Missouri officials: Low state employee pay too costly to ignore

Gov. Mike Parson plans to raise the pay for all state employees as part of his budget plan. Missouri state workers are the lowest paid in the nation, on average.

Employee turnover has alerted state government to the perils of not raising pay. Record turnover has impacted the Department of Transportation and the Department of Corrections. Turnover in the Kansas City area is close to 20 percent for MoDOT. 

Officials warn the issue is too costly to ignore. MODOT’s director, Patrick McKenna, said the agency could be hit by a $30 million loss because of processing applications and background checks and lower production. 

Parson, a Republican, has proposed increasing salaries by 3 percent in July. Approximately 4,000 state workers would also get a raise that better reflects the pay of a private sector employee in the same market. Missouri’s base salary for employees pales in comparison to the private market: It’s a 10 percent gap, on average, according to a 2016 study. 

Read more: KCUR.

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