A $6,000 per year salary increase is a down payment to restoring state employee pay to its 1987 purchasing power
The Texas budget and economy have performed fairly well over the past couple of years. For the second consecutive biennium, the State Comptroller is projecting another multibillion dollar surplus in general revenue while Texas continues to outperform other states on many economic metrics.
However, while the state of Texas as a whole progresses financially, state employees and retirees continue to face the same problems they have experienced for decades as the cost of living has increased faster than pay almost every year. It would take a pay increase of about $11,000/year or 36.7% to bring the buying power of the median state employee salary back to its 1987 level. This is just the amount to offset the increased cost of living not covered by pay increases we have received. With the Great Recession over, the cost of living is once again rising rapidly.
State employees need a REAL raise
In the 2013 Legislative Session, lawmakers approved a 3%/$1,200 per year pay increase spread out over the biennium. This was the first across–the-board pay raise since 2008. With increases in pension and health care costs, most employees with no dependents on their health care plan received raises amounting to just over $30 a month, while those paying for dependent coverage saw an increase of $9 to $23 a month. These raises did not nearly keep pace with inflation for 2013-2014, let alone the accumulated cost-of-living increases since our last pay raise in 2008. Every year we go without a pay raise is a year we really see a pay cut.
A $6,000/year raise will restore our standard of living and help reduce employee turnover
In some agencies, turnover of key front-line staff ranges from 20% to over 40% per year. Turnover costs hundreds of millions of dollars in hiring and training, and it threatens the ability of state agencies and universities to fulfill their commitments to the people of Texas.
An across-the-board $6,000 raise would help all state employees and assure that employees at the low end of the pay scale get a real raise that will make a difference in their lives.
PAY RAISE 2013: Don’t leave out university workers – appropriate funds for a university employees’ pay raise! Repeal provisions that would eliminate across the board pay raises!
University employees have been left out of recent statewide pay raises. While the university systems claim that university employees have received similar raises via merit raise and “pay for performance” schemes, the reality is that most university employees’ pay has been frozen or has increased only by tiny amounts since 2003. Since 2005, the Legislature has not appropriated any funds for university pay increases. In 2003, the legislature passed SB 1652, which includes language that makes across-the-board pay raises almost impossible for university employees. SB 1652 should be overturned to provide pay equity for university workers.
NEEDS TO BE REPEALED:
SB 1652 (78th Texas Legislature,2003) SECTION 2.07. Amends Subchapter A, Chapter 51,Education Code, by adding Section 51.0065, as follows: Sec. 51.0065. Applicability of across-the-board salary increase. Entitles an institution of higher education that has adopted a pay-for-performance program that is in effect when an across-the-board salary increase for state employees made by an appropriation act of the legislature takes effect to receive any appropriation made for purposes of the across-the-board salary increase, and authorizes the use of the amount appropriated for an across-the-board salary increase or for increases in compensation under the institution’s pay-for-performance program.