When does employing fewer people cost more money? When the Employer is the City of St. Petersburg!
The cost of employing personnel for the city of St. Petersburg has increased despite a continuous drop in the number of employees serving the citizens of St. Petersburg. Normally, when the number of personnel goes down for a business, the overall costs of the business go down.
The number of Full Time employees for the city of St. Petersburg has been cut. This is a responsible move in times when the Taxpayers are asking for smaller government. However, closer evaluation reveals an increased cost. The number of Full Time employees projected for the city in 2012 is 2692. That is down from 3006 since the year 2004. However, the total costs of salaries and benefits for the city has increased to $228,548,000 down from a total of 204 million in 2004. While overall costs are down from their peak in 2008 of $236 million, the increase in cost while number of staff are down is disappointing.
The per capita cost of salaries and benefits for Government Employees of the City of St. Petersburg is at $74,000. This is at a time when the comparable salaries (without benefits) for average resident in St. Petersburg per capita is about $25,900 in 2010 (http://www.areavibes.com/st.+petersburg-fl/employment/)
The following questions are raised:
- Why are personnel costs escalating while number of personnel are declining?
- What is the role of health benefits for employees and family members of employees?
- What is the impact of Union contracts?
- What is the impact of pension costs?
- How can it be justified to have government workers earning more per capita than the taxpayers who support them?
Sun Beam Times will be examining all of these questions and more over the coming year. Stay tuned.
If you have an interest in analyzing these issues and publishing your thoughts at the Sun Beam Times, contact Dr. McKalip at firstname.lastname@example.org
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