Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn: Pay Raise Story Misses the Big Picture

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Governor Pat Quinn says we got got the pay raise story all wrong; not the facts, just the framing.

    Earlier this week NBC Chicago reported that Quinn handed out pay raises to 235 non-union employees at an average rate of 11 percent.  The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information Request. 

    Some who have received pay hikes this year include: a Medical Policy Development Specialist whose pay jumped from $40,000 to $55,000 a year.
     
    Those who work for the state of Illinois -- or who depend on a state contract for a pay check -- were not happy.   

    "We have not been paid in almost eight weeks," Martha Cajigas, an independent vendor for the state's early intervention program wrote in an email.

    Also, the Washington D.C. Director for the Department of Health and Family Services pay increased from $84,000 to $102,000.  Then, there's the governor's own Director of Planning and Protocol, who had been earning $50,000 but now receives $65,000 a year.  

    At times that state worker has been used as a driver for the governor.

    But Quinn dismisses any criticism of his Protocol Chief saying his predecessor made more than that. 

    "He's getting far less," Quinn said. "I had to re-organize my staff. He's not my driver. He's the person who organizes my schedule.He deals with people all over the United States and even foreign countries. The bottom line is he works 24/7."
     
    "I think it's important for all of the facts to be known," Quinn said. "I've cut the state budget more than any other Governor in history, by $3,000,000,000."  

    Quinn also takes aim at his opponent GOP candidate State Sen. Bill Brady and charges: "Senator Brady this year had a chance to vote to reduce his pay; he took the entire pay and a bonus."    

    Brady, as a committee chairman, is given a stipend.

    "Governor Quinn likes to distort the truth. The truth is everybody in the legislature takes furlough days. I have not voted for pay raises," he told NBC Chicago.