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Money without merit (access required)

Money without merit <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Bonuses given to state workers who didn’t surrender protections

Raises for rank-and-file state employees came with a choice last year: Become an at-will employee in exchange for a 5-percent pay bump, or keep those protections and receive the same salaries they’d had since 2007.

The amount of money the deal directed toward political appointees and top staff, who are among the highest paid state employees, wasn't widely discussed.

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Phoenix-area cities paying retention bonuses

Cities in metro Phoenix are paying millions of dollars in retention bonuses as they lay off employees, cut pay or raise taxes amid the recession. Compensation experts question the wisdom of retention bonuses as the state's 9.3 percent unemployment rate has drastically reduced turnover. Cities defend the bonuses as an incentive to retain employees and make up for stagnant wages.

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