OPEA Announces 2020 Agenda

OPEA Legislative Agenda

OPEA is proud to announce our legislative agenda for the upcoming Second Session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature, which will begin in February 2020. Our agenda has been developed entirely with input from our members and is completely focused on improving state employment in every agency and department, as well as retirement.

The agenda is broken down into four separate categories based upon our primary areas of focus: compensation and benefits, merit protection improvements, retirement benefits, and efficiencies and modernization.  These goals are designed to be both aggressive and attainable.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Create a market-based pay plan for all state employees
  • Implement a merit-based performance pay plan
  • Base the state minimum salary upon a four-person household in regard to Federal poverty guidelines
  • Modify the employee flexible benefit allowance to be based upon an average of certain monthly premiums
  • Allow agencies to voluntarily buy back certain amounts of employees’ annual leave
  • Establish minimum compensation for employees while performing “on-call” duties
  • Increase the minimum hourly pay rate for state employees to $15 per hour
  • Require overtime payment rather than “comp time” for employees under certain salaries
  • Add siblings to the list of relatives that employees can request time off for caregiving duties in relation to the statewide shared leave pool
  • Increase the state match into the SoonerSave program
  • Increase longevity pay for long-term employees
  • Develop  new forms of administrative leave focused on employees’ physical wellness and volunteer work
  • Establish an additional paid state holiday
  • Establish tuition assistance for continuing education


Merit Protection Improvements

  • Modernize the merit system to improve efficiency while maintaining essential protections for state employees
  • Implement an ongoing task force to find improvements for the Merit Protection system

Retirement Benefits and Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs)

  • Provide a minimum of a four percent Cost of Living Adjustment to current retirees
  • Set market-based triggers to automatically implement Cost of Living Adjustments
  • Create a Defined Benefit option within OPERS for newly hired employees
  • Appoint an OPEA member to the OPERS Board of Trustees

Efficiency and Modernization

  • Modify the function of the Trip Optimizer program and set the mileage reimbursement rate to be equal to that of the federal mileage rate
  • Eliminate the ability of the Tax Commission to terminate state employees for owing back taxes
  • Eliminating the requirement that severance benefits be reimbursed by a former state employee who has an offer to return to state employment.

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