The state Employee Compensation Commission is recommending state workers receive what amounts to two percent pay raises in each year of the 2019-2021 biennium.
State budget director Joe Morrissette chairs that Commission. He said the recommendation is to hand out the raises based on performance.
"It would be in a range of one to three percent to each employee, based on actual performance," Morrissette said in an interview.
In addition, one percent would be added in the first year to address compression issues.
"That would be for employees who are low in the pay range," Morrissette said.
Morrissette said some on that Commission wanted to go for larger raises. But he said even though the state’s revenue picture is looking brighter, there are still some challenges ahead.
"We know it's going to be a difficult budget," Morrissette said. "But we recognize the need for increases in compensation for state employees."
Morrissette noted it's been two years since employees in most agencies have received raises.
"In some cases, it's been three years," Morrissette said. "At the end of the last biennium, we were in the midst of allotments which cut budgets, and some agencies did not provide increases that were authorized in the second year of the biennium."
The Commission is also recommending no change in state employee health benefits.
"The Commission was pretty clear in wanting that to continue to be a fully paid state benefit," Morrissette said. "They felt it was important to attract and retain employees."
Gov. Doug Burgum has said he believes state employees need pay raises.