Updated: State employee sues Perdue over loss of pay raises

A Georgia state employee has filed a civil suit accusing Gov. Sonny Perdue of taking away employees’ pay raises.

William Estill sued Perdue and the head of every state agency in Fulton County Superior Court on Monday. He is asking for class-action status.

Estill claims that the General Assembly and Perdue approved a 2.5 percent pay raise for most state employees in 2008 that should have taken effect Jan. 1. Employees, however, never saw the increased pay because lawmakers and Perdue this spring agreed to defer the increase to help cover a deepening state budget crisis.

In his suit, Estill says the Legislature and the governor could have cut spending, raised taxes and fees or reduced the state’s workforce to honor the pay raises.

Estill is described as a state employee in the suit, although it does not say for which agency he works. A search of the state employee salary database shows a William Estill as being a probation officer with the Department of Corrections.

Update 2:40 p.m.: Bert Brantley, Perdue’s communications director, responds:

“The state’s budget act is very clear; the appropriations bill is an authorization for spending up to the amounts specified. The governor has the clear authority to withhold funds below those authorized amounts during the first six months of the fiscal year before the Legislature convenes in January. The amended budget is then passed, which sets the spending plan for the rest of year, unless economic conditions change and more withholding is needed between the time of adjournment and the end of the fiscal year. This lawsuit is a waste of the state funds that will be required to defend it, in addition to being a waste of time, effort and costs of the court which are all in short supply.”

29 comments Add your comment

HUMBUG

October 21st, 2009
10:34 am

Estill is typical of the “gimmie” crowd. He’s probably the ignorant pawn of some extreme activist group who will step in and pay his expenses for this suit. Plenty of people out there would welcome his job, without the raise. He will find that the unemployment arena is crowded.

gimmie crowd

October 21st, 2009
10:58 am

ha! look at this loon moaning about the “gimmie” crowd! “Gimmie” is america’s national invocation, from the most broke down lottery-ticket-buying wino to the suburban dad with his bad haircut and fair tax bumber sticker to the red-faced and shouting religious crank on tv. even the swank insurance exec in buckhead is saying “gimmie” when he denies your coverage, chumps. we loves to git ours. it’s the american way! to hell with the poor. if you don’t enjoy the economic thunderdome, get a REAL JOB. love it or leave it, you flabby cry-babies!

Tyree

October 21st, 2009
11:16 am

Everyone has taken an economic haircut during this recession. Hopefully, the judicial system will clearly see this suit lacks merit and give it a well deserved place at the curb. Someone needs to call Estill a Waaaaammmbulance.

Preseason? Preseason?

October 21st, 2009
11:27 am

He won’t have to worry about a job after this. Let alone a pay raise.

Youhavetobekiddingmeright!?!?!

October 21st, 2009
11:28 am

That 2.5 percent will equate to about $40 more a paycheck if William Estill is quite fortunate. If it’s a monthly paycheck it might be $80.

I like how he wants taxes raised or the workforce cut to help pay for this. My bet is his job would have been one of the ones to go.

People seriously need to get a grip on what is REAL!

Base

October 21st, 2009
11:28 am

State employees have to live too. If someone doesn’t do the probation job more crooks are on the street.They don’t sit in some class A highrise,go to cocktail lunches and make a market salary with bonuses.A haircut in a bad economy is ok as long as it doesn’t put you on your back.

LIn

October 21st, 2009
11:56 am

Mr. Estill is entitled to his raises. If Perdue had not built a 25 Million Dollar Fish Hatcher in his back yard for the Good Ole Boys and he leave the Governorship. He decided in 2007 to do this but did not sign the approval until August or September 2008, when it was announce that the economy was in a downward spiral. He was already making people with a pay grade 15th and above furlough since January 2008. This was very brash and careless of him to be thinking only of himself and not the State in a whole.

He could make cuts from all of the unnecessary overall spending, followed the example of several other States by having a 4-day workweek, and limit the time to work to 6:00 P.M. Another idea is to cut all of the utilities off as well as forbidding people from working after hour as well as coming in after hours and the weekend. This may have made a different.

