Report says state workers should get pay raise, benefit cuts


Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, says the Legislature may have to intervene on behalf of businesses that feel their property rights are threatened by local ordinances.

The state of Idaho is paying its employees less than comparable private sector jobs but providing better medical benefits, according to a yearly state report. The report calls for a long-range approach to staying competitive, including merit-based pay raises that could cost millions of dollars a year, but those ideas may be shelved during the current budget crunch.

The Idaho Department of Administration sends Gov. Butch Otter the Change in Employee Compensation and Benefits (CEC) report every December, which outlines state workers’ pay and potential changes. This year’s report says that economic conditions would be a factor in any changes to workers’ pay.

The report recommends a 3 percent increase in state employee pay, distributed as merit-based raises. Such a plan would cost $15.9 million from Idaho’s general fund and $18.3 million in dedicated and federal funds.

Otter’s spokesman, Jon Hanian, wouldn’t comment on the report and said the governor would offer his recommendations when he presents his budget next month. When the current budget was set, the governor zeroed out a 3 percent CEC recommended salary increase, saying he’d improve compensation when the economy improves.

Cathy Holland-Smith, the Legislature’s budget analyst, said during a presentation to the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho that she expects similar action next year, with state workers not getting a pay raise.

The report said that Gov. Otter remains supportive of aligning the state’s pay package for workers more closely with the private sector. While salaries are currently 15.9 percent behind market rates, medical benefits are higher than what private companies provide employees. Idaho pays for approximately 75 percent of medical charges while private employers pay for 70 percent of covered charges. The CEC report recommends that the state move closer to the lower level of benefits.

Idaho shed 430 classified state employees from October 2009 to October 2010, according to the report. The average hourly wage for state workers was $19.08.

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Report says Idaho state workers should get pay raise, benefit cuts

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  3. holly

    I KNOW SOMEONE THAT WORKS FOT THE ID STATE TRANSPORTATION DEPT.
    HE LIKES HIS HOB AND THE PEOPLE THAT HE WORKS WITH.WHAT GOY MT ATTENTION WAS HIS HOURLY WAGE OF 12.06 PER HOUR.
    IF YOU ARE IN MANAGEMENT, YOUR PAY MIGHT BE 19.00 PER HOUR.
    THERE HAS BEEN A FREEZE ON ANY PAY RAISES.
    MY CONCERN IS THE JOB THAT THEY VERSUS TE PAY SCALE.
    HERE IS THE REALITY …………THEY WORK IN BLIZZARDS, SNOW DRIFTS, LAND SLIDES AND IN ANY TYPE OF DISASTER KEEPING THE ROADS OPEN FOR TO TRAVEL. THEY ARE GET CALLED OUT DAY AND NIGHT.
    EACH EMPLOYEE TAKES HIS TURN AT BEING ON CALL PLUS WORKING NIGHTS
    GOING ON AT MIDNIGHT TO WORK THRU DRIVING TO CHECK THE ROAD CONDITION AND KEEPING THE ROADS OPEN.
    THERE IS NO PAY WHILE YOU ARE ON CALL…UNLESS YOU GET CALLED OUT.
    THESE MEN IN ORANGE ARE HEROES OF OUR TIME. WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THE ROAD CONDITION WOULD BE IF THEY WERE NOT THERE DAY OR NIGHT IN A SNOW STORM. THERE WOULD BE NO TRIPS TO MCCALL OR SUN VALLEY FOR THE FUN IN THE SNOW.
    THERE SHOULD BE PAY SCALE TO MATCH THE CHANCES THAT THEY TAKE EVERYTIME THEY ARE ON THE JOB. THE TRUE REALITY IS TAKE THE
    SUPPOSE 19.00 PER HOUR MINUS 7 AND YOU WILL HAVE SOME OF THESE
    MEN’S HOURLY WAGE.
    THEY ARE SELDOM PAID OVERTIME…THIS GOES TOWARDS THEIR COMP TIME.
    THESE HARDWORKING MEN AND WOMEN DESERVE A 5% PAY RAISE WITH A
    YEARLY STEP RAISE TP A LEVEL 0F 18.98 LECEL WITH NO CUT IN
    BENEFITS. DOES IT SEEM FAIR WHEN THE COST OF LIVING INCREASES,
    TAXES INCREASE AND YET IDAHO PUTS A FREEZE ON PAY RAISES FOR
    THESE MEN.
    I THINH THAT A FEW STATE SENATORS AND THE GOVENOR SHOULD TAKE A CUT IN PAY,

  4. holly

    I MADE A FEW MISTAKES IN MY TYPING ON THE LAST REPLY. I WAS TIRED BUT PLEASE SEE THE TRUTH HERE. THESE MEN ARE NOT MAKING
    19.00 PER HOUR. THIS SOMEBODY THAT I’M TALKING IS A VALUED
    EMPLOYEE. HE NEVER SICK AND SELDOM TAKES A DAY OFF.
    HE AND OTHER EMPLOYEE NEEDS TO SEE A LIGHT IN THIS JOB. THEY WORK HARD ABD DESERVE A LITTLE BIT OF A BREAK.
    THERE IS NO REALITY TO THIS $19.00 per hour. THERE IS WISHING THAN THERE IS THE TRUTH OF WHAT THESE MEN ACTUALLY MAKE. YOU TAKE 19.00 MINUS 7 WITH A FREEZE ON ANY INCREASES.
    THE RISK THAT THEY TAKE DOES NOT EQUAL THE OAY SCALE.
    THE IDEA OF CUTTING THEIR BENEFIT….AGAIN LETS LOOK AT THE RISK.
    IT DOESN’T ADD UP.
    THESE MEN WORK HARD IN VERY HIGH RISK CONDITION.
    LET BE FAIR…AND LOOK AT THE REAL TRUTH. TAXES INCREASE, COST OF LIVING INCREASE, WE PUT A FREEXE ON A $12.06 PAY SCALE. THERE
    IS NO AVERAGE WAGE OF 19.00 UNLESS YOU ARE NEAR RETIREMENT OR ARE IN MANAGEMENT OR HAPPEN TO BE LUCKY TO GET YEARLY RAISE BEFORE THE FREEZE.

  5. Pingback: Legislative workers got nearly $100,000 in bonuses this year « IdahoReporter.com

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