Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pay raises approved for approximately one in four state workers

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

Kansas officials Monday approved $11.2 million in pay raises for 4,300 state employees whose salaries are below those of similar private-sector workers.

That represents approximately one in four state classified workers.

The State Finance Council, led by Gov. Sam Brownback, approved the increase after the funding had earlier been approved by the Legislature.

Among those getting raises were more than 1,000 corrections officers who were getting 7.5 percent pay raises. The raises took effect for the current pay period.

Brownback said the increases were essential to recruit and retain personnel in corrections and law enforcement.

The Finance Council, which includes legislative leaders, endorsed the plan on a unanimous vote, although House Republican Leader Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, voiced misgivings.

"I'm not sure this is such a good idea with the budget problems we are facing," Siegfreid said.

Raises went to more than 50 classifications and will effect workers across the state, including those at regents universities, except Kansas University where employees voted several years ago to leave the state's classified system.