after they took those pay cuts, so there’s that…


  97. - anon - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    == You have to pay to get talented people at that level. As a taxpayer, I am fine with it.==

    Do you apply that principle to rank and file state workers too, or just to Rauner’s coterie? Did you say that about Quinn’s spending on personnel?

    == name calling ==

    It’s hard to recognize hypocrisy when it’s on your side of the aisle. Much easier to see the speck in your Democratic brother’s eye.


  98. - Mr. Fresh - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    Oswego: I do not like Fox News as well. But you are not a conservative. I agreed with you on Rauner. Now we are seeing the garbage. RINOs are real they are earnest and death is not their goal. Keeping Democrats in power is their goal. As Karl Marx said, it’s who counts the votes that counts.


  99. - Peoria Guy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    anon, all pay for all employees is set by the marketplace. You have to pay market wages to get good people.

    There is no magic bullet here.


  100. - Peoria Guy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    anon, I have never made a comment here or anywhere else on what the Quinn administration paid state workers. I am not sure why you would ask me that.

    I didn’t vote for either candidate as I said many times here. I wasn’t happy with the choice voters had. That said, we now have our governor and he has an incredibly difficult job. I will support him in any small ways that I can and I realize it can’t always be the other guy that pays.


  101. - Carhart Representative - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===When your bottom quarter of employees are making less than 10% of what you’re collecting every year, you’re no longer a representative of the little guy===

    So that’s true for union bosses? Is that true for Rauner’s advisers too?


  102. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===…R _ _ _ s are real they are earnest and death is not their goal. Keeping Democrats in power is their goal. As Karl Marx said, it’s who counts the votes that counts.===

    I never said I was a conservative.

    I do know a party that had Thompson and Edgar work with Unions was better for Illinois and the ILGOP.

    When you use the “R” word, you’re not helping…even conservatives


  103. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    (Tips cap to - A Guy - for a thoughtful comment)


  104. - A guy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Guy thanks the gentleman from Oswego.


  105. - Wordslinger - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:17 pm:

    –RINOs are real they are earnest and death is not their goal. Keeping Democrats in power is their goal. As Karl Marx said, it’s who counts the votes that counts.–

    Stalin, not Marx.

    As Homer (Simpson) said, “your point, being?”


  106. - Anon. - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    ==- Mouthy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    ===a person I hired entry level make over $30,000 more than me now===

    I don’t believe that.. ==

    OK, sounds exagerrated to me, too. But in 2008, I was making $22,000 more than the union employees supervised. With their July 1, 2013, pay raise, they passed me.


  107. - Dinsdale - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    Number of Union PSA’s in 2014 - 3639. Average salary - $89,048
    Number of Merit Comp SPSA’s in 2014 1577. Average Salary $84,585


  108. - 1776 - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    At the end of the day, the Governor still has to live within his office’s budget. So what if he pays 30 percent more but has a headcount that is 20 percent smaller? It’s not like he’s asking for more money for his office. Quinn hired a boatload of people - had them work in his office - and billed state agencies.


  109. - Skeptic - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:35 pm:

    “a person I hired entry level make over $30,000 more than” For the sake of example, I was making around $70k as an SPSA around the turn of the century. Someone I might have hired at entry level then could well be making $100k now which, if I hadn’t gotten a raise since then, would indeed be $30K more than me.


  110. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    === So what if he pays 30 percent more but has a headcount that is 20 percent smaller?===

    You’re talking through your hat because we don’t know what his total office payroll is.


  111. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    Quinn underpaid his “top” people who often weren’t very “top.” But this is just tone deaf when you’re slamming ordinary state workers.


  112. - A guy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    “You’re talking through your hat”

    No one without a dog-earred AARP card will have any idea what that means. Thanks for making me think of my nana. That was her expression. lol


  113. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    I believe the new deputy governor, chief of staff, and general counsel are each being paid more than Quinn’s pay as Governor. Why couldn’t Rauner surround himself with dollar-a-year men?


  114. - Archiesmom - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    This is crazy. State government is NOT private industry. If one chooses to leave the private sector for a government job, you do it expecting a big fat pay cut. You take the job either because you care deeply, or because you expect that decrease to be paid back in the future when the experience lands you a plum private job or higher office. Trying to compare government to a private business is absurd.


  115. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    If one chooses to leave the private sector for a government job, you do it expecting a big fat pay cut==

    Really? This is not what we read about from those attacking pensions! They say government workers are rich, rich, rich feeding off the taxpayers (a group to which government workers belong). The trade off has always been that government workers make less along the way but have the security of a dependable pension. Of course, that was the past. Now, it’s work for less your whole life and we’ll take your retirement savings away from you when you get there.


