State employees' patience on pay raises running out - - Jackson, MS

State employees' patience on pay raises running out

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Patience is running out in the wait for pay raises. State employee Benita Wilson is tired of seeing broken promises from the legislature.

"We're not looking for any rewards," Wilson explained. "A pay raise of an adamant amount would just mean hey, thank you. We recognize you and we appreciate you for the work that you do."

Multiple amendments have been introduced in both chambers this session. All with the goal of giving state employees an across the board $1,000 raise. Still, the supporters haven't outweighed the critics.

"The legislature needs to quit diddling around with this and just step up to the plate and say this is one of the things they've got to do," said Representative Cecil Brown-D.

Brown's led the pay raise charge in the house this session.

"Actually the House passed a bill that the legislature would try to plan for a state employee pay raise," Brown explained.

The House appropriations chairman promised Brown the plan would be considered in the final conference committee meetings. But President of the Alliance for State Employees Brenda Scott says the plan won't cut it.

"A plan? A plan is no better than the paper it's written on," said Scott. "It's time for some money. They need to put the money where the plan is. And deal with a plan to give them a pay raise next year as well."

Benita Wilson is holding out hope that raises will get OK'd before lawmakers leave this year.

"We're just hoping it happens sooner than later," she said.

The deadline for finalizing conference committee reports for appropriations and revenue bills is Saturday.

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