Being penalized for state's financial woes

I have been a state employee for nine years and it has taken me 30 years to find a job I love. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to survive.

The classified staff employees have not received a raise in three years. Last year, insurance premiums went up and it was decided the employees would pay the state's 2.5 percent to PERA. Taxes have gone up, not to mention gas and food. I feel like I am being penalized for the state's financial problems.

In December, I fell and broke my ankle. I went on leave without pay but now I have to pay back the university for overpayment. I was told I could apply for leave share, but don't count on it. I was denied because I wasn't in the hospital dying. A broken ankle doesn't require hospitalization, but I did require two months of "residential care due to my incapacity to stand or walk."

The leave-sharing policy refers to "an unforeseeable life-altering event beyond the employee's control." I didn't break my ankle on purpose. I required surgery to repair a ligament and they put two screws in my ankle. I applied for short-term disability, which I have not seen yet, and when it comes I will just turn it over to the university. Thank you, state of Colorado, for a job I love.

Barbara Wojcik