Bill Cohen followed up on our story about GOP Senate staff raises with State Senate GOP spokesperson John McClelland who confirmed the raises and provided what seemed like a reasonable response:

“Why in the middle of a serious budget crunch is the Senate giving pay hikes? Republican McClelland says it’s to keep hard working staffers with what he calls ‘institutional knowledge’ on the job. He said some have been offered jobs elsewhere and senate leaders don’t want to lose them.”

I couldn’t agree more. ALL Hard working, experienced public employees deserve to be paid fairly for their service, commitment and experience – and we should consider this experience when trying to retain quality employees.

But for McClelland and Senate Leaders, experience only seems to matter when it comes to legislative staff.

McClelland’s response might actually have some merit if the Senators he represents hadn’t forced through Senate Bill 5 – which specifically forbids public employees from getting raises based only on experience and specifically forbids local communities from using experience as the only factor in determining which employees should keep their jobs.

So the Senate forces through an unpopular law preventing public employees – including teachers, fire fighters and police officers – from receiving pay increases based solely on experience. And then they defend their own staff raises claiming the recipients deserve more money because of their experience?

Webster’s defines a hypocrite as “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”

Call me selfish, but if the choice is between giving raises to people who helped push through unnecessary, union-busting legislation and the people who teach my kids math and pull me from burning buildings, I’m going to vote for the latter.

Cohen’s piece also quotes McClelland saying the retention of experienced Senate staffers is even more important “in an era of term limits that cap the experience level of legislators themselves.”

So we need experienced legislative staff because all of the legislators are inexperienced?

Suddenly the disastrous legislative decisions of the 129th General Assembly can be put into context: inexperience.

  • Anonymous

    These amateurs have found that governing is harder than it looked. Reality has a way of changing some people’s minds. We’ll see how much in the next few months.

  • I haven’t heard any details on the Dem raises yet. But that doesn’t change the fact that Republicans in the Senate want to ban raises based on experience for everyone except themselves.

    Dems fought and continue to fight against SB5.

  • Grey

    Dem staffers did not get a raise…I just spoke to one

  • They lie; they win elections; they rob us with reform and tax cuts for the rich; they blame someone else; they change the rules in the dark, lather, rinse, repeat.

    Who voted for these monsters?

  • Elected officials come and go along with their sycophantic followers who are given patronage leadership jobs in the agencies. They are all clueless so it’s the career civil service employee who keeps government services flowing. Surely there is some value in that. 

  • Progressive Willy

    I’m outraged that they (GOP, Senators, Representatives, etc.) feel they can pull this crap on us over and over and over.  We are living in a tiered society where it’s do as I say, not as I do.  

    Who do you want teaching your children – a first-year teacher or one with experience?  Being a teacher, I can tell you for damn sure that I’m a MUCH better teacher now than I was my first few years on the job.  Same goes for firefighters and police officers.  Experience is an intangible that cannot be measured, but should be rewarded…FOR EVERYONE, Mr. McClelland.  

    Many professions reward people for experience/steps even if it’s not explicitly written.  You pay more to go to an experienced dentist or physician than one who has just graduated from medical school; you pay more for an experienced lawyer than a first year lawyer.  Who do you want defending you?  The fresh-out-of-law-school guy or one with years of experience and the respect of his colleagues?  No brainer!   

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    OMG What a load of crap!
    The excuse is priceless– they got offered other jobs — lol ( obiviously Neihaus offered more money or they would be gone )
    Lets see — Bob Evans got a huge tax break etc because they were moving and now these people say they were offered other jobs and get more money.
    Would your boss fall for this?  No,,, mine either…………

    Do we evn know how long these folks have been employed in the jobs they have?

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    You know a lot of folks wont care — they only care if its the “other” party doing it.
    You can point out things over and over and they say well the “d” s do it too.
    I have never seen such blind followers in my life. I hope no one approaches a cliff.
    Lets not forget its only a bad thing to make more money IF you are a state employee ….. and I guess these people arent?

  • I am about ready to say take the job! See you do it! I have 18 students, including your fully included special ed. and then their is the autistic student they insist that I teach. You know the kind of kid who does not do a thing you ask. The kind that runs around the room. Bangs on anything he wants. Takes the math manipulatives and throws them around the room. Sits in a rocker chair backwards schooching across the room.  Chucks blocks across the room when you tell him he needs to sit and read. I could go on and on. How do I service the other 17 students properly so they are at or above grade level since I am in a school that probable be on the “list”  Tell me my experience is not beneficial, in fact crucial in situations like this. If I do not deserve pay that is equivalent to my experience and raises equal to my years of experience, If I only deserve to be vilified by our lawmakers and those people of no knowledge of what we must do daily so that our students make the required achievements, then a first year teacher who will make less and with a class like this may not even stay a year, (I have seen this,) or any government official may do my job!  Well see how fast they think they deserve a raise.

  • I don’t know I think it might be a good thing if they do approach that cliff and keep on going. You know like that animal  that every so many years does har-cari off the cliffs in some other country- I think it is in Ireland.

  • Anonymous

    You’re thinking of lemmings — aka teabaggers.

  • Anonymous

    I spoke with a Democratic House member Monday who said his staff person makes $30,000. He did not mention raises. Honestly, raises are ludicrous in this situation. Of course, this house member is not advocating that teachers and police officers take a pay cut.

  • Anonymous

    My newspaper (Akron Beacon Journal) reported that both parties got raises. People were outraged in the comments, and the usual Kasich lackeys were silent.

    I’m actually just glad they reported it. Also, kasich has reduced the sentence of a welfare cheat who was sending her kids to a suburban school district to get a “better” education, while she worked for the “bad” school. kasich halfway pardoned her, in an effort to make inner city schools look bad.

  • ya lemon tea.

  • I’ve heard some D senate staff are getting raises too – but I haven’t seen it in the salary data yet so i have no numbers.

    Again, I’m not against raises for hardworking, experienced public employees. I’m against the hypocrisy of Senate Bill 5’s backers railing against raises for teachers and fire fighters and police officers based on experience while giving experience-based raises to their own people.

  • Anonymous

    Did you know that the Associated Press picked this story up?  And gave credit to Plunderbund for first reporting it?

  • Anonymous

    I see several reports that “both sides” got raises, but have seen no comparative numbers. One report said 19 staffers got raises, but provided no breakdown by party. Until they do, I am assuming it’s more of the typical “both sides do it” to avoid giving the Republicans what they deserve. And it was Republicans, not Democrats, who said teachers, police officers and other public sector workers need to take a hit because the taxpayers can’t afford to pay them decently anymore.

    As for the mom who sent her kids to a different school system, if Kasich stopped lavishing money on failing charter schools that give parents false hope and instead properly funded ALL public schools, there would be no need for this sort of thing. But since David Brennan makes his education policy, that won’t happen. Glad her reduced her sentence, but this is merely window dressing until he changes how he’s funding schools and stops wasting our money on failing, for-profit charters.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve looked up some of the Dem staffers and according to the treasurers salary search they are actually making less money this year compared to previous years.

  • Anonymous

    Now according to the Dispatch nine democratic staffers received pay raises I wonder why they haven’t shown up in the salary search

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