Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spade Blasts 90% Pay Raise for Top State Investment Officials

“Irresponsible, Unacceptable” Move Ignores Importance of ALL Workers

            17th District State Senate candidate Doug Spade (D-Adrian) called the recent decision to give huge pay raises to top state investment officials an insult to the men and women who not only have gone years without a raise, but have been required to accept wage and benefit concessions in order to remain employed.
            “When Michigan’s unemployment rate is the third highest in the country and when workers in both the public and private sectors are not only coping with wage and benefit cuts but are also laboring under the higher taxes imposed on them by Lansing lawmakers, giving seventeen top bureaucrats raises of up to 90% each is irresponsible and completely unacceptable,” Spade said.  “It’s another reason why the public’s distrust of government is at an all-time high.”
            Annual pay raises for several top state investment executives ranged from $105,000 to $158,000, making the state’s chief investment officer---at $333,000---the highest-paid person in state government.
            “There are tens of thousands of people in Lenawee and Monroe Counties who perform tasks every day that are just as valuable, if not even more important than those made by investment decision-makers,” Spade said.  “People who educate our children, protect our families, produce the food we eat, make the products we use, and provide the services we need.   Many have gone for years without even the smallest of raises, barely enough to keep up with rising expenses.  It’s an insult not to value them as highly as a group of select portfolio managers.”
            Spade said the move should spark the same level of public outrage that occurred in the wake of the 38% pay raises legislators received more than 10 years ago.
            “Those raises were completely out of line, and that’s why as State Representative, I immediately introduced a constitutional amendment to keep them from happening again,” he said.  “These newest raises are just as egregious and must be rescinded.”
            Spade said the action reflects an ongoing pattern of disconnect between government insiders and the public and private sector workers who are truly responsible for providing the essential services people depend upon and for bolstering Michigan’s economic growth.
            “It’s a sad day when state policies put such a high priority on retaining top investment executives,” Spade said.  “Why aren’t we investing more in retaining the teachers, police and fire officials, and the small businesses that are vital to maintaining thriving communities where people want to live, work, and raise their families?  These are not second-class citizens holding second-class jobs.  Rather, they are absolutely essential to Michigan’s well-being and success.” 

Doug Spade for State Senate. (November 26, 2013). "Spade Blasts 90% Pay Raise for Top State Investment Officials". [Press Release]. Received November 26, 2013. Reprinted with permission. For more information contact Doug Spade for State Senate, www.dougspade.com, doug@dougspade.com, (517) 266-9898.