Most of us on full-time payrolls got a few bucks more in our net pay last week, the result of the third and final stage of the Reaganomics tax cut.
But Maryland state employes are in a different box. On a weekly basis, they took a slight cut in their gross pay, although they--like 'most everyone else--will get higher take-home pay as a result of the federal tax change.
It's a problem that pops up every four years. State salaries are figured on an annual, not a weekly, basis. Calendar 1984 is a leap year, and employe pay for Maryland's 1984 fiscal year, which includes next Feb. 29, was adjusted to account for the fact that the year's pay must be spread over one extra day.
According to Joseph Adler, head of the Maryland Classified Employees Association, a grade-20 employe with a gross annual salary of $26,688 will receive $1.40 less each week this fiscal year.
It's especially painful, Adler said, because state employes got no general increase this year. The governor's press secretary, Louis Panos, lightheartedly described the marginal pay trim as a "public-spirited contribution" to the state, but suggested there may be a real increase next year.