Thursday, July 30, 2009

State Workers Not Getting Paid

Phil Pierre of Morningside is a law clerk for Commonwealth Court in The Pennsylvania Judiciary. He has worked there for ten years.

He got his last paycheck at the beginning of the month. It was seventy percent of what it should have been. Since then, he has not been paid. None of his colleagues, including the judge he works for, have gotten a paycheck. Morale is low, he says.

This is a regular occurrence, he said, since the budget is never passed on time, but it has never lasted as long as this. He has canceled a summer vacation, shut down his cable television, put off certain payments and borrowed money from family members.

The workers do get paid retroactively.

The state fiscal year starts on July 1st but the budget was not completed in time. It is still not done.

Governor Ed Rendell has said if a new budget is not in by Monday he will ask the House to approve the Senate-passed budget and send it to him. He'll then veto most of it except funds for "general government operations." This will allow the state's 77,000 workers who have been paid partially or not at all to receive their back pay.

Pierre says he makes considerably less than he could in the private sector and is considering looking for a new job.

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