Utah State Auditor John Dougall addressed the Government Operations Interim Committee during Interim Day on July 13. He presented on public employee issues he believes are necessary for the Government Operations Committee and the Legislature to address. They include:
- Review employee compensation, particularly the structure and division between salary and benefits.
- Study changing job market demands.
- Study Career Services and its purpose, limitations, and possible reforms.
- Study the impact of automatic uniform pay increases on employee performance and management performance.
Dougall believes new employees working for the state care more about salary than benefits. This results in market change because “millennials” have different priorities when seeking future employment. He also referenced two bills from the 2016 legislative session HB 268 Attorney General Employment Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, and SB 176 Office of the State Board of Education Employment Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper. UPEA opposed both bills, which would have taken away the career service system for certain public employees.
Dougall said he favored these bills and advocated for their passage during the legislative session. He indicated he would continue to support at-will employment, and encourages employers to thoroughly evaluate their employees and base their salary changes on performance.
UPEA will continue to oppose any attempt to move career service employees to at-will employment status. Research proves efforts such as those sponsored by Noel and Stephenson have failed in other states and departments. UPEA is monitoring any discussions and proposed legislation geared toward the elimination of the career service system. Please visit UPEA.net for further updates.