State Workers Hope Their Message Isn't Lost At Capitol

Monday, April 2nd 2018, 7:01 pm
By: Karl Torp

About 1,000 state workers were among the tens of thousands of teachers demonstrating at the State Capitol Monday.

Many say they’ve worked for the state for years and have seen their paychecks get smaller.

“Especially since insurance has gone up, my paycheck has gotten smaller,” said Courtney Fox who works for DHS in McAlester.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association points to a study by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise.

It says state workers are paid about 27% below market value.

The OPEA is asking for $2,500 raises this year and $2,500 next year as well.

Last week, lawmakers agreed to what will amount to a $2,000 raise for state workers making less than $40,000 a year.

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OPEA is urging the governor to sign the bill immediately.

“You’ve no incentive for them to a supervisor job because it doesn’t pay that much,” said OPEA Director of Communications, Tom Dunning.

Dunning said the result is state agencies being spread too thin.

OPEA said its workers will not be striking, but demonstrations were held Monday throughout the state.

Tuesday, state workers are expected to hold a rally in Norman, and again in Tulsa on Wednesday.