2016 Legislative Session Compensation Update

All session, UPEA has worked closely with legislative leadership on public employee compensation. Despite dismal General Fund revenue numbers creating challenges this budget year, UPEA was able to secure funding for the 2% pay increase for all state and higher education employees. UPEA also ensured the 7.3% PEHP health insurance increase was fully funded. The legislature also funded the $26 401(k) match for state employees.

Merit System Update

The House Business and Labor Committee met Thursday February 25 to hear HB268, Attorney General Employment Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Michael Noel.

Attorney General Sean Reyes and UPEA Executive Director Todd Losser both spoke in opposition of the bill. The testimony highlighted the critical role the merit system plays in employee development. The merit system does not inhibit a department’s ability to discipline employees, and that it is an effective tool in recruitment and retention of quality employees.

UPEA’s Involvement in the Salt Lake County 2016 Budget

On Wednesday October 21, 2015 Christy Cushing and Tom Bielen met with Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Lori Bays, Administrative Services Director Sarah Brenna and Human Resource Director Mike Ongkiko to discuss Mayor McAdams’ 2016 budget. UPEA spoke out against the Mayor’s proposal to eliminate the 3% 401k contribution.

UPEA also sent a letter to all Salt Lake County Council members voicing our opposition and concerns about the Mayor’s employee compensation proposal for the 2016 budget on Friday October 23rd.

At the County’s Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday October 27 at 2pm the Mayor presented his revised 2016 budget recommendations for employee compensation.

Mayor McAdams revised proposal is:

  • Instead of eliminating the County’s voluntary contribution into 401(k) accounts for Tier I employees this year, phase out county’s contribution over the next year. Tier I employees will receive a 1.5% voluntary contribution in 2016 only. This will still affect merit, appointed and exempt employees.
    • Tier II retirement benefits will not be changed.
  • Amend the salary increase from the original proposed 2.5% to 3% for all employees, including redlined employees. This will allow employees who want to replace the reduced 401(k) contribution to do so (pre-tax) while still receiving a salary increase.
  • Use funds budgeted to address salary inequities, including pay compression for Tier I employees only.
  • All other benefit proposals to remain as originally proposed.

After the SLCo Committee of a Whole Meeting, the Council Meeting began where UPEA was given the opportunity to speak on the Mayor’s 2016 budget.

Christy Cushing briefly spoke on behalf of UPEA stating:

“UPEA supports many of the Mayor’s budget recommendations and will have to take the Mayor’s new employee compensation proposal to our members. However in regards to the 3% 401k contribution, UPEA opposes its elimination. UPEA also looks forward working with members of the County Council in the upcoming budget hearings.”