OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation that would make state jobs more competitive with the market was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
“The intent of the legislation is to address understaffing due to low pay in areas such as corrections, public safety and child welfare,” said Osborn, R-Mustang. “My legislation creates a one-time bonus of $1,000 as an incentive to help retain critical employees such as those who man our corrections facilities and haven’t received a raise since 2006, but it’s the study this bill authorizes that is really going to help create a market-based system that will address the need to make salaries more competitive.”
House Bill 1717, by state Rep. Leslie Osborn, would authorize a $1,000 performance-based bonus to state employees and initiate a study of state employee compensation for fiscal years 2013-2014.
According to the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, entry-level child welfare specialists are paid on average at 23 percent below the market and that corrections officers begin at $11.83 per hour.
“The state can’t keep jails adequately staffed at the current level of pay,” said Osborn. “We have to start making those salaries more competitive with the other job opportunities that are available for potential employees.”
House Bill 1717 was approved by a vote of 94-4 and now advances to the state Senate.