State News
5:55 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Competing Calls For Pay Raises Could Pit Teachers Against State Workers

It’s been more than five years since Florida's state employees got a raise. Now  Senator Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, says he’s prepared to offer budget language to give state employees salary increases.

Florida’s required three-percent pension contribution law and the expiration of federal tax breaks has meant fewer dollars in the pockets of state employees. Senator Bill Montford, Democratic Whip,  sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. He says he can’t predict the state’s budgetary future, but that he’s prepared to put an offer on the table for state workers:

“My proposal, whatever it will be, I haven’t quite decided yet, I’m waiting on the numbers—my proposal will be reasonable and an attainable amount," Montford said. 

Governor Scott has said he supports performance-based pay raises for state employees, but other lawmakers seem less sure. State employees could find themselves competing against teachers. Scott’s proposal for across-the-board teacher raises could cost the state about $480 million dollars. It’s still too early to tell where the money will come from. Some have suggested using funds held from the pension lawsuit.