Nevada state workers’ pay falls behind others | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada state workers’ pay falls behind others

Associated Press

The State of Nevada Employees Association, noting a survey shows state workers earn less than employees of major local governments, will ask lawmakers for a 4 percent pay hike in fiscal 2003.

Scott MacKenzie, the association’s executive director, says the 3,500-member organization also wants the 2003 Legislature to approve a second 4 percent pay raise for state workers in fiscal 2004.

MacKenzie said his group will press for continued full funding by the state of the financially troubled health insurance programs for workers.

Gov. Kenny Guinn has said pay increases for state workers are unlikely unless there’s a major tax increase to cover that expense.

The Republican governor already is looking at raising existing taxes and creating new ones to cover a projected budget shortfall of $700 million to $800 million — not including raises or benefit increases for state employees.

MacKenzie commented following the state Personnel Department’s release of a wage survey that showed the average salary of a state worker is $42,718 compared with $50,178 for a Clark County employee.

The survey also showed the average total benefits package for a state worker is $18,781 compared with a Clark County employee’s package of $26,650.

But the state’s $42,718 average salary is above the $37,559 average paid by employers in 10 Western states. Only California, at $49,944, and Colorado, at $44,676, have higher annual wages.

Over the last seven years, the average salary increase for local governments was 22.8 percent compared with 19 percent for state workers. The Consumer Price Index rose 16.4 percent during that period.