Z-Gram 05: First $500,000 pension hits Illinois taxpayers.

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. We now have a public employee hauling in $512,964 per year from two IL pension funds, SURS (State University Retirement System) and Cook County Pension Fund. Just his COLA this year is over $15,000.

Alon Winnie worked at the University of Illinois for 23 years and then Cook County for 20 years mostly teaching anesthesiology. So how much do anesthesiologists make in the private sector?

Like most public employees he over estimates how much his peers in the private sector make. In his case Winnie vastly underestimates the value of his pension(s), free health care, longevity, cost of malpractice insurance and cost of staff. He also wrote a couple of textbooks while on the state payroll and I am sure received royalties on those too.

He was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times about his out-sized pension:

Quote: “We probably work harder than other physicians do,” Winnie said. “If you were with a good company, you’d have a helluva lot better benefits.”

Excuse me, better benefits than $512,000/yr. pension? Exactly where could you get a better deal than that? That is a typical comment from a public employee; he has sacrificed for us and now, in his dotage, must eat dog food three days a week to make ends meet on his paltry $512,000. Mother Teresa without the vow of poverty I guess.

In fact let’s take a look at what anesthesiologists make in the private sector. As a comparison we have statistics from personnel research firm LocumTenens of medical salaries. For 2011 the average anesthesiologist in a salaried position was $348,000 which means Dr. Winnie has a pension 47% greater than the average salary of his peers in the private sector. What a sacrifice the guy has made.

This is just one more example of a corrupt pension system that cannot be reformed but must simply be replaced.