School teachers arent the only ones Gov. Rick Scott wants to pay more.
When Scott unveils his $74 billion budget on Thursday the highest dollar figure in state history it will include bonuses of $1,200 for each of the states civil service employees in non-supervisory roles.
The chief negotiator for the union representing the employees said he was surprised by Scotts offer, which he received late Wednesday.
Previously, Scott had told the union he would propose bonuses only for up to 35 percent of workers. Its better than expected, said Doug Martin. This is a significant financial commitment to the employees, and we appreciate that.
Scotts proposal applies to the states civil service workers in agencies like the Department of Revenue and the Department of Transportation and non-sworn employees at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, covering jobs that range from research scientists who studied the oil spill to support personnel in prisons.
Along with the bonus of $1,200 for each employee, Scott is offering additional bonuses of either $5,000 or $2,500 for employees who are reviewed favorably by supervisors. Martin said hed like assurances that those additional raises arent doled out strictly to favorites but to those who deserve them.
Despite the offer, which Martin called generous, he said his group still prefers cost of living pay increases of five percent. The downside to Scotts offer, he said, is that bonuses are for only one year and they arent figured into an employees retirement payouts. A salary increase would be.
Martin said his union, AFSCME Florida Council 79, will continue to negotiate with Scotts office. If negotiations reach an impasse, where neither side can resolve it, lawmakers will decide the outcome in next years budget.
Although Martin said he wont accept Scotts offer, he said its a good one that he respects. Were certainly glad the governor has recognized that all employees are deserving of raises, Martin said. Its been a long, long tough haul.