Legislation that would transition all state employees to a bi-weekly payroll was amended in House committee deleting a section that would require all agencies to make the transition in the next three years. OPEA worked with the bill’s author Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso to ensure state employees would not lose money in the transition.
“I want to be certain that state employees are not harmed in the transition,” Brogdon told the Senate General Government and Appropriations Subcommittee.
The legislation, which was proposed by the Office of State Finance, would move all state employees to a bi-weekly payroll. However, a lag would be added at the time.
“We have no problem with the concept of bi-weekly payroll,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “OPEA opposes the implementation of a two week lag without a bonus or something to help state employees make it through the lag period.”
The implementation of the bi-weekly and lag payroll would require state employees to effectively lose two weeks of pay. Under the new system, an employee would be paid every two weeks, but not until two weeks following the end of the pay period. While the change would improve payroll administration and allow state employees to be paid more often, the two week delay could be very difficult for some workers.
OPEA has asked that the state provide employees with a bonus of two weeks pay in order to implement the payroll change. According to OSF, this would cost the state $50 million in a year with a budget shortfall.
“OPEA will not support a change in the payroll system that takes $50 million from state employees,” said Zearley.
The title was removed from the bill in committee to allow more discussion and work before the end of session. OPEA is working closely with Brogdon and House author, Rep. Jason Murphey, to find a resolution to the issue.
Wed, March 25, 2009
by Trish Frazier