- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A formula that Kansas lawmakers have used to determine which state workers would get raises this year has sparked confusion and resentment among employees.

State lawmakers approved a budget in June that gave some employees their first pay raise in several years, the Lawrence Journal-World (https://bit.ly/2vXcOLX ) reported.

The method leaves out employees who have received raises under separate contracts and divides the rest into two categories.

Workers who’ve been employed over five years and haven’t had a raise since at least 2012 were to get a 5 percent raise. Those who’ve been on the job less than five years would get a 2.5 percent raise, regardless of whether they’ve had a raise during that time period.

Sara Vancil, like many of her colleagues at the University of Kansas, is excluded from the groups receiving raises.

“I’ve worked here for 10 years,” she said. “First, we’re trying to figure out what the Legislature’s intent was. If the intention was to give folks a raise who hadn’t had one in a good period of time, that’s one thing. But it seems like they didn’t follow that idea through the entire bill.”

Many workers at the university were left out of the raise pool because the school has given out small merit raises in recent years. That means any employee who has been at the university more than five years and received one of those raises gets nothing, while newer employees will receive a 2.5 percent raise, even if they also received one of those merit raises.

“I think there’s frustration and concern,” Vancil said. “Why are we being held out from getting this increase? … It’s kind of a slap in the face to longer-serving workers.”

Some lawmakers involved in writing the legislation said they didn’t expect it to play out the way it has.

“The intent was to give pay raise to people who hadn’t had a raise in a long time,” said Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick.

Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence said she’s hopeful lawmakers will revisit the pay raise issue during the 2018 legislative session.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, https://www.ljworld.com

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