Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Civil Service Commission refuses to stop state employee merit pay increases

The state Civil Service Commission this morning postponed action on a proposal to suspend the 4 percent "merit" pay raise for state government employees.

About 500 state employees and their representatives overflowed the meeting room in the Claiborne Building near the state Capitol, with many testifying that the panelists should reject a commission proposal to cancel the pay raises for rank-and-file state workers.

Speeches by state workers and representatives of their unions drew frequent loud applause. Opponents to the freeze said it was morally wrong and would pose hardships on the approximately 60,000 classified workers for the state.

Commissioner Burl Cain, who represents state employees on the board, moved to defer action on the pay raise suspension so that Civil Service could look at other options.

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