Senate Leadership calls for end to 53/47 contribution rate for state employees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

Majority Leader to author bill that will put money back into teachers’ paychecks

(Phoenix, State Capitol) —Senate President-elect Steve Pierce and Majority Leader Andy Biggs announced today a bill will be offered in the upcoming legislative session ending the recent 53% employee/47% employer contribution rate split. That split went into effect in July, as part of the FY 12 budget. The change plugged a $40 million hole in the budget and reduced employee paychecks.

The bill will return the contribution rate split to 50/50, and increase the paychecks of teachers and other state employees by $20-40.

“Last session we made a commitment to Arizonans to deliver a balanced budget. The 53/47 split helped that happen, but many members agreed it was one of the toughest decisions they had to make. Conditions have changed, and I am comfortable now running a bill to repeal 53/47,” says Majority Leader Biggs.

“The truth is, the economic landscape is very different from March, when these budget negotiations were taking place. Because of our fiscal discipline and an improving economy, revenues are coming in at a much higher clip, and we can reverse this contribution rate change,” says President-elect Pierce.

“Republican leadership continues to put a high priority on strengthening education during these difficult times. We held K-12 reductions to about one percent last year. Today’s announcement is another way to honor the hard work of our district and charter school teachers,” says Pierce.



  1. Leave the changes to ASRS alone for a year or two or three. Thinking there is a budget surplus and acting on it is very premature and not fiscally sound. Haven’t you listened to the public on government benefits, they are right. Besides why would a Republican consider authoring a bill that benefits a flipping UNION? WHY? What is wrong with you morons – consolidate/unify the school districts to unload the loads that call themselves administration. Remember Clark Silver who ran for the State House – his figures: 1.4 support person outside the classroom for every teacher/classroom of students K-12. Get these loads called UNION Teachers to get behind unification………. to unload administration costs to put more money in the classroom and then give them some benefits. Ever heard of dangling a carrot in front of a jackass to motivate them – what motivation is giving them carrots and than trying to get them to move. YOU’RE CONSERVATIVES – ACT LIKE IT! Use this saving to buy back our State Buildings that were sold off or do we in your infinite wisdom have per-pays?????????

    You are the problem – look in the mirror.

    • Sgt. Flapjaw says

      This is the first ramification of having the wrong Pearce in charge. These current cowards are affraid of the public employee unions. They will cow-tow just like previous officials have. They must think that they will not be recalled. The unions and the leftists [along with certain faux Republicans, LD18] have discovered recalls as a way to nullify elections. It is happening all over. The employees want to rule. Without elected officials with courage, we are doomed to tyranny.

      • “They must think that they will not be recalled.”

        Well, knowing the track record of conservative recall attempts in Arizona – McCain, Dupnik, Gordon, I’m thinking that they think correctly, Flapjaw.

        When it comes to recalls, conservatives are all talk.

        “The employees want to rule.”

        And they should be ruled instead?

        Shorter Sgt. Flapjaw:

        “Serfdom! CATCH THE EXCITEMENT!”

        • Sgt. Flapjaw says

          Klute, I am not going to get into a big back and forth with the likes of a rancid clown like you. I will say that you read my intent wrongly, my point was they were cow-towing from fear of a recall. I have never been in favor of recalls, they are the weapon of choice for the malcontent, a-holes that probably never got any attention from mommy.
          Go back to your Marxist sites and play with your butt-buddies.

  2. Uh…. The VAST majority of state workers are NOT unionized in any way, shape, form or fashion. I’ve worked for two state agencies and neither one has a unionized worker.

  3. Sgt. Flapjaw says

    Uh, you have to count teachers and most/many of “Education” Department employees. The largest unionized group in the country is teachers.
    All state workers however, are benefited by larger Government and bigger budgets. Totally opposite of the taxpayers interests.
    Illegal immigrants for instance, provide a tremenous amount of work to do for state employees.
    Now I am sure that the race baiters will jump on that statement. So what.

  4. Conservative political leaders would either pay off government debt or lower taxes instead of increasing government employee compensation like this.

    The hard decision was already made, so stick with it. The state government still has to financially recover from all the debt previously incurred. Plus, we don’t want a situation where the “temporary” 1% sales tax needs to be extended to pay for this spending increase as well as the avalanche of others that will follow if this one is enacted.

    The press release doesn’t even say what the benefit change concerns. Is it contributions to health care benefits or retirement benefits? I assume retirement benefits. In that case, it would be better to ensure that the retirement plans are defined contribution rather than defined benefit before putting even more tax payer money on the line.

  5. It goes beyond just unfairly subsidizing a voting block.

    If these same teachers actually produced competent students, then it’d be worth talking about, but we continue to pay and support a massive stable of high-paid people who continue to not convey skills to students.

    The taxpayers will get NOTHING in return for ANY of these political pay-offs, except poorer.

    Throwing money at the same non-producers is insanity. We will be broke, and the next generation will be competely unfit for ANY work.

    Our students are not educated. We are paying people, mostly women, so it’s their FAIL in disproportionate numbers, to do nothing but elaborate babysitting.

    The feminists should be sitting up with alarm, because this catastrophe undermines their entire premise of women as competent.

    The women teachers of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s who began retiring in the 1960s and 1970s were competent and smart and were able to convey skills to millions upon millions of students. They were replaced by know-nothing facilitators – a union gimmick to be able to hire unskilled labor as ” teachers.”

    Even if the economy turns around, our current waves of graduates cannot perform at the level of a student who graduated High School in 1958. The sophisticated industries can’t find graduates who they can train … the graduates do not have the BASIC skills even to start a training program.

    The teachers are incompetent. Where’s the money for remedial education to delievr the skills to young adults that they should have gotten the prior 12 years? Using real teachers. Import them if we have to.
    We should not be giving money and breaks to failures.

    Any of these “teachers” improving themselves and their educational product for the students by going to school to be competent in their subjects? No. They don’t care. They are getting paid for empty busywork. Expectig them to be the agent of change in this is nonsense. They’ve had yearsto prove they care about the students and did nothing except complain about not gettiing enough money.

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