weather icon Clear

Nevada state workers push for better pay

CARSON CITY — State workers rallied Friday at the Nevada Legislature for an increase in pay, arguing that they are 30 percent behind where they were before the Great Recession.

About 30 state employees gathered to hear Democratic legislative leaders say they will attempt to help state workers gain back some of the ground lost over the past decade due to furloughs, pay freezes, loss of benefits and higher health insurance and retirement costs.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed 2 percent cost-of-living raises in each year of the budget. He has also recommended additional 5 percent bumps for correctional officers and information technology professionals.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said state workers were crucial in dealing with huge budget deficits of past years by taking furloughs and making other financial sacrifices.

“That sacrifice needs to be recognized with recompense,” he said.

Representatives of AFSCME Local 4041 representing state workers are asking for raises of 5 percent per year.

“We have employees on public assistance because salaries are too low,” said Harry Schiffman, president of the employee group. “We have a big retention problem.”

Nevada trains new employees who then go to work for local government agencies where the pay is much better, Schiffman said. Local employees have the right to collective bargaining. State employees do not.

Schiffman said lawmakers must think about the needs of the state workforce now that tax revenue projections have increased revenues by $140 million.

“Otherwise we won’t have a qualified workforce,” he said.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Lawsuit challenges Nevada’s new diabetes drug disclosure law

Two pharmaceutical groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of a bill passed by the 2017 Nevada Legislature requiring disclosure of the pricing of diabetes drugs.

Nevada Legislature approves final payment for ESA software

The final action on Nevada’s controversial private school choice program came Thursday when the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee approved $105,000 to pay off the remaining costs incurred by a vendor who was working on the development of software to implement the program.

Recall targets a third Nevada senator

A third recall petition against a female Nevada state senator was filed Wednesday.

Federal government approves Nevada’s education plan

Nevada is among four states to get U.S. Education Department approval of its plan as required under a new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.