State employees would receive a 2 percent salary increase under Gov. Gary Herbert’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year.
The proposal, released Dec. 13, also includes funding for the projected 4.1 percent, or $11,000,000, increase for health insurance premiums, and to continue the $26 per pay period 401(k) match for state employees.
Additionally, Herbert proposes spending more than $3 million on targeted pay increases for positions that pay below-market salaries. The “hot-spot” funding will target office specialists, accounting technicians, financial analysts, and various other positions. Click here to find the governor’s proposed hot-spot increases by agency.
Unlike how the current year’s targeted compensation increases are being administered, for FY19, the governor’s hot spot proposal gives discretion to each agency. Pending legislative approval, under the recommendation, each agency would be awarded the recommended lump sum for employees in specified positions. However, each agency’s management would have the “flexibility to take into account employee performance when determining the discrete percentage increases given on an individual basis,” The proposal says.
For example, Herbert recommended $1,590,600 be given to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for employees in the 28 specific positions, recommending a 1 percent to 3 percent targeted pay increase. DHS management can only grant the targeted funding to state employees in those positions. One accounting technician II could receive a 3 percent targeted pay increase, while another could be awarded a 1 percent increase depending on performance, or DHS could choose to give all employees in that position the recommended 2 percent increase.
Additionally, some state position salary ranges are scheduled to be updated at the same time as targeted funding increases would be received. If the Legislature funds Herbert’s targeted funding proposal as recommended, depending on the position, the targeted increase could be administered as either a general increase or a cost-of-living increase. Either eligible employees will move up their salary range the targeted funding percentage or they will move with their range, depending on if their salary range is being updated the equivalent projected percentage.
UPEA continues to emphasize the need to prioritize pay increases for state employees. This message has been communicated to the Governor’s Office and other stakeholders.
Herbert’s recommendations are a starting point for the 2018 legislative session. UPEA will continue to work with elected officials to advocate for pay throughout the budget process.