2017 Legislative Priorities

The Utah Public Employees’ Association has announced its legislative priorities for the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature.

If you have any questions regarding the listed priorities, please contact UPEA at (801) 264-8732.







  • COLA Increase
Each year the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) conducts a benchmark market comparability study. As of 2015, the study found state employees’ pay, on average, is 11.72% below market. UPEA will continue to educate legislators and policy makers regarding state employee pay and benefits.


As a result of the lack of significant pay increases over the past several years, UPEA’s highest priority for the 2017 legislative session is compensation. UPEA will lobby the Legislature for a cost of living increase for all state employees.


  • Maintain Current Health Plan



  • Health Insurance Premium Split
UPEA will advocate for the Legislature to fully fund any health insurance premium increase. In addition, UPEA will lobby to keep the current structure of health insurance co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles, and other plan benefits funded at the same rate.

State employees currently share a 90/10 health insurance premium split (90 percent employer paid/10 percent employee paid). UPEA will work to maintain the current health insurance premium split.



  • Tier I & II Contribution Rate Increase



The Utah Retirement System (URS) is not proposing a retirement contribution rate increase for either the Tier I or Tier II retirement systems. However, the URS Board voted to change the assumed rate of return on investments from 7.5% to 7.2%. The Legislature is required to fund the decrease which may impact pay.


During the upcoming legislative session, UPEA will monitor and provide information on proposed retirement legislation.




Due to recent legislation, employees feel the merit system and the merit status of employees are threatened. UPEA will advocate maintaining the merit status of employees.





UPEA will lobby against any efforts to eliminate the ability of public employees to deduct UPEA dues form their payroll.



UPEA will seek to protect or enhance state employee leave as it currently stands.







UPEA has an interest in preserving efficient, effective, and responsible governmental functions. The work performed on behalf of the citizens of Utah is conducted by a dedicated and professional workforce of public employees. The contributions of public employees have made Utah one of the best-managed states in the nation. One of the core principles of UPEA is protecting Utah’s greatest assets – its public employees. UPEA will evaluate all moves to privatize any functions currently being conducted by public employees.





Each of Utah’s nine public colleges and universities has its own individual employee discipline, grievance, and compensation process.  Each college and university should be required to declare publicly how it disciplines employees, handles grievances, and determines benefits and compensation. Legislation should be adopted to standardize a process that all colleges and Universities must adhere to.





  • Retire/Rehire

During the 2016 legislative session, multiple bills were sponsored to modify the post-retirement re-employment benefit. This issue was sent to interim study to gather additional data and information. UPEA supports enhancing post-retirement legislation for the benefit of its members.


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