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Bob Dick, a Policy Analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation, says Pennsylvania taxpayers are paying too much money to support the commonwealth’s public employees.

Dick tells Talk Radio 1210 WPHT’s Dom Giordano why the average cost per state worker when combining salary and benefits is now over $93,000.

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“We see the increase in compensation over the decade being driven mainly by benefits. There’s been an increase of about 70 percent since 2006 and I’m sure many of your listeners have not seen that same increase in their employee benefits. One of the causes we point to is this collective bargaining process, which frankly, lacks any sort of transparency and really doesn’t allow for taxpayer input.”

He believes a conflict of interest exists in the relationship between public unions and Governor Tom Wolf.

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“He rode on the coattails of government unions to the Governorship. More than $2 Million were sent from those unions that he’s negotiating with now to Governor Wolf for his campaign. We have to ask whether or not this process needs some more transparency when you have that dynamic going on and there’s a possibility of a quid pro quo and that’s why we want to make this process a little more transparent.”

Dick championed two bills moving through the legislature that purport to shed more light on negotiations between public sector unions and the commonwealth.

“There are two bills, Senate Bill 644 and Senate Bill 645, sponsored by Senators Folmer and Stefano respectively. What Senate Bill 644 would do is simply instruct the independent Fiscal Office to assess the cost of these contracts and put that online as well. Senate Bill 645 would require these contracts to be posted online as well, so you can look at the terms and you can also see how much they cost.”

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