Study Shows State Workers Earn Less But Have Better Benefits Than Private-Sector Counterparts

Although state employees’ total compensation package “is highly competitive with the market,” according to this year’s Total Compensation Study conducted by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., the “base salary is 12.3 percent below market and potentially misaligned with private sector Utah market.” The state offers a higher benefit value to add to the below market base salary to gain competitiveness.

In addition, the minimum state salary is 16 percent below the market average, potentially causing recruitment problems for state agencies, according to the study presented on May 23, 2018 to the Legislature’s Retirement and Independent Entities Committee.

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) each year attends the presentation lawmakers receive about the study, which leads to discussion about how better to align state workers’ compensation with that of their private sector counterparts. Lawmakers are interested in how any changes to the way state workers are compensated affect Utah’s budget. .

After presenting their findings Jim Fox and Mark Goldberg of Gallagher & Co. discussed recommendations to improve the state’s current position compared with private industry for total compensation, which includes base salary, benefits, and leave. They acknowledged that the state provides a competitive total compensation, but said it is missing incentive opportunities often found in the private sector.

Fox and Goldberg suggested reviewing jobs for which compensation is greatly misaligned with the private market to strategize ways to improve recruitment and retention.

State Auditor John Dougall urged the committee to consider generational differences. When recruiting younger people for state jobs, the state needs to be more competitive with private market salaries, whereas older workers often care more about greater benefits.

Many committee members were concerned about Utah’s low base salary compared with the private market. Dougal suggested offering more flexibility, enabling workers to choose higher salaries and lower 401(k) contributions if they find such a compensation package more attractive. Fox and Goldberg added that base salary should increase to reflect cost-of-living adjustments, promotions, and/or general state employee salary increases.

Gallagher & Co. did not consider personal leave in it total compensation calculations, but discussed it separately. The state offers more annual sick-leave days with no cap on accrual than the private market, and was found to be highly competitive in offering holiday leave days.

The findings in the Gallager study were consistent with the Korn Ferry Compensation Study presented last year, which showed state employees’ salaries were 10.9 percent below market and benefits were 25 percent above market. UPEA continues to focus its efforts on enhancing compensation and benefits for employees. UPEA will continue to provide updates as they come.

CAPE Committee Endorses Candidates

The Citizen Action by Public Employees (CAPE) Committee is made up of Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) members who volunteer their time to interview and endorse public employee-friendly candidates.  CAPE Committee members ensure that public employees have a voice and are represented in the political process.  Jeff Horrocks, who currently serves as the committee’s chairman, states that, “CAPE provides public employees, who may not have the time or resources, the opportunity to have a voice in the election and know that the candidates endorsed by the Committee will represent their interests and rights.”

The CAPE Committee has been meeting since the beginning of the year to discuss, interview, and endorse political candidates who are running for office.  Candidates are asked about their views on a variety of public employee issues such as compensation, benefits, retirement, healthcare, and privatization.  The responses by the candidates are one factor in determining whether the committee will endorse a particular candidate.  They also take into account the candidate’s voting history (if he or she is an incumbent), and if he or she has been favorable of UPEA issues in the past.  After the formal interview process, the committee discusses whether the candidate will continue to support public employee issues once elected.  An endorsement vote is taken to determine whether the committee will endorse or remain neutral in a specific race.

It is important to endorse and elect public employee-friendly candidates.  These are the individuals who determine and establish pay and benefits.  Through the power of voting, public employees decide who will represent them on crucial issues.

Office Candidate
House 10 Terry Schow (R)
House 13 Paul Ray (R)
House 16 Steve Handy (R)
House 19 Raymond Ward (R)
House 21 Doug Sagers (R)
House 22 Susan Duckworth (D)
House 23 Sandra Hollins (D)
House 24 Jennifer Dailey-Provost (D)
House 25 Joel Briscoe (D)
House 28 Brian King (D)
House 29 Lee Perry (R)
House 31 Elizabeth Weight (D)
House 33 Craig Hall (R)
House 34 Karen Kwan (D)
House 37 Carol Spackman Moss (D)
House 38 Erin Hutchings (R)
House 39 Jim Dunnigan (R)
House 46 Marie Poulson (D)
House 49 Robert Spendlove (R)
House 58 Derrin Owens (R)
House 60 Brad Daw (R)
House 68 Merrill Nelson (R)
House 69 Christine Watkins (R)
House 74 Lowry Snow (R)

Don’t miss out on a UPEA Public Employee Appreciation Day



Join UPEA in celebrating your service! We will bring lunch and some vendors to talk about discounts available to you as a member of UPEA.

If you don’t see a Public Employee Appreciation Day near you, contact your UPEA representative to schedule one!

