February 27, 2009
By MATT STILES and PEGGY FIKAC
AUSTIN — State government workers were awarded more than $25 million in bonuses and extra compensation in 2008, with the best of it going to Texas executives and university employees, state payroll records show.
More than 14,000 state employees received some form of extra payment, according to a newspaper analysis, mostly dubbed “merit” and “performance” pay or sometimes folded into regular salaries.
Given the faltering economy, the practice of bonus payments promises to trigger intense scrutiny, especially from legislative budget writers.
The issue came to the forefront last month when an eye-popping $1 million payment to the chief investment officer at the University of Texas Investment Management Co. sparked a fiery legislative hearing that culminated in the resignation of a university regent. . .
Miguel A. Quinones, a management and organization professor at Southern Methodist University, said the main logic of incentive pay is to align a person’s performance with an organization’s goals.
“They send out a strong signal from management about what’s important in the organization,” he said.
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