James Knox is not known for his grasp of the facts, but his latest missive in favor of eliminating unions and against a 1 percent pay increase for state employees who have gone without for years is just plain wrong. In an email sent to his supporters, Republican James Knox (R-Billings) makes several ludicrous statements. A couple of them really stand out.
Now that the Legislature has taken a stand that they will not just blanket spend your tax dollars through illegally mandated pay increases,
FACT: First of all, the state pay plan would cost a pittance of the $300 million Montana has in the bank in its savings account. Thanks to smart fiscal management by Governor Schweitzer and the dems, no taxes would be raised.
I feel safe in stating that the republican majority felt that with the current economic struggles the private sector faces, we could not in good conscious give a raise to public employees that currently receive higher pay and benefits then the private sector.
FACT: Most state workers earn less than their private sector counterparts when similar jobs and education levels are compared. A nationwide 20-year study found that state government workers earn an average of 11.4 percent less than private-sector workers of similar education and work experience and local government workers earn 12.0 percent less.
Knox is trying to pull the wool over our eyes, hoping that we won’t realize that he’s comparing all state worker wages with all private sector wages rather than comparing similar jobs and employees with similar education. State government requires more education than burger flipping. A nurse needs more education and receives more pay than an oil changer.