State employees, schoolteachers and college professors received a total salary and benefit package increase that adds up to at least 3.25 percent from the 1993 Legislature.
Gov. Mike Leavitt went along with former Gov. Norm Bangerter's recommendation of 3 percent for teachers and professors as well as 2.75 percent for state workers, with a bonus of $750 or more.Rep. John Valentine, R-Orem, the co-chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee, said the packages "showed the realistic efforts by the Legislature to increase compensation."
Valentine said lawmakers wanted to make sure public school teachers realize "we really do appreciate the job they do" by raising the amount of the increase from the recommended 3 percent and adding a $150 reimbursement.
Teachers got the best deal from lawmakers, with 3.29 percent available for salaries and a one-time, tax-free reimbursement of up to $150 for supplies purchased for use in their classrooms.
The actual pay boost received by teachers is negotiated at the local school district level and could even be higher than the 3.29 percent increase built into public school funding.
"This is Round 1 . . . tomorrow we start negotiating with the districts," said Lily Eskelsen, president of the Utah Education Association.
Lawmakers put a 3 percent increase in the higher education budget for college and university professors as well as an additional $1 million toward increases in health insurance.
Outgoing Commissioner of Higher Education Wm. Rolfe Kerr said the increase just barely keeps pace with inflation.
Public employees will get a 2.75 percent salary hike, which equals a step on their pay plan. While they received no bonus, the Legislature did allocate money to cover increased health-insurance costs.
That allocation, equal to about a 0.5 percent pay increase, means state workers will continue to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance, with the government picking up 90 percent.
Office Current Salary With Raise Increase
Governor $75,000 $77,250* 3%
Lt. governor 56,200 60,000 7%
Attorney general 60,000 65,000 8%
State auditor 56,900 62,000 9%
State treasurer 56,900 60,000 5%
*Gov. Mike Leavitt said he intends to donate his $2,250 pay raise to a needy school through an adopt-a-classroom program expected to be announced shortly.
- Judges will receive a 3 percent pay increase.
- Teachers, professors and state employees will all see a total salary and benefit package increase of at least 3.25 percent. Public-school teachers will get a little more - 3.29 percent in the amount school districts have to negotiate with and a one-time reimbursement for school supplies of $150.