Pay raises for state employees?

Aug 16, 2018

Legislative Revenue Advisory Committee meets in Bismarck.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Some members of the Legislature’s Revenue Advisory Committee think the 2019 session needs to seriously look at a pay raise for state employees.

State workers did not get a pay raise from the 2017 Legislature, because of budget issues. And Gov. Doug Burgum is again asking agencies to submit reduced budgets for the 2019-2021 biennium.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) suggested pay raises need to be on the table for discussion.

"Those of us who have been here a few sessions realize the problems we've gotten into when we trade benefits for no salary increases," Carlson told the Committee. "If we attempt to go four years without any pay increase, all the work we've done to bring pay levels up goes by the wayside."

Carlson said he believes something has to be built into agency budgets for raises.

In exchange for no raises, state employees kept their fully funded health insurance program. Carlson said he’s been hearing from the private sector that health insurance premiums are increasing by 12 to 18 percent, and he said that also has to be dealt with.