UPEA’s highest priority for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session is the reinstatement of the 3% pay increase approved during the 2020 session, along with funding for additional compensation.
During the 2020 Legislative Session, the UPEA State Board of Directors unanimously voted to support a 5% pay increase for all state employees and full funding for the PEHP health insurance increase. While Governor Herbert budgeted 2.5% for employee compensation, UPEA successfully lobbied the House and Senate to fund a higher compensation package than was proposed by the governor. The final numbers for compensation included a 3% pay increase, 2% funding for hotspots, and full funding for the PEHP increase.
Because of the numerous challenges surrounding COVID-19, the Utah legislature called themselves into special sessions on April 16, April 23, and June 18, 2020, to discuss revising the state budget due to the impact of COVID-19 and the resulting reduction in revenue.
As a result of the COVID crisis, state employees did not receive the approved pay increase on July 1, 2020.
State employees deserve a significant pay increase. Recent budget numbers discussed by the Executive Appropriations Committee indicate that funding is available for a compensation increase. As discussions for the upcoming budget proceed in the coming legislative session it is important for UPEA members to stay informed and engaged with policymakers.
UPEA has continued to meet with policymakers in both the House and Senate and with members of the Governor’s office to discuss the dedication and sacrifices that have been made by state employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public employees are working every day for the citizens of Utah to provide essential services. Their hard work and dedication should not go unrecognized.
UPEA is encouraging members to reach out to their legislators to discuss reinstatement and ongoing funding for compensation. Advocating for state employee issues should be done on your own time with your own resources.