  116. - Bob the Slob with a Cushy State Job - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    Man. I woulda worked (or at least pretended to work in a way only a state worker can) on Rauner’s campaign if I knew I could’ve gotten that kind of a sweet bump. I was a dummy and listened to my union reps who said Quinn would win.


  117. - Wordslinger - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:13 pm:

    Archie, the people in question have been bouncing around from public sector and campaign jobs for a while. It’s not like he’s cherry-picking from Apple and IBM. They’re political players of, obviously, the highest rank.


  118. - Maxine - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    The new Gov. does what all Govenors do — they have to hire those they can depend on, trust, and have a knowledgeable base. Even low level union and non-union staff can not all be lumped together. Some do the work of 3 employees while others do not. There are good managers and bad ones, just like employees. All they have to do is figure out who is who and blow the “smoke screen” away. Personally, I have earned my wage in many ways; education, training, and yes tons of extra duties. My counterpart, making the same wage, has not. Just saying….


  119. - Steve Downstate - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    Ah, what the heck. The guy has cute dogs and he manages to get his old van into pictures so that we are able to admire how much he’s just like the rest of us. You want him to avoid hypocrisy and impose the same austerity on his inner circle that all those other state workers (who are also taxpayers) will have to endure? Like I said, the guy has cute dogs! That right there is reason enough to sign up for his re-election campaign. Facts aren’t the important thing, not when there are cute dogs to make us feel better about Team Rauner.


  120. - Western Ave. Doug - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    SEIU Jt Board Manager Noel Beasley made $342K last year.
    http://kcerds.dol-esa.gov/query/getOfficerEmployeeResult.do


  121. - Keyser Soze - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:57 pm:

    Perhaps the higher priced guys will be more competent than their lower paid predecessors. Stay tuned.


  122. - Demise - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 3:58 pm:

    And when Beasley takes over as governor and complains that state workers are paid too much, then it might be relevant to the discussion.


  123. - Western Ave. Doug - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:00 pm:

    Dan Montgomery of the IFT made 213K last year.


  124. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    Western Ave. Doug, so what?


  125. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    This is turning into a Bernie Schoenberg column!


  126. - Western Ave. Doug - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:06 pm:

    Cinda Klickna of the IEA made 235K last year.

    ==so what==

    Class warfare is one thing, but hypocrisy cuts both ways. Attack Bruce as a .1% guy, but the government union leaders are doing pretty good.


  127. - Bobby Hicks - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:14 pm:

    I’m curious, would Olin “Trey” Childress III work the west cell house uppers at Menard for $198,000 a year….just one year. I doubt not, but those correctional officers that are doing it now are overly paid.


  128. - Whatever - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    Rich’s headline says is all — terrible optics, and the whole situations just smacks of hypocrisy. While most of these hires are good and talented professionals, they’re not exactly the private sector heavy-hitters that Rauner seemed to promise he would bringing into government. Hard to see how any of these people are worth these inflated salaries, especially the campaign loyalists.


  129. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    ===Class warfare is one thing, but hypocrisy cuts both ways. Attack Bruce as a .1% guy, but the government union leaders are doing pretty good.===

    lol.

    It’s the optics of hires by Rauner versus Rauner saying state employees are overpaid and have too rich of pensions.

    Nice try - Western Ave. Doug -.

    When Rauner’s Staff, making more than Quinn’s Staff, run a Union, and get elected to do it, then its the same.


  130. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    ===but the government union leaders are doing pretty good. ===

    And that has what to do with what about this particular topic?

    Get your own blog.


  131. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    Couple things-

    The “government Union bosses” and their salaries are relevant in this context because they will retire with a State-subsidized pension. Although the union pays a calculated “employer normal cost” they don’t contribute a penny toward paying off the unfunded liability.

    As far as the Rauner Crew, let’s put them on probation and check back in a few months to see how they are doing. As far as the disparities, may well be that PQ wasn’t paying people enough as opposed to BR overpaying.


  132. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:26 pm:

    === they will retire with a State-subsidized pension. ===

    Um, no.


  133. - Western Ave. Doug - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:26 pm:

    Thanks Willy. When do I earn a “tip of the cap” or a cannoli?


  134. - Buck - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:27 pm:

    Quinn pulled people out of the Union Cassandra.


