Published March 18, 2008
Those of us in private sector employment can huff and puff all we want about public sector workers making out like bandits when it comes to their salaries and benefits, but nothing will change so long as the pension plan that now exists is calculated on the average of the three highest years of earnings. It's little wonder that so many individuals spend so many years on the public payroll. It isn't because they care about service to the people. It's about the pension.
Thus, when following the case of Carmen Conglose, the retired deputy director of public works in Youngstown city government who resigned from his recently attained part-time position as traffic coordinator, ask yourself this question: Why would government give employees a bonus for having a college degree?
Conglose, who retired with a $60,000 pension plus health care coverage, was hired not too long ago by Mayor Jay Williams to serve as the city's traffic coordinator on a part-time basis. His part-time salary? $42,577 a year.
While he was the city's public works deputy director, he received the higher ed bonus — $3,000 over 10 years. It now turns out that the 1986 bachelor of science in applied science degree is a fake.
Conglose resigned his part-time job when confronted by Mayor Williams about the college degree and there is now an investigation.
But the fact remains that the money he received boosted his salary. Therein lies the problem. Government has found all sorts of ways of pumping up the earnings of public employees.
We can huff and puff all we want — nothing will change. From top to bottom, just about every person on the public payroll cares only about one thing: the pension.