Legislators Announce Support for State Employee Pay

Friday, January 31, a group of legislators announced their support for state employee pay in a press release from the Capitol.  OPEA has worked since last legislative session with legislators and the governor’s office on the remuneration study and making state employee total compensation a priority this legislative session.

Below is the press release and the list of legislators that support state employee compensation:

Shortey, Osborn urge governor to make state employee raises a priority

With the Legislature not having approved a general pay increase for state employees since 2006, Sen. Ralph Shortey and Rep. Leslie Osborn on Friday called upon the governor and legislative leaders to make state employees a priority and give them a raise.

Shortey noted a recent study requested by the governor and state leaders found state employee salaries to be seven percent below market, and recommended an appropriation of $41.1 million for a 3 percent pay increase.  Since the 2002 fiscal year, the Legislature has approved just two proposals providing for across-the-board state employee pay raises.

“In our effort to be efficient we should not lose sight of the fact that state employees provide valuable work – they police our highways, stand between us and violent criminals and keep state government running,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City.  “State employees are the backbone of our government and they deserve our support.  Since 2008, we have eliminated positions, consolidated positions and asked state employees to do more with less.  It’s time for us to reward their efforts with a well-earned raise.”

Shortey noted a number of state agency heads were awarded substantial annual pay increases last year, some in excess of $40,000, while rank-and-file state employees were told to wait for the results of the salary study.

“Our public safety and corrections employees are placing themselves in harm’s way to protect Oklahomans, and it is simply unacceptable that their salaries should remain so low and so stagnant while these directors see theirs soar above six figures,” Shortey said.

Rep. Leslie Osborn said she has been working on a study to prioritize where state government should allocate employee pay increases.

“State employees deserve a raise and the governor should absolutely make it a priority in her discussions,” said Osborn, R-Mustang. “But public safety and corrections employees, who often work in hazardous situations, should be at the front of the line. These dedicated men and women have earned a pay raise and it’s time for us to follow through.”

Shortey added that a proposal to increase state employee pay would likely be supported by a broad, bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, in addition to the following members who were willing to lend their support to the effort. 

Senator Mark Allen

Sentator Bill Brown

Senator Nathan Dahm

Senator Kim David

Representative Mike Jackson

Representative Jeff Hickman

Representative Mike Christian

Representative John Bennett

Representative Lewis Moore

Representative Dan Kirby

Representative Dustin Roberts

Representative Lisa Billy 

Representative David Dank 

Representative John Enns

Representative Earl Sears

Representative Bobby Cleveland

Representative Aaron Stiles

Representative Mike Turner

Representative Gus Blackwell

Representative Gary Banz 

Representative Lee Denney.


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