Pay Plan Would Raise Salaries of State Employees

DECEMBER 1, 2006 - Posted at 11:58 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A proposal to overhaul the salaries of about 30,000 state workers would cost the state up to $170 million over the coming two years.

State finance director Richard Weiss told legislators yesterday that the state needs to be more competitive as an employer but also needs to fill all the positions needed to conduct the state's work.

The proposal would give raises based on performance and would end cost of living raises.  The plan would also reduce the number of job titles from 2,000 to around 700.

Legislators voiced skepticism about the need for the plan.  Some noted that while state pay is lower than the private sector, the retirement benefits are generally better.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)