Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Dec 20, 2005
Governor's Letter to State Employees

December 19, 2005

Dear Co-worker:

As my first year as a state employee comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned, the progress we’ve made, and the problems we’ve discovered but not yet solved. My first and last thoughts are of gratitude for the hard work you and our other colleagues do every day, and especially for the leadership so many of you have shown in helping reform and improve state government.

Taking just a small sample, I’m remembering

  • the people at Revenue, who left all projections in the dust with their incredible implementation of Indiana Tax Amnesty
  • the Workforce Development team, who wiped out the perennial backlogs of Unemployment Insurance and Work Opportunity Tax Credit claims
  • the folks at FSSA, who eliminated the backlog of Medicaid Disability applications
  • the Department of Administration workers who have saved millions of dollars through smarter purchasing, and established the state’s first Buy Indiana program to track and increase the state government dollars that wind up in Hoosiers’ paychecks
  • the 900+ employees who reported waste or wrongdoing to our new Inspector General

I could fill a book with similar examples. This year state employees have made enormous improvements in the service levels experienced by our fellow citizens, while taking much greater care of the hard earned tax dollars entrusted to us by our fellow citizens.

By any fair estimation, 2005 was a year of great improvement for Indiana state government and, even though we have much left to do to return a bankrupt treasury to the black, that progress deserves recognition. Accordingly, I have ordered a general salary adjustment of 2%, effective the first paycheck in February. Coupled with additional health insurance contributions announced last month, this results in increases for state employees between 3% and 5% for the year ahead.

It is our intention that future salary adjustments be less “general”, instead being based on performance, as determined by the evaluation system now being put in place. Starting next year, there will be no automatic increases; individual raises will depend on performance that at least meets expectations. Outstanding work will be rewarded by greater levels of increases.

There are things that haven’t changed since last January 10th. One is my sense of privilege and excitement to be working, even temporarily, with you in public service. A second is my conviction that the quality of that service can and must get better every year, and every day.

I reread the letter I sent you on my first day of work. Because it still expresses accurately our administration’s hopes and plans, and our expectations of ourselves and of each state worker, I’ve attached a copy for your own review. Thank you for enabling us to make a great start at delivering to our neighbors the first-class service their tax dollars should buy, and at creating a culture of excellence throughout Indiana state government.

Have a great holiday--see you in the New Year.

Best regards,

Mitch Daniels