UPEA Lobbyists Emphasize the Need for Increased Compensation

The important work of putting together Utah’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year is underway, as legislators meet with various stakeholders throughout Utah, and interim committees meet to discuss potential legislation for the 2022 session.

Over the past year, UPEA lobbyists are emphasizing the need to increase compensation for public employees. UPEA representatives have been meeting regularly with DHRM and state legislators to address the severe compression impacting employee morale, recruitment, and retention across all state agencies.

Utah public employees have proven their dedication and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to provide outstanding services to the citizens of Utah despite ongoing challenges. Due to high turnover and low recruitment, employees are taking on new positions and workloads to provide these critical services. Employees should be recognized in the form of a generous pay increase.

Governor Spencer Cox released his proposed budget Tuesday, December 7, 2021. The governor’s recommendations include a 3.5% salary increase for state employees, funding for the projected 6.7% health insurance increase and continuity of the 401(k) match ($26 a pay period match for employees). Additionally, the Governor’s budget proposed funding over $12 million for targeted pay increases for below-market positions. UPEA believes that targeted position funding is the most effective way to make a tangible impact.

The legislature will convene on January 18 for the 2022 General Session. UPEA will continue to prioritize employee compensation throughout the 45-day session and lobby to secure funding for the 3.5% COLA and recommended targeted compensation.