Budget conference: Lawmakers reach agreement to boost state worker pay
Jay Trumbull and Kelli Stargel. Image via Colin Hackley.

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Florida state employees will see pay raises worth more than $638 million starting July 1, the start of the next fiscal year.

Florida state workers will get a pay raise later this year, as House and Senate budget negotiators agreed to hike pay 5.4% across the board, install a minimum wage of $15 per hour for state employees, and increase pay on top of those raises for select groups of workers.

The pay for state employees had been a major difference in the spending plans preferred by the House and Senate, with the House wanting a 5.4% increase across the board and the Senate pushing to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and use more money to grant raises for those making between $15 and $25 per hour.

In all, salaries will increase more than $638 million, with $395 million funding the 5.4% across-the-board increase and $72.6 million going to increase the pay of all employees earning less than $15 per hour to get them to that level.

The increase in minimum pay comes a year after lawmakers raised the minimum wage for state employees to $13 an hour. That increase was a priority for Senate President Wilton Simpson, who aimed to keep the state ahead of the prescribed minimum wage increases approved by Florida voters on the 2022 ballot. The current minimum wage in the state is $11 an hour and it will rise by $1 each year until it hits $15 in 2026.

Some state workers in agencies beset with high turnover and trouble recruiting and retaining workers, such as Florida Highway Patrol, Department of Corrections and legal services, are targeted for raises on top of the across-the-board pay hikes.

Nearly $27.3 million is set aside for state law enforcement officials. There is $4.6 million to boost firefighters’ pay to a minimum of  $20 per hour, $17 million to increase the pay of Department of Juvenile Justice detention and probation officers and $15.8 million dedicated to padding prison guards’ pay. Nurses in the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive raises costing $5.6 million; Department of Revenue workers will get pay increases costing $17.6 million; and Department of Transportation employees will see $41.1 million worth of pay increases.

State attorneys, public defenders and regional conflict counsels will receive $29.7 million worth of raises.

“We applaud the leadership of both the House and Senate for historic increases for the state workers who provide the vital, essential services our communities need,” AFSCME Florida president Vicki Hall said. “State workers are in need of both living wages to lift families out of poverty and enhanced compensation for professionals whose pay has not kept pace with comparable private-sector counterparts.

“I am constantly amazed by the professionalism and dedication our members demonstrate every day. These historic increases to starting pay and significant across-the-board pay raises are well deserved and much appreciated.”

House and Senate leaders still have to iron out differences in the education and agriculture sections of the budget, as well as develop a plan to spend $3.5 billion in federal COVID-19 stimulus funds before finalizing the spending plan.

A final budget must be in place 72 hours before lawmakers can vote on it, putting legislative leaders under the gun to finish by Tuesday to end the Legislative Session by Friday, the scheduled last day of the Legislative Session.

“We are obviously trying,” Trumbull said. “I do believe it could be a later day on Friday night, but our goal is to be done.”

Gray Rohrer


13 comments

  • Emily

    March 8, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    And what about the staff at state institutions such as FSU?

    • Raul

      March 9, 2022 at 7:57 am

      They should take that from the $400,000/ “professors”.

    • dogman

      March 9, 2022 at 10:35 am

      Reading is fundamental… ACROSS THE BOARD 5.4% for state employees.

      • saybrook

        March 9, 2022 at 6:10 pm

        so is an understanding of history. fsu employees have been excluded from state employee increases before. very recently, as a matter of fact!

  • DOH employee

    March 10, 2022 at 4:55 am

    In all I have read I do not see health department workers listed as those getting raised to $15 an hour. I’ve worked over 30 years for the state of Florida & just recently got moved up to $13 per hour. We got no bonuses during covid pandemic & have had covid several times & been made to work with covid due to staff shortages. It’s a shame I will be going into the DROP earning obit $13 an hour & can’t retire for 5 more years because of health insurance.

    • KIm

      March 14, 2022 at 8:19 am

      It Cleary states the minimum wage will be $15 an hour for ALL state workers, did you read the article?

  • A Poor State Employee

    March 10, 2022 at 5:11 am

    When I went to work for the State of Florida in 1990 I was proud. Today I am ashamed to say I have wasted 30 years of my life working for the SOF. It’s embarrassing how little I get paid. We have to jump through hoops to get a day off, we have been denied pay raises for many many years, work hard long hours, no longer get lump sum pay for annual leave not used over 220 hours, it’s rolled over to sick leave & when we retire we only get 1/4 of our sick leave pay so all the earners & burners who used every bit of their annual & sick leave got paid leave but ones who were not allowed to take off & saved their leave lost tons of money & leave over the years. We used to get free spousal health insurance if both husband & wife worked for the state of Florida, they made us start paying for that years ago but at a reduced rate. We used to get paid travel when made to go to out of town meetings or trainings. They took that away from us. I’ve driven to several trainings out of town & when I asked my supervisor about reimbursement I was told “if you don’t like it quit. You’re not getting paid travel.” I’ve put my health on the back burner the past 2 years during covid pandemic & have not been to the doctor or dentist other then to be seen on virtual visits for being covid positive. I’ve lived pay check to pay check for the last 30 years barely scraping by but stuck in a dead end job because I was so close to retirement it was too late to look for employment elsewhere. I’ve applied for promotions throughout the years but always passed over & jobs given to someone younger than me who never worked for the state of Florida even though I’ve had an excellent work ethic & done excellent work over the 30 years & gone above & beyond my job description to do a good job.

  • SHERRY KOROKOUS

    March 10, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    So much for being an OPS worker. I guess we weren’t considered for a raise.

  • ETG

    March 11, 2022 at 8:53 am

    The Department of health employees are never mentioned by our FL Government neither. I understand perfectly fine your comment. Our work during the pandemic before and after, the times we got sick are not important for our FL governor.

  • FSU Employee

    March 11, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    FSU hasn’t given raises in 4 years for staff. I can’t find anywhere if we were excluded again.

    • Emily

      March 16, 2022 at 10:27 am

      We were.

  • Deez Nuts

    March 11, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    FSU can suck Deez Nuts.

  • GNF

    March 12, 2022 at 10:50 am

    It’s been over a decade for State workers essentially having received one pay raise. The Rick Scott raise was not a raise since 3% retirement contributions became a requirement. A systematic approach to sensibly increase State workers pay every year or 2 years is needed. Asking your State agency supervisor for a raise yields the same stupid answer: ask your legislator to increase the salary for your State position?? wtf! Apples:apples comparison of FL salaries to any other State salaries will reveal how underpaid FL State workers are. FL is top 3% economically in the US and salaries are likely in the bottom 10%, which is not a good metric. Compare FL worker salaries to private sector salaries and the gap is more abysmal. FACT of economies: salaries correlate to quality in the workforce.

Comments are closed.


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