Once again there seems like there is no possible way to even begin to level the playing field between private and public workers.Clark County custody officers this week won a 3 percent cost-of-living increase and will pay 5 percent of medical premiums. Those figures are more than just insulting to taxpayers. They are exorbitant during an economic downturn, and especially when compared with the private sector. There, raises often are nonexistent (for those lucky enough to have jobs), and medical premiums average 28 percent.
Arbitrator Kathryn Whalen was somewhat clueless when she ruled to pull more dollars out of taxpayers' pockets to give custody officers more. (Bring in the replacement arbitrators, please!) Never mind that these custody officers were only paying 15 percent of medical premiums. Never mind that most other county employees were paying a paltry 7 percent. Whalen ruled 5 percent for custody officers.
Her reasoning for this and other faulty decisions? Well, essentially it is: The county can find the money in its budget. And that reasoning is why we are in a hole and digging the hole deeper every day. The county can find the money.
Where? We know the answer. Let's not forget "finding the money" means only one thing. More taxpayer contribution. Welcome to the nightmare.