A new proposal in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate may mean a pay raise for thousands of state employees in North Central Florida.
The House has proposed a $1,400 pay raise for state employees. The Senate has proposed a 3 percent pay raise for state employees. Members of the House and Senate will have until early May to reach a final decision on the state’s new budget.
If passed, the pay raise would take effect Nov. 1.
The $1,400 pay raise proposed by the House would be the first of its kind in almost seven years. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), an organization that advocates for state employees throughout the country, has been pushing for the raise for years.
Doug Martin, the legislative and communications director for AFSCME Florida Council 79, said the pay raise would mean a $10.4 million economic boost for about 7,500 state employees in Alachua, Marion, Union and Bradford counties.
Alachua County has 2,679 state employees, and a $1,400 bonus could provide a $3.87 million economic boost to the county, he said.
Martin said he thinks the legislature’s proposals are a good sign that state workers will receive the salary bump they’ve waited for since 2006.
“With each side of the legislature proposing a pay increase, it makes it likely that some pay increase will be passed,” he said.
The recession hit state workers hard, he said.
“They have economically suffered after the economic downturn,” he said.
Gov. Rick Scott suggested a one-time $1,200 bonus. But Martin said that plan isn’t the way to go because the economic benefits are only temporary.
The House’s proposal would benefit those who have a lower income, he said. It could mean a 6 percent increase for some who make $20,000 a year.
“When the legislature does right by its employees and it increases their pay, it increases the economy in every county in each state,” he said.
Audreyanna Loguerre wrote this story online.