Opposition to benefit cost increases
So you all can still submit your opposition by emailing your comments to the people trying to increase our insurance premiums and raise our PERS contribution rate. Below are the comments I submitted. If you want to speak out against these bullshit increases, send your email to: IRBC@lcb.state.nv.us
My name is Paul Lunkwitz and I have been a correctional officer with the NDOC for over 20 years. I am also the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Nevada C.O. Lodge 21. For the last 2 decades, I have seen my insurance premiums go from zero for an individual, to $700 a month for my family. While I realize that free insurance premiums are not a reality anymore, the drastic increase that we just experienced this year increased my monthly premium by approximately $120 per month. It is unconscionable to think we are facing another large increase in premiums on the verge of beginning furloughs. I live in Las Vegas, where more than half of the correctional officers for the state of Nevada are employed. Not only are we drastically underpaid (over $30,000 per year) compared to the local jails in Las Vegas, we pay higher premiums than our counterparts at the jails. We also contribute to PERS at a higher rate then the county and city correctional officers. By comparison, it would be like the IRS charging people making the lowest amount of money the highest tax rate. This has created a vacuum from our employee base. In most years at HDSP, we average 30% turnover of officers. This is at the current deficiency in pay that we already find ourselves. To increase the premiums and the PERS contribution rate for state employees is only going to further devastate our ability to keep officers with the NDOC. This creates a much higher cost for training new officers to replace those who leave.
For our brothers and sisters in the NDOC, we will suffer reduced pay from furloughs, and increased costs as a result. This has been a difficult year, but as the pandemic unfolded, we kept showing up to work. We didn’t get to work from home and now as a reward we get to take home even less money for doing the same job. If there is a shortfall in PEBP or PERS, it is not from officers. There is a disturbing trend with the management of PERS if the investment portfolio results in shortfalls while the economy is at an all time high. Changes need to occur, but not at the expense of our dedicated employees. On behalf of all of our FOP members and correctional officers across the state, we strongly oppose any increase in premiums or contribution rates for PERS.
FOP Nevada C.O. Lodge 21