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SCSEA Letter to Budget and Control Board

SCSEA Letter to Budget and Control Board

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Published by The State Newspaper

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Published by: The State Newspaper on Aug 13, 2012
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08/13/2012

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Office:
1325 Park Street ● Columbia, SC 29201
Mailing:
P.O. Box 8447 Columbia, SC 29202
 Website:www.scsea.comEmail:scsea@scsea.com  Phone: (803) 765-0680 Toll Free: (877) 882-4025
SC Budget and Control Board
 
Box 12444
 
HAND DELIVERED
 
Columbia, South Carolina 29211August 13, 2012
 
Dear SC Budget and Control Board Members:
 
The South Carolina State Employees Associaon, SCSEA, has represented the interests of both acve and rered stateemployees since the organizaon was established in 1943. In fact, the rst organizaonal accomplishment of the as-sociaon was the establishment of the state’s rerement system. Since that me the SCSEA has connued to workdiligently to strengthen this benet, one of the most valuable benets available to state employees, rerees, and theirfamilies.
 
During the most recent legislave session, the General Assembly, working closely with the SCSEA and other organiza-onal representaves, passed legislaon to improve the state’s rerement systems. Part of that eort included in-creasing employee rerement contribuons. This is signicant when you consider 62% of state employees make be-tween $15,000 to $35,000 a year. Moreover, unlike private sector employees who have received pay raises of almost9.5% since 2008, state employees received nothing. In fact, last year state employees experienced a health insurancepremium increase of 4.5%. Factor in layos and furloughs on top of the absence of any longevity service pay plan, nopay raise since 2007, or merit increase since 2001, and it is clear state employees have more than shouldered theirshare of the state’s economic downfall.It is incumbent upon this state’s leaders to strive to recruit and retain the very best and brightest employees. SouthCarolina small businesses clearly understand and have communicated in wring the importance of treang state em-ployees fairly. State employees not only make up a signicant consumer base, South Carolina small businesses alsodepend on the experse and stability of state government to support infrastructure demands and foster a highly qual-ied workforce through our state’s technical educaon system, higher educaon and vocaonal training opportuni-es.The public also recognizes the importance of retaining competent, capable, and responsible state workers to ensurequality of life expectaons from basic needs like clean water to managing complex environmental condions thatthreaten public health and safety. From law enforcement ocials, health and environmental specialists, highwayworkers, teachers, and trac engineers, the public (taxpayers) enjoy the peace of mind state employees deliver on adaily basis. For the record, state employees, rerees, teachers, law enforcement ocers, and just under 500,000 planparcipants are also taxpayers (State and Federal).

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