What people do not realize is that regular State employees have not had a raise in two years, but all of the benefits are going up by 10%. This is a big deal when your cost of living is going up every year and you do not get an increase for a few years. The teacher always gets an increase but regular State workers under a pay grade 11 are suffering.

Shananeeeeee Fananeeeeeee

October 21st, 2009
12:09 pm

Obama is as corrupt as they come. This guy should call him, I’m sure he has some more free money to give out to his sheep. Change in 2010 and 2012, Change we are looking forward to.

Gary

October 21st, 2009
12:12 pm

This is why we need a loser pays system. The state will have to spend tax payer money to defend a lawsuit that is without merit only for a judge to throw it out. Seriously, no one is “entitled” to a pay raise. Those were voted on by Reps to taxpayers. That is our money and it is our Reps and Senators who vote on how to spend that money. If they want to defer that money until a later date, then so be it as they have the constitutional right to do it.

My company did away with pay raises this year, but will bring them back in either 2010 or 2011 when the economy improves. They have the right to defer these and so does the government.

Mr. Estill, you do not have a right to a state government job and you do not have a right to a pay raise in that job. If you have a problem with money, then I suggest you either find another job or get a second job to help pay for things until the raises eventually kick in.

Tyree

October 21st, 2009
12:13 pm

The company I work for is bleeding red ink due to the economy. I live in fear that they will shut the doors if things don’t turn around in the next few months.I very much doubt that Mr. Etill has a dark cloud like this hanging over his head. So, Cry me a river Mr. Estill. A regular paycheck beats no paycheck at all… does it not?

Base

October 21st, 2009
12:17 pm

Crazy Sonny should not have proposed pay raises in the first place.Instead he raised the cost of health insurance a net decrease in pay.But the grippers need to ask as state pay deceases who will manage the crooks.It is not a job in a class A highrise,cocktail lunches,a market salary and a bonus. This is on top of Ga Power cost increase, Ga Natural gas cost increase and gasoline price fluctuations to name a few.We are all under attack.

Drunkdawg

October 21st, 2009
12:23 pm

If you or anyone else that has these state jobs wants to leave because of pay, benefits or whatever, Then Leave, Quit and Hit the Road and Shut-Up. Lets see how many people that are out of work go after your jobs. If you are unhappy with what you have with the state, go out here in the private sector and see whats out there. Most state employees would starve to death if they had to work in the real world. Its always the same crap, we want, we need, give me, give me, give me, just send me my govment chek and benfits. Must be sad to go your whole life with your hand stuck out. Why not get a sign to go around your neck and a empty pork’n beans can and stand on the local exit ramp and beg with the other hobos.

Bumber Bee

October 21st, 2009
12:26 pm

To gimmie crowd@10:58 am: what’s a “bumber” sticker? One that says “McCain-Palin”? That’s a “dumber” sticker! Or a “bummer” sticker!
It’s “bumper” sticker, because those things on your car are bumpers for when you bump into things.

LongtimeEducator

October 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

“The teacher always gets an increase”
This is not true

Drunkdawg

October 21st, 2009
12:40 pm

And if anyone wants to know how I really feel, just ask. I don’t mind calling out names and goobberment departments.

RR

October 21st, 2009
12:43 pm

Lln, are you serious? In reference to Perdue, you said: “This was very brash and careless of him to be thinking only of himself and not the State in a whole.”
Mr. Estill wants workers to be laid off and Georgia taxpayers to have their taxes increased again so that he can get his 2.5% raise. Talk about brash and only thinking of himself….

Drunkdawg

October 21st, 2009
12:49 pm

State employees always think of themselves first, since they are the only ones that matter. Everyone knows that based on the amount of crying and whining they do.

LIn

October 21st, 2009
12:53 pm

All of you need to get a grip. State Employees have gone without an increase in two years and you know you will not get one in 2010. Standup and applaud anyone who is for using the taxes to pay to right a wrong? We all pay taxes as well and if injustice is being done whether it you or anyone else you need to be able to live.

