Gov. DeSantis says state workers pay raise was ‘merited’

Money in the hands of the people

Amid the roughly $1 billion worth of cuts made Monday, proposed pay raises for state employees went untouched during Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s historic budget slash.

“We were able to make the numbers work,” DeSantis said. “A lot of people have worked very hard over these last three or four months. I know many of our key agencies have been working around the clock so I thought it was merited and I wouldn’t have done if we couldn’t’ make the numbers work, but I think we made them work.”

Pay raises were just one of the hundreds items facing possible veto by the Governor.

But now safe from his red ink, Florida’s roughly 90,000 state workers will see a 3% percent pay increase for a total of $249 million.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees of Florida credited the Governor’s decision to union efforts.

“This was a hard-fought victory that would not have occurred without state employees from the panhandle to Miami standing together and fighting as a union,” said AFSCME Florida President Vicki Hall. “For years our state employees have worked tirelessly to make this state happen every day for meager wages. This is a historic moment for proves the power of collective action.”

Florida has consistently ranked among the bottom tier of state employee salaries per capita in recent years. The Sunshine State also ranks among the lowest in average state employee salary.

The change in tide has marked a milestone moment for the federation.

“When the Governor signed this into law today, the State of Florida made a public declaration of the importance of state employees and the critical work they do for our communities,” said Jacqui Carmona, AFSCME Florida’s political pirector. “We’d like to thank President Galvano and Chair Bradley for making this a major priority this session and being great partners in passing this raise for Florida’s essential front-line workforce.”

Though teacher raises had been on the table since before the 2020 Legislative Session began, the state employee raise was something of a surprise when it appeared in the Senate’s initial budget offer.

The across the board raise is the first in few years and the first proportional one in recent memory.

Since 2008, AFSCME employees have received two pay raises. In 2013 and 2017, employees making more than $40,000 per year received $1,000 raises. And those making less than $40,000 received $1,400 raises.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Jessy

    June 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I wonder what desantis is doing for the thousands of local essential workers that have been working MUCH HARDER for way more then a few month’s, have families to care for & are putting their lives at risk every single day with low pay? They’re not sitting collecting unemployment so they’re busting their ass & getting way less pay. What about all those ppl? Desantis to me is nothing more then trumps mouth piece & suck up. He can’t do anything that puts the local ppl 1st. He’s such a loser. Can’t wait till He’s GONE!.

    • Heckin Heather

      July 8, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      I’m a local people state worker considered essential staffing so I never got to collect unemployment. This pay raise may not be much but it’s more than I had yesterday and I work hard for my money.

  • Laurie Pinkham

    June 30, 2020 at 4:29 am

    as a state of Florida employee, I appreciate the raise. last one we got was more than 4 years ago. too bad they don’t appreciate us enough to give us cost-of-living.

    been with the state almost 7 years & only make $13/hr.

    • Jolly Bob

      July 8, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Girl you gotta get out of Revenue. That’s why.

  • Candance4 Butler

    June 30, 2020 at 8:29 am

    3% ??? annually?? that’s like 75-80 extra a month….. people receiving unemployment benefits are getting $600 a month plus a portion of their wages prior to COVID which says to me at the min $600 a week is needed to survive and most of us don’t make that!!!! Gas prices going up the price of food is soaring and other essentials are rising as well and 3% wont even balance it out. Plus working from home utilities are rising pit bull was paid 1 million dollars by Visit FL which is partially funded by the state funded. its laughable!! I am qualified to get a better job with better pay from the state but because of some adolescence trouble I was in 17 years ago I’m not applicable. I can never get the pay raise from my job for my evaluation because my work is the lease of their concerns my personality is constantly scrutinized The 3% is an insult

    • Just sayin'

      June 30, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      Can’t imagine why your personality is constantly scrutinized….

  • Adam

    June 30, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    There was only one raise. The first supposed raise gave back the 3% taken to pay into retirement (taken a year and a half earlier). Please correct those facts.

    • Jodie Y

      June 30, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Adam you are indeed correct. That 6% was taken and 3% given back- so no raise! Literally nothing.

  • Mike

    July 1, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    I am hearing that State University employees are not getting this raise. Can anyone confirm?? I was so happy to hear about a raise, but now I am hearing I will not get it if I work for State University!

    • Andrew Bloom

      July 8, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Check your sources Mike. This is not true . . . it is across the board, not everyone but SU employees. August 1,2020 you will get 3% hike. Peace.

Comments are closed.


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