Written by Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
June 17, 2021
A committee recommended Wednesday that the Legislative Council approved a proposed new pay grid for the executive branch departments’ lower-paid employees in response to high turnover rates in their ranks and an inability to recruit and retain these employees.
If all departments implement the proposed salary grid, state officials project the plan could benefit roughly 9,000 lower-paid employees at a projected total cost of $55 million, including $26 million in general revenue, over a three-year period, said Tony Robinson of the Bureau of Legislative Research.
In other action, the Legislative Council’s personnel subcommittee also recommended the council, which meets Friday, approve the state Board of Finance’s recommended 5% increase next year in health insurance premiums for both current and retired employees who get their coverage from the state. The subcommittee also agreed with the board’s proposed changes in how wellness credits for current employees are handled. This health insurance plan covers more than 58,000 people.
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