The last time the Legislature funded raises for state employees was in fiscal year 2009, state Division of Human Resources head Vicki Tokita told legislative budget writers this morning. As a result, state worker salaries now lag 18.6 percent behind market rates, up from 15 percent in 2009. Gov. Butch Otter targeted that market lag in the early days of his administration and proposed boosts, but that was before the state's economy tanked.
Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, asked how state employees' total compensation package, including benefits as well as salaries, compares to the private sector. State Department of Administration chief Teresa Luna responded that the state last examined total compensation a couple of years ago; at that time, compared to seven large Idaho employers, state employee compensation was "about 15 percent less than the private sector, including benefits, pension and retirement," Luna said.
According to the latest report, the fiscal 2013 Change in Employee Compensation Report, state employee turnover is now 12.1 percent, and the average length of state service for those who left state employment in 2011 was 9.8 years.