Friday, June 5, 2009

Jindal favors merit raises for state workers

Governor Bobby Jindal said Thursday he favors the granting of a 4 percent pay raise to state workers in the coming budget year.

But Jindal said changes need to be made so in the future the so-called “merit” raises are better tied to employee performance on the job.

The state Civil Service Commission on Wednesday postponed action on a proposal that would have withheld the 4 percent raise from some 60,000 rank-and-file state employees.

The House version of the budget included language barring agencies from giving the employee pay raises. The Senate reversed that decision late Wednesday night as senators put their imprint on the proposed $28 billion state budget document.

There is no extra money in the budget for the pay increases. Agencies — as they have traditionally done — would be required to cut in other areas to fund them.

Civil Service Deputy Director Jean Jones said the agency’s compensation division has been working on “a comprehensive revision to our pay system, including — but not limited to — merit increases. … We’ll probably have a proposal sometime later this year.”

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