Governor Lynch who I nicknamed “Turn around John”, has gone off the deep end in his treatment of the State Employees. First of all I call him “TAJ” because when he first ran for governor against Craig Benson, part of TAJ’s campaign was how he turned around a failing furniture company to a profitable status. Now with the help of Maggie Hassan he has, after being elected governor, turned a healthy financial state, into one that is in the process of going bankrupt.
The State Employees has been treated worse than private sector. TAJ went to the legislature and with Maggie’s help pushed through a bill requiring personnel cuts to the tune of 25 million dollars. Then TAJ starts the state employee contract negotiations and keeps hiding behind the 25 million $ cuts that “the legislature mandated”, that he requested. The state employees brought more than the 25 million cuts to the table that TAJ requested and each time was refused to negotiate on those cuts. The message was clear; you will do it my way or suffer large amounts of layoffs.
The so called negotiations appeared to be one sided from the beginning. With not the usual give and take. We are all seeing a side of the TAJ that the state has not seen before. The end result is we are now seeing a governor who cannot lead and cannot manage; this isn’t good.
One issue that is overlooked is that NH doesn’t pay into the unemployment compensation fund, we are self funded. So when state employees get laid off the money they are paid comes from the state budget general fund, which is about broke. The private sector employees are funded, during layoffs, by a payroll tax their employer pays, not so the state. In fact the state has to pay the unemployment fund 110% of what the cost is to pay the unemployment pay to the employee, the extra 10% is an administrative fee.
It actually gets better because there are triggers built in to the fund that when it drops to a certain level the amount paid into the fund by private employers is raised; the payroll tax is increased. This means that the laid off state employees go to the unemployment office and collects unemployment benefits that the state, which is broke, has to pay 110% of the cost for which will raise the payroll tax to private businesses for employees they never hired or laid off. The state will borrow the money off of the feds with the requirement that the borrowed money must come out of the general fund.
When ever you’re in a budgetary battle you wonder who is telling the truth and who is not; most of time the answer is both all at the same time. In this case the answer is clear the state employees are. The state just released their periodic report on vacant state positions for a total of 1,359 empty positions for a biannual savings of over 150 million dollars; by the way the 1,359 figure is about 10% of our state work force.
So why are the governor and the liberal democrat leadership trying to screw the state employees so bad? First of all they are still drunk with power that they cannot handle. Secondly, I’ve lived through tough times in my 27 years working as a State Probation/Parole Officer and watching politics. What a governor does, and I don’t care what party they are from is to cut deeper than they have to so they can build up a surplus and show everyone how wonderful they are as administrators. You are the losers by loss of services and paying business paying higher payroll taxes.
There will be a day of reckoning for these politicians and it will start in the next election cycle. Turn around John and I want to get ahead at anyone’s expense by mine Maggie will have some “asplaining to do”.