Date / Time Name of Building Location Address of Location


Thurs. May 31st from 11:30-1:00pm Provo Regional Center 150 East Center Street, Provo
Thurs. June 7th from 11:30-1:00pm DWS / Heber Wells 160 East 300 South, SLC
Thurs. June 14th from 11:30-1:30pm Cal Rampton Complex 4501 South 2700 West, Taylorsville
Tues. June 19th from 1:00-3:00pm Utah State Developmental Center  895 N 900 E, American Fork
Thurs. June 21st from 11:30-1:30pm SLC Office of Education 250 East 500 South, SLC
Thurs. June 28th from 11:30-1:00pm Office of Recovery Services 515 East 100 South, SLC
Friday, June 29th from 11:30-1:00pm Payson City/Payson Voc Rehab 439 W Utah Ave, Payson



Date / Time Name of Building Location Address of Location
Thurs. July 12th from 11:30-1:00pm State Office Building 450 North State, SLC
Thurs. July 19th from 11:30-1:00pm Ogden Regional Center 2540 Washington Blvd., Ogden


Local Government Update: Salt Lake County Payroll Change & Upcoming UPEA/MACU Budget Q&As


At the January 23, 2018 Salt Lake County Committee of the Whole meeting, the Council voted in favor of switching payroll from bi-monthly to bi-weekly, beginning in July 2018. In partnership with Mountain America Credit Union, UPEA is providing a Budgeting 101 Presentation to all Salt Lake County Employees on:


Date Time Q&A Location
Wed. May 2 12:00pm-1:00pm Viridian Event Center / West Jordan Library

Held in Park View Room

8030 South 1825 West, West Jordan

Thurs. May 3 11:00am-1:00pm*

*1st  presentation 11-12 & 2nd from 12-1pm.

SLCo Govt. Center

Held in Council Chambers & North Atrium

2001 South State Street, SLC

(Food only allowed in North Atrium)

Wed. May 9 12:15pm-1:00pm UPEA Office

Held in Main Conference Room

1000 West Bellwood Lane, Murray UT 84123

Mon. May 14 12:00pm-1:00pm SLCo Criminal Justice Services

Held in CSJ Classroom 8

145 East 1300 South, Suite 401, SLC

Mon. May 14 2:30pm-3:30pm SLCo Youth Services

Held in Classroom C130

177 W Price, Ave, SLC

Tues. May 15 12:00pm-1:00pm SLCo Environmental Health

Held in the Auditorium

788 Woodoak Lane, Murray

Thurs. May 17  2:45pm-4:00pm SLCo Operations, Flood Control and Fleet Division

Held in the Crew Room

604 West 6960 South, Midvale


All county employees are invited to attend the Budget 101 presentations. Lunch will be provided at each Q&A and is sponsored by UPEA & MACU. RSVP is required to lunch, to ensure enough food is available. For questions or to RSVP, email Christy Cushing at or call 801-264-8732 ext. 218. Click here for a PDF flyer with all the location information.

UPEA Standing Committee Information

As a grassroots organization, UPEA has 8 Standing Committees. The purpose of our Standing Committees is to provide direct input and recommendations from the general membership, chapters, and districts to the Advisory Council and State Board. Members are encouraged to be involved with the Standing Committees.

Each committee meets about 2-5 times a year, in the evening during the week. Meetings are held at UPEA’s office in Murray – 1000 West Bellwood Lane, Murray UT 84123. A light dinner is provided for participants. You can also attend meetings via conference call. If you live outside of SLCo and travel to the UPEA office to participate you will receive mileage reimbursement.

Insurance and Retirement:

  • This committee reviews and monitors health insurance and retirement issues.
  • For more information on this committee or to attend a meeting please contact Kendle Zdunich at

Human Resource Policy and Rules:

  • This committee is responsible to track any changes to DHRM Rules and Regulations being proposed by DHRM or other legislative bodies.
  • Secondary purpose of this committee is to review other Human Resource policies pertaining to specific state agencies and/or local government agencies.
  • For more information or to attend a meeting please contact Christy Cushing at

General Council:

  • This committee coordinates and plans UPEA’s annual General Council.
  • For more information or to attend a committee please contact Angie Mann at

Grievance Appeal and Representation:

  • This committee reviews employee grievances where the employee is requesting additional representation by UPEA and UPEA legal counsel.
  • Recommendations are then taken to the Board and voted upon by this body.
  • For more information or to attend a meeting please contact


  • This committee determines the UPEA legislative platform for upcoming years and monitor upcoming issues being addressed through interim committees.
  • For more information or to attend a meeting please contact Todd Losser at

Membership Services and Public Relations:

