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Kansas Legislative Leadership Approves 5% Raise for Staff after Rejecting a 2.5% Raise for State Employees

Essential state workers abandoned again

29 October 2021

Topeka, KS – This week the Legislative Coordinating Council approved a 5% raise for all legislative staff during the 2022 session and a $250 retention bonus for all staffers who are continuing from this year's session. This decision comes after Kansas Senate and House leadership removed from the budget a modest and long-overdue 2.5% pay increase for all state employees. Said AFT-Kansas and KOSE President Sarah LaFrenz,

“All Kansas state agencies are facing major staff shortages. We have urged the legislature time and time again to provide increased funding to attract and retain quality workers in our state prisons, hospitals, road crews, and offices. We now have a problem where some inmates are making more than the corrections officers at their facilities. Workers at state hospitals and prisons are literally dying from being overworked at those facilities, including two just this month. As staffing related problems — like unrealistic workloads, burnout, burdensome mandatory overtime, and low retention rates — continue to mount in every state agency, it is clearly overdue for these legislators to step up and do right by these state employees.

“Tuesday's LCC meeting demonstrated that legislators know how to fill vacant positions and retain their staff, and that there is in fact money to provide state employees a well-deserved raise. The only thing seemingly lacking is the political will of our elected officials to recognize the service and sacrifices of their working constituents.”

State employees have received only one general raise in over a decade. In the 2021 legislative session, the legislature approved hundreds of millions dollars in tax breaks for corporations yet could find no money in the budget for state employees despite the challenging and essential work these Kansans performed for the state in pandemic conditions.


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