June 10, 2015
BY Kevin Brown
AFSCME Local 4041 members were rewarded for their steadfast advocacy with the 3 percent raise over two years. Their last wage increase was offset by retirement and health benefits premiums. The Nevada state Legislature approved Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget, which includes the first wage increases for state workers since 2007.
“The raises are a strong message on behalf of state workers and we thank lawmakers and Sandoval for including them in the final budget,” said Kevin Ranft, an AFSCME Local 4041 representative. “The increase may be small but, it’s going to make a drastic difference for state employees.”
The budget Governor Sandoval signed applies to state workers in classified service and those who are non-classified, as well as classified employees within the university system. They’ll receive a 1 percent pay raise effective July 1 of this year and a 2 percent raise on July 1, 2016.
The funding will come from Governor Sandoval’s new commerce tax, which is estimated to raise $255 million a year. It taxes the state’s largest businesses – those with revenue of more than $4 million a year. In addition to the pay raises, the new funding allows for additional staffing in the Department of Motor Vehicles, Corrections, and Health and Human Resources, all represented by AFSCME.
Several anti-worker Assembly members did make last minute attempts to stalemate the bipartisan budget and fast-track controversial bills to create a hybrid pension system for new state employees and increase furloughs. But the majority fought off those efforts, avoiding a repeat of 2003, when multiple special sessions were needed to approve the budget.