In his State of the State speech this past Wednesday, Governor Parson called on the legislature to pass an 8.7% cost-of-living pay increase for state employees. The line received applause from both sides of the aisle. But how much will that fill the gap?
An investigation by Progress MO which analyzed publicly available employee pay data from the Missouri Accountability Portal has the facts.
46% of Missouri state employees may qualify for government assistance
In 2022, 46% of Missouri state employees made less than $27,180, the salary at which the Missouri Department of Social Services says you are likely eligible for benefits.
43.66% of state employees would still qualify for assistance following the Governor’s proposed pay increase
If the Governor’s proposed 8.7% increase is approved by the legislature, it won’t offer much of a solution. 43.66% of state employees would still be eligible for social services if their salaries increased by 8.7%.
An 8.7% increase isn’t a solution – it’s a stop-gap
“When we say these problems have reached a crisis level and must be addressed now, this is what we mean,” said Kelli Kee, spokesperson for Progress MO. “While Republicans have held power in the state legislature for two decades and the Governor’s mansion for more than five years, we have yet to see an improvement in wages. Missouri families can’t wait any longer. It’s time for action.”
The Alarm Has Been Sounding, But Been Ignored
In 2015, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) called on the state of Missouri to raise state employee wages: Missouri State Workers Need a Raise.
In 2022, AFSCME highlighted significant wage discrepancies between Missouri and Illinois state employees: The pay gap between Missouri and Illinois state workers underscores the union difference.
Read more about Parson’s State of the State and the legislature’s failure to act: Governor Parson’s State of the State Proves Reps In Jeff City Are Out Of Step With Missouri Families
Posted January 20, 2023