drought soon will be over
the one that left Idaho state
employees without a salary increase for more than two years.
ITD employees will be among the approximately 24,000 state
of Idaho workers celebrating a permanent 2 percent merit-based
increase, effective June 6. The Idaho Legislature approved
the change in employee compensation (CEC) package Monday.
It now awaits the governors signature.
The proposal passed the House Feb. 25 on a 59-6-5 vote and
cleared the senate Monday on a unanimous vote of 35-0-0.
The joint resolution provides agencies guidance on the use
of one-time and ongoing salary savings to address salary increases.
This concurrent resolution states that the policy of
the state of Idaho is to provide a total compensation system
for state employees, which includes paying competitive job
market average salaries and rewarding performance with a merit-based
compensation philosophy, according to the bills
statement of purpose.
The bill reads, in part, The Legislature recognizes
that no specific funding for salary increases for state agencies
and institutions has been provided for the last two fiscal
years. As such, state agency directors and institution executives
are encouraged to allocate agency salary savings to provide
for employee salary needs before other operational budget
priorities are considered.
Early in this session Gov. Dirk Kempthorne emphasized the
need to increase the salaries of state workers. The state
budget still hasnt fully recovered from several years
of lower-than-expected revenue. But progress is sufficient
that no holdbacks were ordered this year, and Gov. Kempthorne
included the CEC increase in his budget proposal.
State employees also might benefit from another one-time
increase, designed to offset the rising cost of health insurance
coverage, if general fund revenues exceed the fiscal year
2004 revenue projection by at least $5,001,000. In that event,
the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee shall design
a surplus eliminator appropriation to provide this temporary
salary increase, should available funds in excess of the revenue
projection become available, according to the resolution.