Monday, June 04, 2007

Show Us the Money, if that's possible

Show Us the Money - New York Times -- Here's a good idea, worked out about halfway. We would also like to see how much gets spent on medical benefits, retirement benefits (both government and private), deferred compensation, perquisites like the company car and the insurance and tag fees saved, and any other items that are part of the total compensation package.

The one thing we found in working with the City of Cleveland when Gloria ran for City Council two years ago was that most people were acutely aware of the salary, everybody knew their take-home pay, but few had any grasp of the unshared cost of the medical benefits or the retirement contribution; a $67,000-a-year job was actually costing taxpayers about $84,000 a year. I'm sure the Clevelanders are not alone in their wilfully blissful ignorance.

And, as I've mentioned before, we need to account for the cost of cars, the gasoline, and the insurance for the state employees in particular. As a revenue-raising gambit, we might even audit the books and back-charge them for past usage, or at least let them pay taxes on the past perk.

Here's a snippet from the NYT opinion piece:

Congress should pass legislation mandating that all workplaces create this kind of transparency by requiring companies to post salaries. It makes sense, especially in light of the court’s decision last week requiring employees to file pay discrimination complaints under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act within 180 days of the last pay adjustment. It’s only fair since the five justices who supported this decision must have thought that it was easy for employees to find out whether they are being discriminated against. They must never have had to sidle up to co-workers and whisper nosy questions about pay to find out how they ranked. They must never have been so desperate for proof that they considered hacking into the company database or ransacking the human resources office searching for pay rosters. It’s understandable that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is responsible for investigating pay discrimination complaints, requires evidence. But some employees have not discovered evidence that they are paid less until after the 180 days has expired.

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