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Eye On Boise

Andreason: Give state employees a 3% across-the-board pay raise

Senate Commerce Chairman John Andreason told JFAC this morning, "It has been four years since the state employees have received a cost-of-living adjustment. Idaho's public servants are our greatest assets," and he said the lag in their pay is having serious impact. "Managers across state government have shared concerns. ... We have lost significant university professors and researchers to neighboring states, and we are paying too much to train a rotating case of corrections employees. We have created uncertainty for our teachers, discouraging our best and brightest from joining this important profession. So the responsible course of action would be to institute an across-the-board, ongoing, 3 percent salary increase. The cost would be identical to the proposal put forward by Gov. Otter in his State of the State address of $41 million (for one-time bonuses), but the message to the employees about their value would be significantly improved. This action will help retain our current hard-working state employees and ensure that the state government is again a good career choice."

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, responded, "Some of these positions are so out of the payline, so low, that a 3 percent won't even bring them to where they need to be competitive."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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