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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

PUD No. 2 Wages Out of Whack with Customer’s Affordability

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First, let me say that I believe we are being well served by the employees of the PUD. However, the Commissioners over the years have been over-generous with wages and benefits to themselves and the PUD employees, which are out of line with their customer’s affordability. First, let me thank Commissioner Mike Swanson for voting against the wage spikes and benefits that cover 2012, 2013, 2014.

My research of Pacific County resident’s shows we have a very high number of citizens (PUD rate payers) who are at and below the poverty level. Many of our citizens must make a choice each day of paying for food, medicine, shelter, heat, and transportation. Many times their income will not support all. I’m not attempting to represent nor am I representative of these folks, but I do have the deepest compassion for them, and I feel compelled to speak out for what I believe is unconscionable treatment of our fellow citizen. 

It’s my option after speaking with Commissioners Diana Thompson and Ron Hatfield; their focus is not on the ratepayers that elected them, but themselves.

2011 data average salary

1) Non-PUD workers in Pacific County: $25,700

2) PUD workers: $54,000,

3) Plus benefits PUD worker: $74,290

4) Plus benefits non-PUD worker: No data.

5) PUD management salary: $70,178

6) Management plus benefits: $90,178

7) All PUD workers received a 5.97 percent wage increase covering 2012 and 2013 (adds an average of $3,223) and a scheduled 2.74 percent for 2014.

 9) Management to worker ratio: 2.6 

In analyzing these data, PUD workers are the highest paid group in Pacific County.

Benefits: PUD employees (which include commissioners) have available to them, nine very generous benefits. The most grievous benefits that struck me: Commissioners increased the employee health savings account (VERBA) match from 15 percent to 50 percent, and increased the clothing allowance by 40 percent.

How is this justified when we have citizens making daily decisions on life necessities, but they fund PUD workers, which are the highest paid in the county, to purchase clothes, and put money in their savings account?

 

Ron Craig,

South Bend, Wash.

 

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on www.hometowndebate.com 3/7/12. If you would like to respond to this story go to hometowndebate.com

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