If a private company wants to give their employees bonuses simply because they showed up to work that is great.  Is it great when a government-funded organization gives their employees bonuses for simply showing up for work?  That is for you to decide.

MLive is reporting that University of Michigan employees will receive $1,500 bonuses because they showed up for work during the Covid Pandemic.

In a campus-wide email U of M President Mark Schlissel wrote that he wanted to reward the employees for their “efforts in these extraordinary times”.  He went on to write:

“You have worked tirelessly both in person and remotely to assure the ongoing success of our university and its students…And you’ve done so amid the stress and hardship that comes with living and working through a global pandemic. I sincerely thank you for being a part of the University of Michigan family. I am very proud to work alongside you.”

These bonuses will be given to approximately 25,000 employees and total $37.6 million between their three campuses. They say the bonuses are being paid from their reserves.  We all know money is fungible/interchangeable.

As I stated if a private company decided to give their employees bonuses just for showing up to work during trying times, great!  The question comes down to a government-funded group like the University of Michigan doing so.  How much Michigan Tax Dollars are given to the University of Michigan each academic year?  This is how much their total Michigan tax appropriations were as reported by the Michigan House Fiscal Agency:

2021-22:    $382,359,500

2020-21:    $373,230,300

2019-20      $372,994,000

2018-19      $370,439,600

2017-18      $363,112,700

2016-17      $355,991,600

2015-16      $345,823,500

Should Michigan refund the Michigan taxpayers the $37.6 million they want to give out in bonuses?

They could take it out of the $382,359,500 million Michigan taxpayer dollars they were given this year.  Or perhaps they can take it out of the $2,563,951,200 billion dollars they have been gifted over the last 7 years.

Then they truly would be paying those bonuses out of their university reserves.

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