The Miami Herald reports that after thawing pay freezes for state employee pay, legislative leaders took the opportunity to give their own staff a hefty raise in pay also.
Although performance and promotion are the primary basis determining pay, staff raises actually fell within a wide range. Many started with as little as three to five percent, with a few workers getting as much as a 20 percent bump.
The Herald talked about the different approaches Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford each took to pay increases.
As of last month, Gaetz gave bonuses and salary increases to 35 staff members, agreeing to give salary increases also to three veteran employees of the Senate Democratic office. They were making significantly less than their Senate President’s office counterparts were.
Starting this month, Weatherford will be paying more to 71 full-time employees, based on recommendations on performance. Other House raises were mostly due to promotions and increased responsibility.
State workers are union members with negotiated salaries, unlike House and Senate staff, who are not part of collective bargaining. Their salaries rise or fall based on political will.