Cost of Living Adjustment Would Have Raised Pay by 1.7 percent
HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell said today that he once again would not accept a scheduled cost of living increase in his salary – keeping his pay at its 2008 level – and also asked members of his cabinet and other senior members of his administration to do the same.
A pay freeze for all management personnel will also continue for the third year running.
Under state law, top commonwealth officials would receive an automatic annual cost of living adjustment, or COLA, of 1.7 percent beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, based on a rise in the Consumer Price Index.
Governor Rendell has declined the COLA for the past several years. He currently accepts a salary equivalent to his 2008 compensation of $170,150. By law, his pay in 2010 would have been $174,914. The most recent COLA takes the statutory salary for the Governor to $177,888 in 2011. Governor Rendell and other officials return the net difference, less additional taxes paid on the higher sum, to the commonwealth.
The Governor and his senior management team have refused the increases as part of his overall commitment to controlling costs since the national economic recession negatively impacted state finances beginning in 2008.
Further, a pay freeze has been in place since December of 2008 for all non-union employees who are under the Governor's jurisdiction. The freeze currently applies to about 13,000 state workers.
Media Contact: Gary Tuma; 717-783-1116
Editor's Note: The text of the Governor's letter to cabinet members and other senior officials follows.
Dec. 3, 2010
Dear Cabinet Member or Commonwealth Official:
By law, certain Commonwealth officials receive an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA), based upon changes in the Consumer Price Index. This means that under the terms of Act 51, your salary is scheduled to increase by 1.7 percent on January 1, 2011.
For the past several years, I and the members of my cabinet have returned these increases to the General Fund, as part of this administration's overall commitment to controlling costs. This year, I ask that you join me in declining this automatic raise once again.
In the past, the Bureau of Commonwealth Payroll Operations (BCPO) has provided those individuals subject to Act 51 with the opportunity to return the COLA to the treasury by making payments on a bi-weekly, quarterly, or annual lump-sum basis. To minimize the paperwork burden, and in light of the fact that the administration will be drawing to a close in January, I have directed BCPO to automatically deduct this increase – net of the tax impact it will impose upon you – from our January pay.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Deputy Secretary Honchar at (717) 787-8191.
Thank you for your support in this undertaking and for the valuable contributions you have made in the lives of Pennsylvanians these past eight years.
Edward G. Rendell, Governor
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor