Study: Missouri state workers worst paid in nation

It would cost Missouri taxpayers nearly $13.7 million to bring state employee salaries more in line with the marketplace, a long-awaited study has found.

The report, released by Gov. Jay Nixon’s office on Friday, found that the base salary for 37,906 prison guards, social service workers and other state employees is the lowest in the nation and more than 10 percent below what is considered competitive in the job market.

The results are not a surprise. Low wages paid to state workers have been a thorn in the side of state government for years and have led to high turnover rates, costing taxpayers additional money in overtime and training.

According to a separate 2015 report filed by the Office of Administration’s personnel division, the Missouri Department of Mental Health saw 25.7 percent of its employees leave the workforce that year. The state’s largest agency — the 10,958-employee Department of Corrections — had a turnover rate of 16.3 percent.

The new report, compiled by St. Louis-based CBIZ Human Capital Services at a maximum cost of $300,000, found benefits, including health insurance, are better than average, but still not enough to offset the low salaries.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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