LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Delaware state employees forgotten again

Once again, Delaware lawmakers seem to find money in a shortfall of $167 million for people who make over $100,000 a year [“Pay raises for state’s top officials? – Delaware Compensation Commission will meet to study the question,” article, Nov. 20], while the state employees that work as a pay grade 1 and make $19,000 a year are overlooked.

It’s difficult to understand how a state employee can work full-time for the state of Delaware and still be eligible for food stamps and Medicaid. How can a person making over $100,000 a year need a raise of any amount and validate it, when clearly, there are state employees that are living paycheck to paycheck, while trying to take care of their families just to provide the basic needs?

The cost of living, rental of housing have increased, while the pay for state employees has decreased. Giving a state employee a 1-percent raise, and then, raising the insurance, is like giving them nothing at all. It would be great if the Delaware Compensation Commission would include all state workers on their agenda every four years for a pay raise; at least, we would have something to look forward to, instead of broken promises and being left out while others continue to benefit.

Judges, lawmakers and other top officials do not make up all of the state of Delaware employees. What about nurses, certified nursing assistants, environmental services, food services, correctional, teachers, and many others? Your article states that 57 judges on the state’s top five courts are paid at least $177,066, putting them among the 100 highest paid state employees, and this is the person [to whom] you want to give a raise?

If the state of Delaware will not take care of the state employees, then, who will? All we are asking for is what is due to us, and to be fair. It’s time to stop forgetting that the state of Delaware consist of more than top employees or lawmakers; it consists of every individual that works for the state, represents the state each day they leave their families and provide service to the state of Delaware. It’s time to recognize all or none. United we stand, divided we fall.

Audrey Brackett, LPN
State of Delaware employee union president, Local 3936

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