Employees of the Missouri House have received three raises during the past year — more than other workers in state government.
The first raise was last year in mid-November and another was approved this past summer, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported.
Besides the raises specifically for House employees, the state budget that took effect this past July calls for a 2 percent raise for all state workers earning less than $70,000, including House employees. The general 2 percent pay increase is the only raise many state workers have seen in several years.
House Clerk Adam Crumbliss said investing in staff is important for state government to adequately serve Missourians. He noted that the House has trimmed positions and cut other administrative expenses.
“I think it’s a very justifiable position for us to do salary adjustments and reward employees who are finding ways to save taxpayer dollars, and do so while still generating cost savings,” Crumbliss said.
Pay increases have gone to the office staff of lawmakers and House administrative employees.
To cut costs, the House last year eliminated six positions — computer information technician, research analyst, administrative assistant, deputy director, bill room clerk and public information worker. Crumbliss said the House also has switched from landline telephones to a voice over Internet protocol system, dropped a computer mainframe maintenance contract, eliminated a housekeeping job and allowed two lawmakers to share a single assistant.
Jeff Mazur, the executive director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Council 72, said Missouri state workers are the lowest paid of any state in the country and deserve raises. The union represents some Missouri employees.
“Like the workers who provide vital care in state mental health centers or veterans homes, they should see their low salaries increased enough to keep pace with the rising cost of living,” Mazur said.