Study Calls for Overhaul of State Employees' Pay

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas' personnel administrator says the state should enact a $46 million overhaul of the way state employees are paid to help cut down on turnover among entry-level workers.

Kay Barnhill Terry says she'll ask the Legislature next year for $20.6 million from general revenue to enact recommended changes in the pay scale for state workers.

Legislators and state officials have said they're concerned that entry-level workers are quickly leaving their positions for more lucrative private sector jobs.

The proposal will increase the number of pay grades for state employees from 26 to 30 and will create a second pay plan for professionals and executives.  The professional and executive pay plan will include many high-level state employees whose pay is set by the Legislature, Terry said.

The plan will also boost the overall range for classified state employees, which now starts at $13,243 for entry level employees at the lowest grade to $83,708 for the most experienced employees at the highest grade would receive $96,212.

Governor Beebe has said he's concerned that turnover among state agencies' entry-level employees is hurting the state's productivity.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)