By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
As the above chart shows, during the pandemic the fastest growing employee sector of the economy was the government job sector. Now, Governor Brown is pushing out a quick raise upon the existing raises.
Rising inflation and job vacancies have prompted Gov. Kate Brown to move up scheduled pay raises for state workers, who will receive 3.1 percent cost-of-living raises this month instead of in December as planned.
The need to fill vacancies with new job applicants led to the offer of 5 percent hiring and promotion bonuses.
The cost-of-living raises negotiated in contracts last year were to take effect Dec. 1 because of steep price increases. Workers also can earn higher salaries through step increases until they reach the top of their pay scales.
According to the governor’s spokesperson Liz Merah, hiring constraints have brought vacancy rates at some state agencies to more than 20 percent even though these agencies pay more than the private sector.
State workers pocketed a 3 percent cost-of-living raise in late 2020 and 2.5 percent in December 2021 in addition to their step increases. Also, all state employees who worked a minimum number of hours during the first 16 months of the pandemic received a one-time $1,550 Covid hazard payout, according to the newspaper. Those who worked at least 200 hours of overtime during that time received an extra $575.
Moving up the pay raises will cost the state about $40 million.
While Oregon government workers get the two speedy raises and bonus, the average Oregonian will get higher costs from the Oregon gas tax increase which went into effect in 2022, higher costs from Gov. Brown’s 2021 17% small business tax, higher utility costs from Gov. Brown’s Carbon-tax-style Executive Order which mandates higher utility costs, and record 9% inflation caused in part from Congress’ $5 trillion spending blowout.