State employees say a pay raise is overdue - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State employees say a pay raise is overdue

Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT
Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT
Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT
Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT Mississippi state employees are speaking out about an overdue pay raise. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's state employees say they're tired of sitting back and waiting on a pay raise. It's been more than a decade since there was an across the board pay raise.

Advocates say part of that is a change in the state's budgeting process, but either way, they're fed up with struggling financially.

"State workers matter," chanted the group Tuesday. "State workers matter."

That chant is a message this group has been trying to convey lawmakers for years.

"We have not had a raise in 13 years," explained state worker Tameral McClain.

That prolonged waiting game has become frustrating for workers like Dexter Expose.

"Aretha Franklin quote, 'I ain't no psychiatrist, no doctor with degrees, but it doesn't take a high IQ to see what you're doing to me'," quoted Expose.

When they reference 13 years without a raise, they're referring to an across the board raise signed by the Governor.

"We are over $9,000 in annual salary behind states like Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas," described Mississippi Alliance for Public Employees President Brenda Scott. "That's saying something. And over 61 percent of our workers are making right at the average salary of over $35,000."

Workers echo that disappointment in the pay scale.

"Each and every time they tell you to go back to school and further your education," added McClain. "But when they say 'further your education', do they further your pay?"

There have been some state workers who've gotten raises in that 13 year span. Some individual agencies have found money within their budgets to give a hike in pay.

In 2014 there was a raise for around 4,500 workers; those making less than $30,000 a year.

Workers say they're not even getting cost of living adjustments. 

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