Sep 27, 2013 6:20 PM by AP(PHOTO: MGN ONLINE)
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - After years of government budget problems 1,400 state employees will be getting pay raises.
About 1,100 employees of the Division of Administration and 331 at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are in line for increases.
Whether and when the rest of the state workforce gets any pay adjustments is unclear.
The state has about 72,000 classified and unclassified workers.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said in a prepared statement received by The Advocate the hikes are linked to job performance.
"Because of smart planning and aggressive implementation, targeted reforms throughout the agency have produced financial savings that will be passed on to our employees," Nichols said.
"We have always worked to make government in Louisiana smaller and more efficient for the people of this state and we are seeing those efforts pay off," she said.
Nichols said money has been saved by improving the agency's procurement process, consolidating its information technology department and the combining of several offices under DOA.
"This plan streamlines the governance of state properties and allowed for new opportunities to realize direct savings for Louisiana," she said.
The increases will apply to both classified and unclassified employees of the division.
However, its executive staff will not be eligible for the pay adjustments.
The DOA is the management arm of state government including the governor's budget advisers, construction management officials and state purchasing.
The cost of the increases for division employees is $2.4 million, according to Douglas Baker, director of communications for the Division of Administration.
Meanwhile, 331 employees at GOHSEP will be getting 4 percent pay increases effective Oct. 1, Executive Director Kevin Davis said.
"We have streamlined our operations to cut costs in recent years," Davis said in a separate prepared statement.
Department of Environmental Quality workers will also receive a 4 percent pay raise, beginning Oct. 1, while the Department of Public Safety and Corrections is awarding 4 percent pay adjustments to its employees beginning Feb. 1.
Officials with both departments say the adjustments are due to "efficiencies identified" within each department's budgets.