UPEA Lobbyists Continue to Encourage the Prioritization of Employee Compensation

UPEA is working hard on your behalf.  This Legislative Session is proving interesting in terms of meeting with legislators and providing testimony during committee hearings.  Even with these challenges UPEA is monitoring and representing your interests.

UPEA is educating legislators on the sacrifices state employees have made during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Employees should be recognized for their dedication in the form of a generous pay increase.  The legislature began the 2021 session by restoring last year’s 3% pay increase in the base budget.  State employees deserve more.  UPEA is requesting an additional 3% increase in addition to the 3% already in the base budget.  We are also asking for additional funds for targeted increases.

In addition, UPEA’s executive director Todd Losser met with Director Sophia DiCaro, from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, to discuss compensation.  UPEA presented their position on state employee compensation with Director DiCaro.  UPEA is assured they will continue to be a part of ongoing and future discussions regarding public employee issues.


Based on UPEA’s conversations with legislators and other stakeholders below is a definition guide for employee pay:

Merit Increase:  A legislatively approved and funded salary increase for employees to recognize and reward successful performance.

General Increase:  A salary increase that compensates all employees regardless of job title or performance.  A general increase moves an employee within the salary range and does not move the salary range – this type of increase alleviates compensation compression.

Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA):  A salary increase that compensates all employees regardless of job title or performance.  A COLA moves an employee within the salary range and moves the salary range.

Both a General Increase and a COLA increase an employee’s salary.

Discretionary Increase:  A salary increase awarded at the sole discretion of the employer/agency.  The employer/agency determines the specific criteria for determining who receives the increase.

Targeted Increase:  A salary increase for employees who are benchmarked by DHRM and paid below market.  A targeted increase identifies employees by job position/description across all agencies in state government.

It is imperative that state employees contact their legislators and request their support for additional compensation in these difficult times.