Gov. Mike Parson says he wants to keep boosting state worker pay. Missouri has the lowest paid state workforce in the nation.
“I think for the most part, we’re moving in the right direction. Hopefully we’re going to get those state employees up there where one, they’re competitive with other states with other jobs comparable to it. I think we can get there,” he tells Missourinet affiliate KWOS in Jefferson City.
The next state budget beginning in July includes annual pay increases of $700 beginning in January for workers earning less than $70,000. State prison guards would get an extra $350-per-year raise on top of the $700.
Parson is scheduled to sign the budget on Friday.
The Republican governor says he is also fine with eliminating the merit system for state workers.
“Good employees should be rewarded sometimes for the work they do,” Parson. “Sometimes, unfortunately, you probably do have somebody with this many employees that maybe are not quite as efficient as some. That all needs to be looked at because really again, it takes away from some of the good employees when you’ve got bad actors,” Parson says.
Parson supports a grievance process to allow employees who feel they’ve been wronged to appeal personnel decisions. He says at-will employees should not be escorted right out the door.
“I’ll go back to the days when I was a sheriff because sheriffs have at-will employees,” Parson says. “It’s not near as easy as it sounds just to do that because you still got a lot of safeguards there, discrimination and a lot of other things just to fire an employee.”
Parson served as Polk County Sheriff in southwest Missouri from 1993 to 2005.
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