The Oklahoman: Legislature looks at market-based pay

Over the weekend, The Oklahoman ran a story on OPEA working to obtain a one-time bonus of $1,000 to help offset the fact state workers haven’t received a pay raise since 2006.

In the article, which can be found here, The Oklahoman looks at how OPEA is working to improve the compensation for state workers. The story focuses on making state employee salaries more competitive in the market, as well as the inclusion of a one-time performance pay bonus for eligible employees that meet or exceed standards.

“We’re looking at a two-pronged approach,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “You’ve got to look at the job first and you try to get positions close to the private sector. Once you get those individuals in there and if they perform at high standards you need to have a pay performance mechanism in place.”

Another issue needing to be addressed is the matter of employee retention. With many state employees leaving state service to work in higher-paying fields, Zearley said state employee salaries being 19 percent below market is a big part of the problem.

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