Wednesday, November 4, 2009

State government pay plan vote delayed

The Civil Service Commission delayed action Wednesday morning on a proposal that would end 4 percent annual pay raises for nearly 61,000 classified state government employees.

Commission Chairman James Smith and other commissioners said they wanted to give state employees more of an opportunity to comment on the changes “drastically” effect their pay. The seven-member panel, which sets policy for state government workers, decided to set a Dec. 8th public hearing at night, when most employees are not working.

If the change to the civil service rules is approved, state agencies could have total discretion to determine if and how much of a pay increase their employees receive.

State employees and retirees have been peppering the Civil Service Commission with objections to the revamp of long-standing rules on government pay. They fear the plan will mean no pay raises. They complain the recommendations would give agency officials carte blanche authority and could lead to denying good workers pay raises for political reasons.

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