Letters: State pay increases and oil and Russia

·2 min read

State employees deserve raises to keep pace with inflation

For the first time in over 25 years, the governor has proposed that many state employees get a raise equal to or greater than inflation. The inflation rate in 2021 was 5.8%. Gov. John Carney’s proposed budget has a weighted raise of between 2 and 9%, with the greatest increase going to the lowest paid. But for any state employee who is getting a less than 5.8% increase, it means that their salary is not keeping pace with inflation.

Gov. John Carney delivers his State of the State address in the House chamber on Jan. 20, 2022.
Gov. John Carney delivers his State of the State address in the House chamber on Jan. 20, 2022.

Most state employees are hired at 80-85% of what is considered “full performance pay.” Back in the 1980s, the state adopted an employee pay plan that was to give all state employees an annual pay raise to reflect inflation. They were also to get a second raise to move them towards “full performance pay.” But our elected officials have rarely implemented this plan, meaning that no matter how good a person is at their job, they will never achieve “full performance pay.”

It is well past time to implement the pay plan that the state committed to and give all state employees a raise at least equal to inflation.

— Marjorie Crofts, Townsend

How to help Ukraine

It is awful to see Russia threatening its neighbor. What can we do to help?

Russia is the world's third largest oil producer. One of the ways that individuals can help the people of Ukraine fight back against Russia is to use less oil.

Electric Vehicles help reduce the amount of oil used around the world. By driving down oil use, EVs will help to lower the price of oil on the world market, now approaching record highs of $100/barrel. The price of oil has been increasing in large part because of the threats of war and the disruption of oil markets. This in turn adds to inflation in countries everywhere. The more we reduce the price of oil, with EVs, the more we reduce the money going to Russia and other anti-democratic countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Don't fatten the coffers of these despotic regimes. Be a hero. Buy/lease an electric car, truck or SUV and otherwise reduce your use of oil — and natural gas. Bicycling and walking also achieve a similar result.

This will, in turn, reduce climate change and put more change/money in your pocket as EVs have maintenance and fuel costs much less than internal combustion vehicles.

Another way individuals can help save oil is to reach out to our Governors and urge them to adopt the California Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, if they haven't done so already. ZEV policies will further boost the number of electric vehicles that promote a cleaner future, one in which we kick our addiction to oil.

— Charlie Garlow, president, Delaware Electric Vehicle Association, Rehoboth Beach

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Letters: State pay increases and oil and Russia