New math

I have to say that this article confuses me:

Some 410 turnpike toll workers set to lose their jobs in 2016 will get raises worth $24 million to sweeten their departure, under an agreement reached Friday night between their union and the state.

The toll workers, who will lose their jobs when the state moves to all-electronic tolling, will receive a 3 percent raise, retroactive to 2013, followed by raises of 2.5 percent this year and 2 percent next year. The agreement caps two years of intense negotiations between union leaders and Patrick administration officials.

It will also allow the workers to retire with higher pensions, adding $11 million in costs to the state’s pension system, officials said.

About 300 of them who were employed by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority prior to its elimination in 2009 currently earn $55,000 on average. The remaining 110, who were hired after the authority was abolished in a cost-saving move, earn just under $40,000 on average, officials said.

Let me look at the math:

A worker who made $55,000 in 2012, now made 55000*1.03=$56,650 in 2013; 56650*1.025=$58,066.25 in 2014; 58,066.25*1.02=$59,227.58 in 2015. They get a total of an extra $8,943.83 over the three years.

A worker who made $40,000 in 2012, now made 40000*1.03=$41,200 in 2013; 41200*1.025=$42,230 in 2014; 42230*1.02=$43,074.60 in 2015. They get a total of an extra $6,504.60 over the three years.

Since the article says there are about 300 in the first group and 110 in the second, that adds to about $3.4 million more in the three years. The article implies that they will be let go in 2016, so if we add another year we add about $1.6 million more. How exactly does this become $24 million in raises? The numbers aren’t even close and yet the reporter doesn’t provide any clue where the $24 million comes from. Also, note that this:

The former Turnpike Authority workers had agreed back in 2009 to forgo pay increases until the new workers — who earn about $15,000 less on average — reached pay parity with them.

implies that the higher paid workers haven’t had a raise in three years. This would mean that the raises they will have gotten over the six years from 2010 to 2015 are: 0%, 0%, 0%, 3%, 2.5%, 2%. That leads to a cumulative raise of about 7.7% over six years. The outrage.

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