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Oklahoma State Workers Say Neglect Is In The Numbers

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Kim Fissel said all she's known is cuts - despite her promotions. Kim Fissel said all she's known is cuts - despite her promotions.
State workers also protest stagnant salaries at the capitol. State workers also protest stagnant salaries at the capitol.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Among the tens of thousands of teachers at the Capitol are state workers who also feel neglected by legislators. The workers say the proof is in the numbers.

State workers say they are 27 percent below market value. They marched on the capitol to make sure that lawmakers hear their message.

It may not appropriate to ask what someone makes, but Kim Fissel doesn't mind doing the math. She works with the developmentally disabled in Tulsa.

"After 11 years, I'm bringing home less now than I was," she said. 

That's due to a rise in health insurance and no change in pay for 11 years- despite two promotions. 

"That's all I've known is cuts," she said.

Educate Oklahoma

Courtney Fox investigates cases of abuse for DHS - and in three years- the work load has gotten bigger and paycheck smaller.

"I cover seven different counties - so you are spread thin," she said. "We are losing our people who go out into the field - that makes us have to do more investigations ourselves."

The roughly 22,000 state workers are asking for a $2,500 raise this year and $2,500 next year.

"We have a different environment that we have to work in," said Tom Dunning of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association. "Our workers cannot walk off the job. Our corrections officers can't leave the prison doors."

Instead- the Oklahoma Public Employees Association will be holding what they call selective demonstrations throughout the state Monday - and later this week. But they are thinking long term.

"There are going to be elections in November, and state employees and educators are going to remember who supported them and who didn't," he said.

State workers say they need more than a $2,000 raise, so they'll be holding demonstrations in Norman Tuesday and Tulsa on Wednesday.

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