Don’t forget people that if your job make you take several days off without pay, you don’t get a raise for several years and all of your benefits are constantly going up and you have a family to support you will be doing the same thing as Mr. Estill.

Wakeup and join us in reality!

Tyree

October 21st, 2009
12:54 pm

Mr. Estill illustrates the attitude of entitlement and everyone else be damned. What a capricious attitude. Marie Antoinette would be proud of such self serving personality.

Gary

October 21st, 2009
1:19 pm

Sorry LIn, but you and Mr. Estill are the ones who need to get a grip. Again state employees do not have a right to that job. They work for the people and it is the people who pay their salaries. If we tell our Reps that we are cutting back and so should you, then they have every right to delay that increase to help balance the budget. No I will not applaud anyone who wastes my tax money for a lawsuit for their own self serving. If they were being legitimately wronged or harassed, then yes I would applaud them. But in this case Mr. Estill is nothing but a greedy whiner. Their is no injustice for a government or any other employer to delay a pay increase to help the bottom line. They have the legal right to do so.

I do have a family to support. My benefit premiums and other costs have gone up every year and this will be second year in a row that I will not have a cost of living increase to my salary. I don’t like it, but I live with it because my company has the right to operate fiscally sound and if making cutbacks to these benefits helps the bottom line then so be it. Everyone in my company faces this same aspect and yet none of them are suing the company because of an injustice. Nope those who disagree and pout simply FIND ANOTHER JOB!!! Mr. Estill should do the same.

LIn

October 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

People think State employee make a lot of money. Let us be clear about some misconception and reality that goes on in the State of Georgia Government. First if you are a minority and under a pay grade 11. You are not making very little and your chances for advancement with or without a degree are none and void.

There are very qualified individual being overlooked or just ignored and less qualified person or put in the position because of their race and friendship with the head of the department. These position or only for the Good Ole Boys and Girls that are not what is still being referred to as the majority that get the promotion and raise. Not just because President Obama was elected, but because we are all God children and suppose to be of the higher thinking than animals and should not be demeaning our President or State Workers.

However, it seem that we have some very uneducated people who don’t know their left from their right making judgment call on State Employees as well as the United State “Elected” President, calling him corrupt.

As for myself, I do not think Mr. Estill wants anyone to be laid off but was looking as a whole that if it was signed that State Employees not just the Teachers. Therefore, if the Governor of Georgia had looked into using the $25 Million dollars to fund programs that he had cut then there should not have been any need to furlough or lay off State Employees. If the Governor of Georgia had thought of the people of Georgia rather than build a “Fish Hatcher” for him and his Good Ole Boys, then there would be no need to lay off anyone State Employees or anyone in Georgia.

This is what you call a “Domino Affect” people, when one domino is pushed into the one behind the affect travel until the domino’s entire are not down. This theory is applied to the State Employees as well as non State Employees. If a State Employee looses his or her job then the company they spent their money can’t pay their bills are workers and that affect other business as well until the Unemployment rate is sky rocketing.

Whatever

October 21st, 2009
1:34 pm

Whatever! State employees work for every dime they make. No one is giving us anything because we pay taxes just like everyone else. It is Mr. Estill right as a citizen of this country to file a lawsuit or not. You all are a bunch of hypocrites. Why keep settling for pennies when Sonny is making millions. Stupid!

William

October 21st, 2009
1:37 pm

To the ignorant:
State employees consist of many who have second jobs because the state does not pay much. You can see the salaries of the worker bees..it is online. Only management make decent salaries. Also, many state employees are retired military and that is the reason they can afford to work with the state. Those without second jobs must have a spouse working or they live almost in poverty. Go to the website and see how much a state employee with 10yrs in grade make in salary and then comeback and we will talk.

