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Governor Parson Continues Well-Deserved Wage Increases for All State Team Members to Strengthen Workforce Recruitment and Retention

Today, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that he has recommended an 8.7 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for all state team members and a $2 per hour shift differential to eligible state team members working in certain congregate care facilities.

“There is no question that the recruitment and retention of state employees have been a severe problem for our state, and we must do better,” Governor Parson said. “This is why we are again recommending an immediate cost of living increase for our state team. With 7,000 positions open across state government, this wage increase is necessary, and it is the minimum we must do to support our state workers and the people of Missouri.”

The recommendation was included in Governor Parson’s FY 2023 Early Supplemental Budget request delivered to the General Assembly today. Governor Parson has asked the General Assembly to introduce the legislation as soon as possible with the goal of implementation by March 1, 2023, and represented in state team members’ paychecks by March 31. Salary adjustments will require General Assembly approval before they can go into effect

“We want to be clear, this is not state government attempting to set the market. This is merely an attempt by state government to stay competitive with the market,” Governor Parson said. “If we allow state government to fall behind, we allow Missourians to fall behind. This is not something we are willing to accept, and we ask the General Assembly not to either.” 

Governor Parson’s Fiscal year (FY) 2023 Early Supplemental Budget recommendation provides:

  • An 8.7 percent COLA increase for all state team members; and
  • Increases the shift differential to $2 per hour for congregate care staff working high-need evening and overnight shifts.

Certain congregate care staff within the Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Corrections (DOC), Department of Mental Health (DMH), and the Missouri Veterans Commission will be eligible for the $2 per hour shift differential.

Governor Parson has recommended multiple COLA increases for state team members in past budgets to ensure competitive wages and benefits are provided to those who deliver necessary government services to Missourians. This 8.7 percent COLA increase builds upon the 7.5 percent pay raise Governor Parson and the General Assembly implemented for state workers in 2022.

“Our Department of Public Safety team members perform tremendously important work with skill and dedication, on our highways, in our Veterans Homes, and many other locations that require staffing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” DPS Director Sandy Karsten said. “We appreciate Governor Parson’s recognition of their hard work and his commitment to providing competitive salaries to fill critical positions and retain our professional team members to serve Missourians.” 

“State team members who rise each day to face the monumental task of providing vital services around the clock in congregate care settings are vital to the well-being of our state and our fellow citizens,” Acting DSS Director Robert J. Knodell said. “This recommendation will not only help us retain our dedicated team members, but will also help Missouri be a more competitive and desirable employer as a whole, ultimately allowing us to attract the additional help we need. I am incredibly appreciative of the Governor’s continued efforts to advocate for state team members to receive better compensation.”

“Governor Parson and members of the Missouri General Assembly have been consistent supporters of team members who perform the most difficult jobs in state government,” DOC Director Anne Precythe said. “This proposal also underscores their appreciation for staff who work demanding shifts in facilities that operate around the clock. We are extremely grateful for their ongoing commitment to helping us attract, retain, and compensate outstanding professionals who protect the safety and wellbeing of Missourians.”

“The $2 an hour shift differential for the congregate care workforce at 24/7 state-operated programs is very important. It acknowledges that increased pay is needed for the State of Missouri’s front line team members who work during hours when other staff are home with their families,” DMH Director Valerie Huhn said. “The daily work these public servants do is vitally important to thousands of vulnerable citizens. This recommendation coupled with a significant COLA demonstrates Governor Parson’s continued support of these team members.”

The 8.7 percent COLA increase is based on the increase given to Social Security recipients this year and the Consumer Price Index determined by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The FY 23 Early Supplemental Budget pay plan proposal would invest $151.2 million, including $82.4 million in general revenue (GR), in the state workforce.

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