Governor McDonnell had a town hall meeting today with state employees to deliver some sobering news.
There will be no pay raises next year and state employees will have to pony up a portion of the VRS contribution. (Has that passed the General Assembly yet?) According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:
He did not say how much but cited a Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission report that found the Virginia Retirement System and other state-supported pension plans have unfunded liabilities of $17.6 billion.
The state has been paying employees’ 5 percent share since 1983. When a state employee at the town-hall forum pointed out that that payment began in lieu of a pay raise, McDonnell said “you are exactly right” but said the state employees will have to begin making a “shared sacrifice.”
What is a” shared sacrifice?” Who else is sharing this sacrifice? McDonnell did share some good news after the double whammy. He informed state workers that there would be no furloughs and health insurance would not go up. The furloughs were particularly troublesome in the past.
The good news is, people still have jobs.
Has pay been frozen for the General Assembly and for the executive branch of the state government?
This was the first town hall meeting for state employees. Most employees said that they appreciated the candor. Those who were not present could view the town hall meeting on the governor’s website.