Employee retention bill passes House

JUNEAU – Yesterday, the House passed legislation by Rep. Andy Josephson to attract and retain State employees with a cost of living adjustment after a substantial gap. 

 

After seven years without a raise in pay, the State, as an employer, has struggled to attract and retain attorneys and exempt employees, unable to compete with salaries offered by the private sector and other public sector employers. The lack of adequate compensation and large workloads have created a self-perpetuating cycle of burnout and non-retention.

 

House Bill 226 provides a much-needed boost in pay for these essential State personnel with a base increase of 5% for exempt and partially exempt employees, an additional 15% increase for State employed lawyers, and an additional 10% increase for Judicial Branch employees excluding Judges and Justices.

 

“Exempt employees have not received increases or salary adjustments since 2015,” said Representative Steve Thompson (R – Fairbanks). “In the meantime, nonexempt employees have received increases for cost of living totaling over 5%. It’s a matter of fairness that exempt employees receive the same increase.”

 

“These are the folks that get left out because they don’t have a contract in the normal way,” said Representative Andy Josephson (D – Anchorage). “We are losing our State lawyers because they are overworked and underpaid. This adjustment brings us in line with other states with the hope that we can retain these essential personnel who continue to give their all to Alaska.”

 

HB 226 now moves to the Senate. 

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