  135. - Western Ave. Doug - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:29 pm:

    === they will retire with a State-subsidized pension. ===

    “Um, no.”

    What about Tom Villanova and guys like that? They were able to take union leave and now we are paying for jacked up pensions for them.


  136. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:32 pm:

    - Western Ave. Doug -

    “If you have to ask…”

    Just saying.


  137. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 4:52 pm:

    Western Ave., you really should read the comments and then comment.

    If you had, you would know that the union salaries were discussed a few hours ago.

    Nobody is all that upset just because Rauner is paying people well.

    The reason people are upset is because Rauner wants to cut salaries for the people making $40,000 a year, and then give raises of $40,000 to others.

    If you kick the little guy and reward the big, people tend not to like it.

    Hence, this thread.

    Now in contrast, union leaders want their members to make a lot of money. So that’s OK.


  138. - Outrageous - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 5:14 pm:

    A union can pay its leadership whatever it wants. Those are private dollars. This is tax money. World of difference.

    This is both an optics and a common sense problem. The most outrageous, most indefensible one is Holly Griff, Rauner’s secretary. She’s getting $135,000 a year to be an executive assistant. Her predecessor made less than $70,000.

    I don’t know Ms. Griff, but I’d like to hear Rauner defend paying her $135,000 a year. Seriously, I’d like to hear it. I understand that she is his longtime assistant. She may well have made $135,000 a year when she was being paid by Rauner’s company. Well and good. Give her $70,000 a year from taxpayers and let Rauner make up the difference. Six figures for someone who doesn’t formulate policy, isn’t a lawyer and doesn’t need any professional credentials whatsoever is simply indefensible.

    As for the rest, well, maybe they’re so good at what they do that they’re worth the money. But I know for darn sure that the governor’s secretary–any governor’s secretary–doesn’t deserve six figures.


  139. - Carhartt Designer - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 5:29 pm:

    Steve Downstate, my dogs are cuter.


  140. - southwest - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 7:07 pm:

    The only shock to me was rauner’s secretary making 135,000. You all probably know people in government who are overpaid. Clericals making 80,000, deputy directors or chief of staffs making 135,000, kindergarten teachers making 70,000, etc. I hope those are the types of salaries that rauner is criticizing. I dont think it is outrageous to pay an executive with an impressive resume twice as much as a high school grad performing clerical tasks.


  141. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 7:45 pm:

    Talk about optics, I just saw the article about Rauner’s ghost patrollers. Once again, there has been plenty of precedence but this governor is supposed to be different. Of course there has been precedence for this - our newest gubernatorial felon.


  142. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 7:54 pm:

    - Norseman -,

    “It’s Baloney.

    Signed,

    Bruce Rauner
    Governor
    State of Illinois”

    Yikes.


  143. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 8:09 pm:

    I will say this, specifically, - Norseman -…

    They can hire anyone they want, it’s their Shop. I have no beef with that.

    How they go about it and how it’s seen; that’s their choice too.

    I’ll now watch for the Rauner Administration’s response.


  144. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 9:08 pm:

    Cassandra- You are absolutely right about the manager making more than his or her supervisor at DHS. Sometimes much more.


  145. - Jorge - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 9:18 pm:

    This is morally repugnant. While I am no saint, I have enough common sense not to insult rank and file state workers and then pay new agency heads and chiefs of make believe staffs at significantly higher salaries than their predecessors.


  146. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 10:15 pm:

    === it will be interesting to see if he finally rewards the underpaid hardworking Spsa ===

    He won’t. He thinks you just part of the bloated, overpaid middle management …

    As a retired SPSA, you have my sympathy …


  147. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 10:19 pm:

    === I keep seeing folks saying they were duped or mislead by another politician (Rauner), you obviously were not paying attention or had selective hearing during the campaign. ===

    Maybe, maybe not. If you only listened to one Rauner speech, you probably heard his pitch tailored to the audience he thought you were. I listened to three speeches (one given to / tailored to state retirees) and heard three different stories about unions and pensions. It all depended on how much you listened …


  148. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Jan 30, 15 @ 10:33 pm:

    Don’t you all know that when you’re the king you can do anything you want? Clearly this man did not run because he felt compelled to help people. He sure didn’t run for the money either. Now that he’s in power he can do as he likes and snub whoever he likes. I guess that would be most of us.


  149. - golfman_r - Saturday, Jan 31, 15 @ 8:41 am:

    Great news for me! As I received an exceeds expectations on 2 of my last 3 annual reviews I’m looking forward to my +30% raise.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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