The rest of the story...

It's great to be on EID's payroll...

February 3, 2012

But not so great to be a ratepayer paying for EID's payroll!

Of EID's $43 million operating budget, two-thirds goes to pay employee salaries and benefits:

Within the average per employee $47,000 of benefits is a per employee $18,500 medical plan and $12,800 of pension contributions. In comparison, national benefits expert Hewitt Associates reports that Corporate America on average offers $9,800 medical plans but requires employees to "chip in" $2,000, leaving a net cost of $7,800 to the company and its customers. So, EID (and thus EID ratepayers) pays $2.4 million more than Corporate America for its employee medical coverage.

As for pension costs, EID pays almost double Corporate America, so this is another $1.4 million more paid by EID ratepayers as compared to Corporate America.

Regarding EID's $77,000 average salary, this level certainly is not "spartan". But, the big excessive cost driver in EID's salaries budget is that it includes up to ten weeks of annual paid time off (PTO) per employee. If EID offered a typical Corporate America average of up to eight weeks PTO, or ten fewer days, EID would require 9 fewer employees... a savings of $1.1 million of salaries and benefits.

Lastly, EID's top managers receive cash car allowances, additional paid time off, and certain other perks not available to "rank and file" employees. The value of these extra perks exceeds $200,000 annually.

Altogether, EID's employee benefit excesses exceed $5 million annually. If EID were to cut these excesses in half, ratepayers would realize $2.5 million of lessened rates, or a 6% across-the-board cost offset against EID's rate increases. With EID's continuing annual "double digit" rate increases, shouldn't employees share the pain and have their lavish benefits pared part way back to those paid by Corporate America?