City Government

Bonuses Go To Good AND Bad Workers

Team Dave was a little late for Christmas stockings, but City employees got across the board bonuses in their latest pay envelopes–regardless of performance.

KBCI TV-2 reports on Wednesday full-time employees got $200, part-time employees $150, and temporary employees $50. The council previously approved spending a $10 million budget surplus which included the one-time bonuses.

In real terms the budget “windfall” amounted to just about $100 per household.

Our concerns with the Mayor Bieter spending spree is that it is a one-time deal and came about mostly due to a healthy economy. In short, the city had some extra money from taxpayers and managed to spend it all.

We don’t have any specific opinions about “merit pay” vs “bonuses,” but in the private sector bonuses usually happen based on increased sales and profits–not as a result of more taxes being collected or fees related to growth.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Seems that bonuses are standard across the board for all levels of government-state and local. Next week the county will probably announce bonuses.

    I wonder if Dave and the councilors approved bonuses for themselves as well? This must be the easiest way to get rid of extra tax collections.

  2. Calm down Dave.

    There is no comparison between public and private employment.

    You are perpetuating the narrow minded thinking that across the board increases are bad because poor performers get them too. Just how many of the hard working City of Boise workers are poor performers?

    And please don’t fall for the “taxpayer dollars” crap. The people who work for the city aren’t exactly the highest paid folks in the state and the bonuses they received are well earned.

    Until someone comes forward and gives an accurate number related to how many employees got undeserved raises, this subject should just go away. Otherwise the politics of envy win.

  3. Compared to Ada County, whose christmas present to their employees was a kick in the butt in the form of the “At Will” designation, Boise City’s action doesn’t seem too bad.

    If $50 – $200 (about 0.3 percent of their salary) buys a little motivation and a little attitude improvement for the generally low paid staff that spend much of their year absorbing the public’s wrath, it is money well spent.

  4. curious george
    Jan 11, 2007, 9:19 am

    I think county employees already received their identical, across-the-board, non-merit-based christmas “bonuses” – they were demoted to an at-will status.

  5. Ferris, while you are correct that there is no comparison…perhaps there should be, and maybe that was Guardian’s point.

    Unless the City has a performance assessment tool which is used properly, I guess we’ll never know how many employees are poor performers. The notion that ignoring poor performance should reflect on the supervisor/manager/dh, has long been shunned by managers, who are more than happy to give across the board. Afterall, there is NO accountability that way.

    When there is only a right way and no wrong way, you are paying managers to breathe, and that my friend is taxpayer’s dollars at work.

  6. They Deserve It
    Jan 11, 2007, 10:57 am

    Government employees deserve a bonus from time to time. They work extreamly hard for much lower wages then their private sector counterparts.

  7. Okay so they get lower wage’s.
    They get better Medical benifits than the private sector. Eye glass and dental.
    They have a better retirment program than the private sector.
    They get more days off. Sick pay, Paid Holidays and vacation than most of the private sector.

  8. I worked for private industry until they laid off everyone over 40. I now work for the state of Idaho and would rather get a decent wage and decent increase each year than medical benefits I don’t use but have to help pay for just in case, eye care benefits that I don’t use but have to help pay for, dental insurance that costs more than just going to the dentist and paying for it, holidays off that I can’t afford to do anything but work at a part time job, sick leave I don’t use, vacation time I can’t afford to go anywhere so I work at a part time job, retirement plan that the average state worker uses a few years and dies, etc. Work for this right to starve state and find out.

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