CARSON CITY — A new state survey has found state workers earn 7.8 percent less in pay than selected private employees in Nevada and other government employees in the West.
The Salary and Benefits Survey, requested by the Department of Personnel, is completed every two years before the start of Nevada’s legislative session as a way to help legislators in making compensation decisions.
With the state in a recession, Gov. Jim Gibbons said Tuesday he will recommend in his State of the State address Thursday that the Legislature approve 6 percent salary cuts.
The salary survey suggests state employees are better off than they were before the 2007 Legislature.
At that time, the Personnel Department survey found state employee pay lagged 19.2 percent behind that of other government workers in the West and selected private employers in the state. In 2005, the survey found the pay was 20.7 percent behind the others
But Leslie Henrie, a public information officer for the Department of Personnel, said the state workers’ pay standing compared with other employees has not improved that dramatically.
She said her agency “changed our calculation methodology” in the survey.
“There is no evidence to show that we improved our salaries to close that gap,” Henrie said.
The survey has come under fire because it rates state employee pay only against that of selected larger private companies in the state and against the pay earned by public employees in the more wealthy counties.
The new survey compares state employee pay with that earned by workers at Bally’s, EG&G Special Projects Office, Newmont Mining Corp., Venetian Resorts, Southwest Gas Corp., Valley and Summerlin hospitals and other long-standing and large businesses.
A Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce study released in June found state and local government workers in Nevada earn 28 percent more than workers in the private sector.
Contact reporter Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.