CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The majority of state workers will begin seeing a little more on their direct deposit slips at the end of the month when the previously approved state pay raise kicks in.

State Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow said some workers saw the increase in their July 16 pay but most others have to wait until the July 31 pay.

State lawmakers approved a $504 across-the-board increase. Muchow said that will result in $21 more a pay period, which is about a 1.5 to 2 percent raise for the average state worker.

Teachers received a $1,000 increase on July 1. The combination of the two increases carries a $40 million annual price tag for the state budget.

Muchow said the raises are coming at a time when the last two state budgets have seen a combined one percent reduction in revenue.

“When you have declining revenues in your general revenue fund it makes it more difficult to increase activities,” he said adding state revenues usually grow between 3.5 to 4 percent a year.

Muchow said in some cases the raise may bump an employee up to a higher pay category and increase the premium they pay for their health insurance through PEIA.

“We have had some unusual cases where a state worker will refuse a pay raise because of that,” Muchow said.

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Comments

  • Gary Karstens

    $21 more a month is not enough to fight the effects of the George Bush Inflation. Tax the coal tycoons!!!!

    • Bill

      Watch out Gary your democrat side is showing. Ken-ya say obama.

  • BLUE

    I would not even call that a cost of living increase for State Employees. Tomblin and Manchin have HAD HOLD ON NO DECENT RAISES FOR TOO LONG. THIS SO CALLED RAISE IS AN INSULT TO STATE EMPLOYEES. WE HAVE NOT HAD A GOOD RAISE FOR 13 YEARS. WE STATE EMPLOYEES ARE IN NEED OF A DECENT RAISE THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY SEE.

    • WhgFeeling

      if you are so insulted don't take the raise.

      • susanf1218

        Fine. Next time YOU are offered a raise, I would suggest you do the same. And I'm betting you get raises more often and in larger amounts than state employees.

  • Miguel

    To even discuss the income of a state worker it helps to be one. I work for the state, I have a degree and a license to perform my particular job. I started my career in the private sector. Spent 13 years there and made good money. I never had any time off, was forced to neglect my family and friends, had awful insurance that cost a fortune, no real retirment options besides 401k. I came to work for the state and took a pay cut for the simple reason that it works more for myslef and my family. I have pretty good insurance coverage and it is reasonable in price. I get time off and actually get to take a vacation every year. Is it an easier job, no it is not but it is more flexible for someone who wants to actually have a life outside of their job. I work hard everyday and enjoy my work. But jsut becasue I have a retirment, insurance, and time off does not mean I do not deserve a raise. I mean I dont even get cost of living. So milk, gas, food, everything goes up in price but I dont make anymore than I did last year. That just seems ridiculous. You cant survive like that anymore and shouldnt have to. Does it seem fair to start your job at a salary you keep for 10 years? Teachers are the exception in this, having their union has allowed them to get cost of living and usually other raises frequently. I'm not asking for a fortune but a 500 buck a year cost of living would at least seem fair.

    • susanf1218

      Well said. Not only have state employees' wages been stagnant for years, but the starting salaries are ridiculously low. It is difficult to attract and retain employees when they can go to other states or seek employment in the private sector and earn at least $10,000 more/year in salary. The so-called "benefits and compensation package" that other people seem to think are so great hardly matters if you can't pay your bills!

      • Aaron

        I agree, well said. Miguel is the prime example of why people work for government and validates that while state pay is lower, overall the compensation package is more important for some employees.

        As I provided evidence to yesterday, overall the compensation package for state employees exceeds that of similarly educated private sector employees. If the driver behind salary is your motivation Susan, why do you remain in state government?

        • susanf1218

          Because, Aaron I have too much time invested to walk away now. But I would strongly advise any young person thinking of taking a job in state government to look elsewhere. Because it is a dead end with little room for salary advancement.

    • Tyrone

      If i was working for this state I would consider a state wide strike for all state employees....The ones in charge down there in Charleston can give there selves a raise ... I would donate a few bucks to a stioking state worker so he could strike ..What a shame this is ..

      • susanf1218

        I have said for years that state employees need to have a "blue flu" to get the attention of the legislators. But, like good little sheeple, they just keep trudging off to work every day and doing their jobs for pitiful wages. As the old saying goes - the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but state employees don't seem to be willing to squeak loud enough.

        • Aaron

          I'm curious, are you aware of what FDR said about public unions and striking?

          • susanf1218

            Nope. But please DO enlighten us, O wise one!

