MAY 29, 2012 · 4:06 PM
A tough sell, but judicial salaries should be raised — MLW May 3, 2012
She gets 80% for life, say another 14 years=$1.45 million. Total a little less than $ 2.9m guaranteed. Plus a gold plated health plan for life worth, on a family plan, 25 years at say $2k per month for $600k. Thus guaranteed, $3.5m for 11 years of very hard work with how much time off and sick pay per year-eleven years in this example.This is very serous money. Thus $3.5m divided by 11 years of labor equals $318k per year. To structure a retirement plan in today’s economy would cost what in today’s money? A 14 year stream of payments sans cola for say 80% of $130k, beginning in year 2023, needs how much today in today market? Say 1/3 of the sum of payments of $1.5m equaling about $500k. Judges sadly get no cola in retirement and at 4% annual inflation over the last 50 years, the earning/spending power of their retirement income DECLINES 4% a year and thus at age 84 is worth almost 50% less than when it begins. Not very fair but that is what it is.
Even a well deserved 10% raise will not effect the judicial candidates, but yes for the judges and the clerks or the above numbers. Never is right time for a judicial raise. Do not forget the clerks who also will get a well deserved raise.
The raises should be cola’d but never will be. In 1970, the Superior Court judges got I believe about $30k. The AWW in 1970 was about $130 per week=say $6800 per year. The going rate for first year lawyers was $15k. Since 1970 the Mass.AWW has gone up, to over $1.1K per week= say $52k. The multiplier would be what, about eight something. First years now get about $150k plus, far more than in 1970, as $15k times eight is $120k.Thus using AWW for Massachusetts, the judges pay should be 8 times the rate in 1970 at $30k = $240k. Not in my life time will this ever happen. They now get maybe 50%. Judges salaries should be pegged at the first year going rate in Boston as it is today, about at least $150k to 180k. That at least would be a start.
Now we desire attorney conducted voir dire, numbers etc and what else? Maybe some support for some support? Maybe now is the time?