The Oklahoman is reporting that the yet-to-be-named director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust will be paid $250 thousand annually. OPEA believes this is an outrageous amount to pay the director of a relatively small state agency. Other agency heads are paid much less to oversee much larger agencies and budgets. More importantly, state employees’ compensation remains low and little progress has been made to improve that.
This sends a message to thousands of underpaid state employees, working to provide core services, that their compensation is not important. We know state employees’ compensation is about 80 percent of comparable private sector jobs and that needs to be fixed.
Oklahoma does not need to pay the head of a small agency such a large sum while other state employees have such low pay.