Gary

October 21st, 2009
1:44 pm

I am not demeaning State Workers or our President. And why on Earth are bringing the President into a discussion that is strictly a state issue? Sounds like you cannot make a legit argument as to why Mr. Estill is wasting tax payer money for his own gain.

Again he is a state worker. He works for the government, who in turn works for the people. The same legislators who voted for that 25 million to the fish hatchery are the same ones who voted for the deferment in the pay increase. Mr. Estill nor any other employee is entitled to a pay raise. It is not law, therefore they are not entitled. If you want pay raises to be policy, then get the legislature to pass a law saying that all government employees are entitled to annual pay raises. It’s not there and Mr. Estill has no legal leg to stand on. Sadly we will be footing the bill for a judge to tell him to go pound sand.

Gary

October 21st, 2009
1:51 pm

William….if you are not making enough, do like myself and others have done for years……FIND ANOTHER JOB. Surely you have a skill set that is needed elsewhere.

This is the land of opportunity. You have the right to seek a job and a living wage. You do not have the right to a certain job or a pay raise.

The state, just like any other business, has the right to set their pay scale. Unless it is written in law, the workers negotiate their pay. If a law is passed consisting of a pay raise, then great. But those who passed that law have the right to delay it or revoke it with more legislation. Deal with it.

I know many of fellow or former co-workers who once worked for the state. They didn’t like the low wages. But instead of suing without merit, they decided to find another job that pays better. They succeeded and so can Mr. Estill.

Gary

October 21st, 2009
1:55 pm

Whatever…..you are right, state workers are tax payers too and Mr. Estill does have the right to file a lawsuit. However, the state legislature has the constitutional right to delay or revoke entirely pay raises to state employees. They also have the right to totally do away with state positions. Mr. Estill needs to think hard about that one. Talk about being a hypocrite.

“Why keep settling for pennies when Sonny is making millions. Stupid!” You said a mouthful. Again, if you don’t like it…….then FIND ANOTHER JOB!

Many USG Faculty and Staff & K-12 Teachers

October 21st, 2009
11:05 pm

If Perdue and Legislators would quit alllowing the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to quit lining the pockets of USG presidents and chancellors (recently disclosed by Jim Walls, Atlanta Unfiltered to be over $7.1 million), then maybe these salary increases would not be cut (along with K-12 National Board Certification funds, furloughs, student fee increases, etc.).
Perdue stated in his August 10, 2009 memo that the BOR has “exclusive authority” to do what they want with state and foundation funds. Reality is, Perdue will not address this increasing concern or encourage legislation reform to bring back accountability by the BOR because he has been approached to become part of their team after his term as Governor. Why would Perdue want to make the Board of Regents accountable and lose the outrageous salary, supplements, and deferred compensations he may be receiving next year that will ensure his “Sonny” retirement? Confirmed via Open Records by the Board of Regents:
$1,820,697 — Wayne Clough, former Georgia Tech president (includes $500,000 cash, a $38,000 car and a split-dollar life insurance policy valued at $750,000 from the foundation)
$1,666,639 — Carl Patton, retired Georgia State University president
$1,573,606 — Michael Adams, UGA president (includes $786,106 due from the UGA Foundation as of June 2008)
$600,000 — David Bell, Macon State University president (includes $400,000 due from the Macon State foundation)
$495,990 — Thomas Meredith, former University System chancellor (includes $180,990 from the University System of Georgia Foundation)
$480,000 — Daniel Rahn, Medical College of Georgia president
$262,500 — Erroll B. Davis Jr., University System chancellor
$127,000 — Beheruz Sethna, University of West Georgia president
$90,000 — Dan Papp, Kennesaw State University foundation
$75,000 — Bud Peterson, Georgia Tech president since April 1
$7,191,432 – Total
Link to full story:
http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2009/10/05/university-execs-deferred-pay-often-hidden-tops-7-million/

John

October 22nd, 2009
7:57 am

I work as a correctional officer and unlike people who do not work for the state, we do not get paid overtime. We work over 40 hour every week, with no overtime or comp time.

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