Double Standard

When private companies in financial distress pay out employee bonuses that were contractually obligated:  bad.  When governments in financial distress pay out employee bonuses that are entirely discretionary: A-OK.

Amid the downturn in the economy, the city of Phoenix handed out more than $300,000 in cash bonuses, a CBS 5 News investigation found.

The bonuses, which ranged from $500 to $6,000 for a grand total of $354,800, were paid in October, according to public records...

Nevertheless, records show former Parks and Recreation Director Sara Hensley received a $3,500 cash award; the same month, she resigned to take a similar job in Texas.

Library Director Tony Garvey received a $4,000 cash award. Shortly after, libraries were forced to shorten hours and cut positions.


  1. Truth Teller:

    This story was flat out wrong. No bonuses whatsoever were given to city executives/middle managers, despite the City Manager repeatedly telling the Channel 5 reporter that no bonuses were given. The "bonuses" were in fact longevity pay to employees who are topped out in their salary range, which is specifically outlined in the city's Pay Ordinance. It's the same longevity pay given to front-line and non-executive employees. Ironically, the AR for front-line and non-executive employees reads almost exactly like the Pay Ordinace on longevity pay. The reporter conveniently failed to include this in her story.

    It's this type of shaddy, shabby journalism that gives journalists a bad (as if they needed any help) and makes residents hate their government. We deserve better.

    Truth Teller

  2. Dave:

    @Truth Teller - Nowhere in THIS article is there any mention of executives or middle managers.

    But employment classification isn't even the issue. The issue is a city governments choice to pay any discretionary bonuses at all. If these employees had already reached a clearly defined salary cap, great! They new the cap was in place, because it was specifically outlined in the city’s Pay Ordinance. The point of a cap it to not go over it. It seems like the city just decided to go around the cap.

    THIS story seems to be flat out correct.