Maryland govt. employees have the best jobs in the world

Mike Riggs Contributor
Font Size:

Marta Mossburg of the Maryland Public Policy Institute writes the truth in the Frederick News Post (all emphasis mine):

As thousands of Marylanders in the private sector lose their jobs each month, tax revenue falls and legislators wrangle over how to cut $500 million from the budget, state employees continue to enjoy months of paid time off at the cost of millions to taxpayers. According to the state Department of Budget and Management (DBM), state employees are out of the office an average 37 days per year, not counting holidays.

Particularly egregious are employees of the Department of Natural Resources, who are out an average of 45 days a year, not counting holidays, or almost one day a week each week. They average 15 sick days alone. Who knew caring for the environment was so unhealthy?

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene employees also exceeded the average. They are absent an average 39 days a year, 20 days from personal and sick time. Those figures suggest every employee had major surgery or contracted swine flu.

The state estimates sick leave costs $986 per employee, but the price is almost triple because it estimates employees are out sick five days — the average amount of time private-sector workers are absent from illness each year. The real bill should be $2,564 per employee or $115.5 million for full-time employees each year. Thousands of employees are excluded in DBM’s personnel report, so the figure should be higher.

But that is only part of the story. Maryland policy allows state employees to accumulate 15 sick days per year and roll them over in perpetuity, with unused days counted toward pension payments for those smart enough to save their days, inflating retirement costs. Only union members, whose benefits helped to bankrupt General Motors and Chrysler on the taxpayer dime, enjoyed such benefits. And the vast majority of private-sector workers receive no pension and pay for their own retirement through 401(k) plans.