The Idaho Legislature may change the way it analyzes state pay to better compare private sector and public sector pay.
Reports commissioned by the Legislature the past several years have shown that state employee wages are falling behind wages in the private market, but the reports make those calculations based on wages in several markets, not just Idaho. Several states that Idaho competes with for employees such as Washington, Oregon and Wyoming are analyzed in the reports.
Some legislators are now asking for information that shows more specifically how Idaho state employee wages compare to Idaho private market wages.
Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-Inkom, is sponsoring a bill that would require the change.
“One of the big questions is what would our wage and benefit packages look like we compared them to the Idaho’s private market – would we look more or less competitive?” Guthrie said.
The Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill Feb. 27. The bill will now go before the House.
“I think we do compete with markets outside the state,” said Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa. “Spokane is stealing a lot of jobs from us, but we aren’t saying we won’t look at that info. We just want to make sure we are doing both.”
The pay for Idaho state employees has fallen from 7 percent below the market in 2014 to 20 percent below the market in 2017, according to reports commissioned by the Legislature.
The Legislature uses the reports to determine state employee raises."