By PHIL KABLER
CHARLESTON - About 215 state employees will receive pay increases this month to bring their salaries up to new minimums under the new state salary schedule approved by the West Virginia State Personnel Board in July.
Minimum pay scales for the 12 lowest salary grades will increase by about $1,500 to $2,200 a year, as part of an update of the state's salary schedule, which had not changed for a decade.
That had resulted in the three lowest salary grades being unusable, since they paid below the current state minimum wage.
At the time the new pay schedule was approved, state Personnel Director Sheryl Webb said it was an effort to make state salaries more competitive with the private sector, while not imposing a major financial burden on state agencies.
"We had to make sure the state budget could handle the increases," she said. "One critique we might hear is that it's not enough, but it is a start."
Webb said across-the-board pay raises of $2,160 in 2018 and $2,370 this year pushed most state employees above the minimums for their pay grades.
Among job classifications that will have some employees receiving pay adjustments to bring them up to the new minimum salaries for their pay grades are:
Child Protective Services worker trainee, going from $27,732 to $29,396; Child Protective Services worker, $31,164 to $32,722; Adult Protective Service worker trainee, $24,912 to $26,406; Health and Human Service aide, $18,552 to $20,036; Social Services worker 2, $24,912 to $26,406; Social Services worker 3, $26,160 to $27,729; Economic Service worker trainee, $21,505 to $22,894; Economic Service worker, $23,724 to $25,147; and office assistant 2, $18,552 to $20,036.
Overall fiscal impact of the pay adjustments will be about $400,000 a year.