Ducey Caught in Major Staffer Pay Scandal
Governor Giving Staff Huge Raises While Stiffing Teachers
Teachers Remain Lowest Paid in the Nation
Gov. Doug Ducey is under fire in Arizona for trying to sneak huge pay raises to his political inner circle while pushing a lean budget that fails to properly fund Arizona’s schools. In his State of the State speech earlier this year, Ducey made raising teacher pay a top priority. But it turns out he thinks his own staff deserves it more.
The average Ducey staffer has received an 11% salary bump since he took office, and 44 of them received up to 20% raises in that time. Both numbers are well above that average increase for a state worker.
Meanwhile schools and teachers are still hurting. Arizona elementary school teachers are the lowest paid in the country, while high-school teachers rank No. 48 in pay. Arizona also has one of the largest average class sizes in the country.
“Governor Ducey is clearly more interested in giving handouts to his buddies than improving Arizona schools,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Ducey’s promise to invest in education was as hollow as it gets. Arizona deserves a governor who will put students before political insiders.”
Here’s a roundup of the backlash:
The Arizona Republic Editorial Board: Ducey staff raises a failure to lead by example
A governor who stresses the need for budget austerity should not hand out double-digit raises to his inner circle. We shouldn’t have to say this.
Gov. Doug Ducey should not need a tutorial on why giving hefty raises to some staffers and political appointees cuts against the message he’s been preaching to the rest of the state.
Columnist EJ Montini: It’s not the raises, Gov. Ducey, it’s the arrogance
Ducey decided that the people who work most closely with him, who make him look good, who tell him he’s great, who listen to what he has to say and do what he asks them to do, deserve a big raise.
Not with money that comes out of his pocket, however, but with money that comes out of your pocket.
Columnist Laurie Roberts: Ducey tosses peanuts to teachers while throwing a banquet for his staff
A few days later, he proposed a four-tenths of 1 percent pay raise for teachers – though ultimately he was pressured to boost the raise to 1 percent. Because you, teachers, make the difference.
Just not as much of a difference, apparently, as Ducey’s PR guy, Daniel Scarpinato.
The Republic’s Craig Harris reports that Scarpinato has scored 14 percent in pay raises since Ducey took office in 2015, bringing his salary to $162,000.
The Arizona Republic: Gov. Doug Ducey, despite lean budget, awards hefty pay raises to his staff
Gov. Doug Ducey, who this year offered teachers raises of less than 1 percent because of the state’s austere budget, has given 44 of his staff members raises of up to 20 percent each over the past 2½ years, records obtained by The Arizona Republicshow.
Those documents show Ducey has distributed raises to most of his staff since he was elected in 2015, with some getting multiple bumps in pay. The governor also promoted at least 40 employees, with their salaries increasing by amounts ranging from 5 to 100 percent. Just more than one-fourth of those receiving additional pay from promotions also received merit pay raises.
NBC 12 News: VIDEO – Outrage over Gov. Doug Ducey’s staff pay raises
Gov. Ducey’s staff members received as much as 20 percent pay raises while teacher received less than one percent, according to the Arizona Republic.