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Merit raises to take effect this month

ITD employees can look forward to larger paychecks next month, thanks to a new merit pay program that will take effect Jan. 18.

“Employees are our most valuable asset. Without them, we simply cannot deliver quality products and services,” said Susan Simmons, Administrative Services. “Our goal with this program is to recognize their hard work and help move our employees closer to market rate wages.”

The raises will be funded with $2 million generated by permanent personnel savings from the department’s budget.

“We did all we could within the amount we had available,” Simmons said. “We wish it could be more.”

But for now, the long-awaited bump in pay will be a welcome boost for most ITD employees.

Features of the merit raise program include:

  • The raise program will extend to full-time employees and benefited temporary employees with at least two years of service. New employees become eligible for the pay increase after completing probation.
  • The amount of merit increase will be determined by the employee’s level of performance and position within the assigned pay grade.
  • Raises will range from 1 to 4 percent, with the average likely falling between 2 and 3 percent.
  • The minimum pay increase any qualifying employee will receive is 25 cents/hour.
There are two components in determining the amount of increase an employee receives: the employee’s overall performance rating on the most recent evaluation, and the actual wages the employee is being paid.

“Our philosophy is, in order to compete in the labor market, we need to compensate those who are on the lower side of the pay range the most,” Simmons said.

It is becoming more difficult for the department to retain and recruit employees because the prevailing salaries in other government entities and the private sector are significantly higher than state wages. State employees lag behind the market average by 14.6 percent, according to a Division of Human Resources annual survey.

“ITD invests a significant amount in training, and if someone leaves for a better-paying position, we lose our investment,” Simmons said. “Just as important, we risk losing talented people who take with them a level of dedication and institutional knowledge that can’t be replaced.”

Employees can expect a confidential memo late next week from Human Resource Services (HRS) with more information on individual raises. Questions? Contact HRS at 334-8036.