TN Senate Dems: Haslam’s Longevity Pay Cut Won’t Improve State Workforce

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus; February 19, 2015:

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to slash longevity pay takes money out of state employees’ paychecks without doing anything to improve our state workforce, Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris said.

“The governor seems to propose taking part of these employee paychecks, using that part to create a pool of money, and giving it right back to the same employees and calling the process a raise,” Sen. Lee Harris said. “That’s not what most people in the private sector would call a raise. There’s got to be some way to give our top performers in government a real raise without the subterfuge.”

The governor’s plan to eliminate longevity pay would end the $100 raises workers receive for each year after three years of service. In lean budget years, it may be the only increase employees receive to keep up with cost of living.

“Some employees have worked and earned these paychecks for decades,” Sen. Harris said. “These paychecks are not bonuses. They are, more or less, part of our employees’ salaries. These employees depend on the income and had no reason to believe it was in jeopardy.”