What you need to know about Ohio Politics and Policy
· August 17, 2011
Merit Pay for Governor Kasich?
Included in SB5—the new state law that would dramatically roll back protections for Ohio’s public employees—state workers are now to be subject to “merit pay,” in which their salary level and pay increases will be set based on performance evaluations. Similarly, the budget bill, signed by the Governor, further imposes merit pay on teachers.
We assume that an oversight must have occurred, as the Governor appears to have exempted himself from the new law. Instead of being paid on merit, Ohio law continues to grant the Governor automatic 3% pay increases each year, regardless of his performance. We know this couldn’t have been his intention, as he’s made his vehement opposition to step increases for teachers and public workers quite clear.
Accordingly, we have developed an evaluation tool that allows us both to measure Mr. Kasich’s gubernatorial performance to date, as well as to determine what his salary should be based on that performance, in keeping with the merit pay system he’s been insisting upon.
First we looked at what the Governor’s salary should be. Nationwide, Governors earn 251% of a state’s average household income. Because we want Ohio to be competitive, we must reset the Governor’s base pay from the current $140,000 to $120,500.
Our evaluation then assigns a total of 100 points – 50 for job creation and 25 each for public approval and leadership. The Governor gets 5 points for jobs, one point for each 1/10th of one percent decrease in the unemployment rate. Based on his 35% approval rating, he gets 8.75 points out of 25 in that category. And finally, since leadership is about working well with others and setting an example, we are only able to give the Governor 2 points, but hope it will motivate him to seek improvement in the future.
The Governor’s 15.75 points nets an “F” on our grading scale – resulting in a proposed pay cut of 33%. Under our merit pay proposal, based on job performance, we suggest that the Governor’s salary should be reduced from $140,000 to $80,500. After all, if merit pay is appropriate for public workers, it should be good enough for the Governor.
View the full evaluation and salary recommendation.