  • Aaron

    While it may be true that many state workers receive less dollars per hour than private counterparts, that is but one component of the total compensation package. Most private industries do not grant vacation days starting at 15, 18 sick days, and a minimum of 12 paid vacation days along with the reasonable insurance premiums, defined retirement accounts, contribution accounts and few have the job security of government employees.

    A recent study concluded that similarly educated state government employees in West Virginia, while enduring a wage differential of 17% compared to private industry, actually have a total compensation package that is 2% higher than their private employee counterparts.

    • Kkb

      Reasonable premiums. I pay over five hundred dollars a month for a family of three and we are the reason it says most and not all. Wvrja got left out of this raise.

      • Aaron

        Am I incorrect in my belief that insurance premiums are adjusted on a sliding scale based on income?

        I will admit to not knowing the premium rates other than I know of one state employee who has seven or eight people on her insurance and she pays about half of what you do on a salary of just over $30,000.

        I know this because I was able to drop my children off my insurance when she became a state employee. The switch reduced my premium to about $500 a month for just me.

        • Fred

          So you dumped your kids on to the state insurance when u got the chance? Nice job, socialist.

          You have now lost all credibility.

          • JMR

            Fred, you're an angry, poorly informed old crank.

          • Aaron

            LMAO, that's pretty good Fred. I'm curious that who says that State employees or their insurance benefits they are provided are a socialist institution? I certainly never made that comparison because I don't believe that way. I think the word socialist is thrown around far too much by many who have no idea what it means. I do not discount the fact that state employees play a role in our daily lives. I just believe we have far too many.

            As to my comments here they simply state the truth regarding state employees compensation packages. You've yet to disprove my comments put forth but instead have tried to disparage me in a personal manner. Honestly though I'm not surprised as it has been my experience that those who can not attack the message resort to attacking the messenger. It's a common tactic by those who cannot counter the truth.

            Instead of making an a** of yourself Fred about circumstances of which you do not have a clue, why don't you just try addressing the facts is they are put forth?

          • Fred

            Replying to Fred below, because you are taking advantage of the socialist institution of state employee insurance to insure your kids, instead of manning-up, and paying for it yourself. You sloughed off your parental responsibilities onto the taxpayers of wv to subsidize your kids' healthcare.

            You sir, are the epitome of what's wrong with America today.

          • Aaron

            Why?

    • susanf1218

      As for retirement, if a state employee has 25 years of service, he or she can expect to receive app. 1/2 of their salary upon retirement. Which wouldn't be bad, IF their salaries were good to begin with. But how many people could retire and live on $15,000 or less per year?? I would suggest that you look at the salaries of state employees before you decide that their "compensation package" is as good as or better than the private sector. Of course, you can find crappy jobs in the private sector to compare to, but if you are trying to compare apples to apples, then the state employee is in no way better compensated.

    • susanf1218

      Aaron, I don't know where you are getting your info, but it isn't accurate. A state employee just starting out earns ONE day of annual leave/month. That does not translate into 15-18 days, as you state. After 5 (or maybe it is 10 years), they earn 1 1/2 days/month and the maximum that can be earned (after 15 years) is 2 days/month.

      • Aaron

        Numerous studies have arrived at the same conclusion. Overall compensation for state employees is greater then similarly educated private employees. The Manhattan Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings among others have arrived at those conclusions. If you disagree with those conclusions, you are disagreeing with PhD researchers from those institutions, not me. Feel free to Google them, and write the reaearchers with your opinion.

        As to the vacation policy it's on the division of personnel website for anyone to research. After six-month probationary. Employees receive15 vacation days annually. Again you're not disagreeing with me, this time you are in disagreement with state policy.

        • Fred

          Well, you offered the studies. You should be required to post them. Or at least the links. And, manhattan and AEI, are both clearly conservative think tanks. Brookings is somewhat centrist, but none are what anyone who knows anything, would call unbiased.

          Sorry Aaron, you gotta do better than that. And while we are at it, please show us where the average state of wv worker has it better than the private sector. Don't lump in some gov employees from other states that skew the results. Lumping in a wv state worker with a fed worker, or a worker from California or Michigan or ny or what ever (firefighters in NYC can make 100,000), is apples and oranges.

          Try again.

          • Aaron

            I will gladly entertain any substantiated response you have sir.

          • Fred

            AEI. Conserative think tank.

            Biased towards the private sector.

            Next.

          • Fred

            Replying again to Aaron (the socialist) below.

            You offer the assertion, you are required to provide the proof. That's how it works. Don't whine about the site. If you can't provide the link, just find the study, the think tank, and give us the actual titles. Obviously, you know these studies and all their minutae, so it should relatively easy for you to get your hands on them and give us more than "oh, studies show....., look it up yourself."