  • This committee looks at what UPEA offers its members and work to enhance these opportunities. They also explore options to improve public relations and bolster membership.
  • For more information or to attend a PR committee meeting, please contact Kendle at

Articles and Bylaws:

  • This committee reviews UPEA’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and make recommended changes which are then voted upon by the Advisory Council and State Board which is then voted upon during General Council.
  • For more information or to attend a committee meeting, please contact Todd at


  • Recommends resolutions to UPEA’s Bylaws and Policy and Platform.
  • For more information or to attend a committee meeting, please contact



UPEA/Mountain America Scholarship Recipients are Role Models for Public Service

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is excited to announce the winners of the 2018 $1,000 scholarships sponsored by Mountain America Credit Union. This is the 11th year that UPEA has offered these scholarships, and the applications are only getting more impressive.

Selections are based on academic achievement, community service, future plans, and skills or hobbies outside of school. UPEA sought to find three well-balanced individuals who will use this money to further their careers and continue to serve the community. UPEA appreciates the service provided by public employees and hopes that these scholarships serve to ensure that the next generation embraces that commitment.  The scholarship recipients are:

Breanna Monson is the first scholarship recipient. She will graduate this May from Westlake High School with a 4.0 grade-point average (GPA). She currently ranks first in her class of 860 students.

Monson enjoys ballroom dancing and serves as the vice president of the Westlake Ballroom Dance Company. Breanna is dedicated to her church and serves on her stake youth council, as a counselor at girl’s camp, and volunteers to tutor students at Frontier Middle School. She hopes to attend college to study biomedical engineering. She will pursue a career in healthcare and hopes to create a system by which diabetics can check their glucose levels without pricking their fingers. She would also like to develop a machine that can detect cancerous and precancerous cells.

Kilee Lamb is the second recipient. She graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA while taking concurrent enrollment and honor classes. She continued her academic success at Dixie University, where she is studying business administration and maintains a 3.96 GPA.

She enjoys art, crafting, and photography, and even sells her pieces to family, friends, and neighbors. She also loves soccer, and was granted a scholarship to Dixie to play on the women’s team. She served as the team captain, which gave her the opportunity to volunteer at youth soccer camps, teach soccer to special-needs children, and referee youth games. After completing her degree in business administration, Kilee hopes to pursue digital design, and open her own design, décor, and artwork business.

Gracie Steele is the final recipient. She will graduate from Carbon High School this May with a 4.0 GPA. She has been on the honor roll since the first quarter of her freshman year.

Steele enjoys dancing and has been participating on her school drill team as a Dino Dynamic. She keeps busy hunting, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors. Additionally, Steele serves as the National Honor Society president. In this role, she has helped plan and participate in flood clean-ups, volunteered at nursing homes, and made blankets and Christmas packages for patients at Primary Children’s Medical Center. She currently works as a physical therapy aid at Pro-Rehab and plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy at Utah State University Eastern in Price. Once she has completed all her schooling, Steele wants to serve as a physical therapist in Carbon County.

Rules Corner: Understand Terminology Related to Job Changes

It is important to understand the correct terms to describe the movement of an employee to a new job or position. During the grievance procedure, the meanings and applications of the terms “transfer,” “reassignment,” and “demotion” can be confusing. The Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) is charged with setting out employment rules as well as defining them. The current DHRM rules can be found at


DHRM Rule R477-1(109): An action not mandated by management moving an employee from one job or position to another job or position with an equal or lesser salary range maximum for which the employee qualifies. A transfer may include a decrease in actual wage.

Typically, a transfer is at the request of the employee and not the agency. However, an agency may offer another position to an employee. The employee ultimately makes the decision whether to accept the offer. The DHRM rule explains that in transferring positions, the agency may decrease an employee’s actual wage.


DHRM Rules R477-1(98): An action mandated by management moving an employee from one job or position to a different job or position with an equal or lesser salary range maximum for administrative reasons. A reassignment may not include a decrease in actual wage except as provided in federal or state law.

This rule offers agencies a way of moving an employee to another job position without having to defend its action in a demotion grievance. The key here is that the movement must not include a decrease in actual wage. A decrease in the employee’s actual wage would be classified as a demotion.


DHRM Rule R477-1(32): A disciplinary action resulting in a reduction of an employee’s current actual wage.

A demotion involves disciplinary action and therefore must be preceded by a Notice of Intent to Discipline. This sets out the “just cause” for the action. In cases where an employee is being disciplined, employees have the right to addresses the issue(s) set forth in the notice through the Grievance Procedure. To learn more about the disciplinary action and the Grievance Procedure, check the Utah Code, Chapter 19a, beginning at Section 67-19a-101.



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