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Eye On Boise

Agency heads report turnover, employees leaving for much higher pay

Among agency heads addressing the CEC Committee today – that stands for Change in Employee Compensation – is Department of Health & Welfare Director Russ Barron, who reported that turnover at the department rose from 12.6 percent in 2016 to 12.9 percent in 2017, and 43 percent of employees who left cited low pay as the reason. When department employees leave, they get an average pay increase of 39 percent at their new job, Barron said; for 17 employees who left in the past year, pay went up 40 percent or more at their new employer.

Health & Welfare has “some of the most stressful and difficult jobs in the state of Idaho,” Barron told lawmakers. “I appreciate the department’s outstanding employees, and I want to keep them employed with the department.”

Others addressing the joint committee about employee pay today have included the heads of the state Tax Commission; the state Historical Society; the Board of Medicine; and the departments of Labor, Agriculture and Juvenile Corrections. All reported problems hiring and retaining key state employees due to non-competitive pay.

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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