          • Aaron

            http://www.aei.org/article/economics/fiscal-policy/taxes/report-card-on-effective-corporate-tax-rates/

            Just for you Fred, don't say I never did anything for you. You will note if you actually read the study that this is a state by state ranking and among other things it acknowledges that West Virginia state employees wages are 17% lower than that of their private sector counterparts.

            Despite that West Virginia state employees overall compensation packages are 2% higher than private sector counterparts.

            Don't take my word for it though, read the study your self. I say that knowing you will disregard this study because it's on a conservative think tank.

          • Aaron

            Fred if you dispute what I'm saying then feel free to go out there and look for yourself. Half the time when you post links on this website it holds comments up in moderation so I rarely post them anymore. Feel free to do the research yourself.

            As to the tendency of those institutions, if you believe a conservative website invalidates the research then sir I would say the bias is yours.

      • Jon

        Susan, not sure where you get all your info, but state employees get 10 hours of annual leave a month when they start. That equals 15 days per year. Also he stated 18 days sick per year. That is also correct. Twelve hours per month. Do the math.

        • susanf1218

          I stand corrected. I was basing my comments on the accrual rate of one day/month on the fact that is what it was when I started working over 20 years ago; guess it has changed since then. As I am in the 15 yr. plus category, I do know that the rate of accrual is 2 days/month at this level.

        • Jenna

          I am a State of WV employee..I had worked in the "private sector" in a professional position most of my life. My pay and benefite were always much better in the private sector.

          Having said this, I am satisfied with working for the State. Yes, the pay is not as much and the benefits are not what I had before..however I have security in my job that I did not in the private sector...Our jobs were outsourced to India after over 20 years of service..so when I applied for employment with the State, I knew what to expect..But overall, I am very happy working for the state.

          It seem there is conflicting information about vacation and sick days..Below is the correct information about earning sick and vacation time. This information is available to anyone on the WV Div of Personnel website.

          From the WV Div of Personnel website:
          http://www.personnel.wv.gov/employees/Leave/sick/Pages/default.aspx

          All employees earn sick leave at the same rate (1.50 days/month = 18 days/year) and are allowed to carry an unlimited sick leave balance.

          Annual leave (vacation/personal time off) is earned by eligible employees from the first day of employment. Most agencies allow employees to receive credit for earned leave on a monthly or semi-monthly basis, and the amount of leave accrued is based on years of service. Employees may use their leave in accordance with agency protocol, and they may save (or “bank”) up to a yearly maximum carry forward amount (from December 31 into the next year) that varies by length of service. See the chart below for details.




          LENGTH OF SERVICE ACCRUAL RATE
          (Monthly and Yearly) MAXIMUM YEARLY
          CARRY-FORWARD
          Less than 5 years 1.25 days/month = 15 days/year 30 days
          5 years, but less than 10 years 1.50 days/month = 18 days/year 30 days
          10 years, but less than 15 years 1.75 days/month = 21 days/year 35 days
          15 years or more 2.00 days/month = 24 days/year 40 days

  • Tom wv

    Susan my suggestion would be to join the private sector.

    • susanf1218

      And then, Tom, just WHO would do those jobs that you obviously feel are unimportant - you know, the ones at the DMV Office, the DHHR Offices, the prisons . . . Or maybe you wouldn't mind paying more for those services if they were done by the private sector?? Because I can assure you that if those jobs were privatized, the increased salaries would then translate into higher costs to the consumer. Better rethink your attitude there, buddy!

      • Aaron

        Many would be much more efficient if they were turned over to private industry.

        • Fred

          And yet, you choose the clearly "less efficient" state insurance program to insure your kids.

          Nice.

          • Aaron

            Who said state insurance was less efficient Fred?

        • Jephre

          +1

  • susanf1218

    You are right, the state workers will be seeing a "little" more in their paychecks - certainly not enough to keep up w/the cost of living, insurance, etc. Or enough to make their salaries competitive w/the private sector.

  • the truth

    Sorry I would not even call that a cost of living increase for State Employees. Tomblin and Manchin have run state agencies into the ground. All you have to do is follow the news media to see it. DHHR being sued over its state hospitals low pay and massive turnover. Corrections staffing issues that endanger employees everyday. Highways pays barely above minimum wage and cannot hire and keep staff. When you do not want to reward hard working employees your going to run them off. I am willing to bet the state wastes more then forty million a year in training staff who will be gone in a couple years due to the state broken pay system. People need to ask Tomblin why he has forbid any pay increase on merit.