Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lisbon Maine's Road to Bankruptcy --- Part 2 -- Cola Increase

I was surprised to see Lisbon's proposed budget included an across the board  2% COLA (cost of living allowance) for all employees. 

For 2017 Retired Social Security Recipients receiving the average benefit of $1,355 will get a measly 0.3% COLA raise, starting in January of 2017.  This equates to $5 more in their Social Security checks.

Why is Lisbon giving all employees a COLA percentage rise almost seven times  higher than what our seniors will receive in Social Security COLA? 

  A Lisbon employee making $50,000 a year (many of our employees make more than this)will get $1,000 dollars or 20 times that of the average Social Security recipient.

Giving a 2% cola increase isn't just a 2% raise in employee salaries it is also an increase in all the costs associated with those salaries. (FICA,  retirement, unemployment insurance, workers comp.  etc) 

These COLA payments also compound.  If we  pay a 2% cola this year, it will be 2% on last years income which includes last years  2% COLA.  Ten years of 2% colas  isn't a 20% raise it is almost a 22% raise in income.

Is it morally right to demand retirees, that ONLY get a 0.3% COLA, pay for a 2.0% COLA for all Lisbon employees? Remember some of our employees, when including benefits, make a six figure income.  

 COLA increases were meant for rank and file employees not department heads or salaried individuals.

In conclusion: If we must give a COLA then that raise should be tied to the increase in the cost of living not some arbitrary number. If our seniors get 0.3% COLA raises lets give the same to Lisbon's employees. 

Call your Councilors and ask them if this is fair?

Joe Hill

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