Cost of Living Adjustment Would Have Raised Pay by 1.7 percent
HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell said that he once again would not accept a scheduled cost of living increase in his salary – keeping his pay at its 2008 level – and also asked members of his cabinet and other senior members of his administration to do the same.
A pay freeze for all management personnel will also continue for the third year running.
Under state law, top commonwealth officials would receive an automatic annual cost of living adjustment, or COLA, of 1.7 percent beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, based on a rise in the Consumer Price Index.
Rendell has declined the COLA for the past several years. He currently accepts a salary equivalent to his 2008 compensation of $170,150. By law, his pay in 2010 would have been $174,914. The most recent COLA takes the statutory salary for the Governor to $177,888 in 2011. Rendell and other officials return the net difference, less additional taxes paid on the higher sum, to the commonwealth.
The Governor and his senior management team have refused the increases as part of his overall commitment to controlling costs since the national economic recession negatively impacted state finances beginning in 2008.
Further, a pay freeze has been in place since December of 2008 for all non-union employees who are under the Governor’s jurisdiction. The freeze currently applies to about 13,000 state workers.