The Norman Transcript

Editorials

December 8, 2012

Pay raise plan shouldlook at job market

NORMAN — A plan to raise the salaries of state employees will again come before legislators next year. State Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, has filed Senate Bill 10 to give employees earning less than $40,000 a 5 percent pay raise. Those making more than $40,000 would get a 2 percent pay raise.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety as well as corrections workers have previously announced plans to push for pay hikes for their employees.

A better plan might be to take a look at the comprehensive interim legislative study that compares state worker salaries and benefits to comparable private sector positions.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association Executive Director told the Tulsa World the average state salary is 19 percent below market but that discrepancy goes down when benefits are included.

Across-the-board raises are appreciated but state employees deserve the opportunity to be paid comparable salaries for comparable work in the private sector. For some state positions, there are few similar jobs. But many jobs have similar functions in private companies.

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