Justice Asking Legislature For Raises, Bonuses For State Employees
Flanked by Senate President Craig Blair and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, Gov. Jim Justice announced that he will seek a five percent raise for all state employees in 2022.
Additionally, Justice announced that all state employees will receive a one-time 2.5 percent bonus to combat the rising costs of inflation. The governor said the bonus will be known as the “Inflatocine” – short for inflation vaccine.
“As we’ve gone through this horrible pandemic, we’ve continued to kick out surplus after surplus,” Justice said. “Our state is doing really good. I commend everybody that’s made all the right moves on the chessboard. We want to reward our people for a lot of great work that they’ve done and we also want to continue to help our teachers and make education our centerpiece in West Virginia.
“In addition to this, we have a situation going on in this country with this runaway inflation,” Justice continued. “So we’re going to do a one-time supplement to try to help our teachers and state employees who are contemplating how they’re going to fill their cars up with gasoline and buy groceries with the inflated prices.”
The pay raise and “Inflatocine” bonus will be submitted to the West Virginia Legislature in the form of a bill, which legislative leaders announced they intend to support during the 2022 Legislative Session.
Both leaders indicated their support.
“We are rowing the boat in the same direction, working together as a team, and the coach of this team is the governor. He’s leading the way,” Blair said. “He talks about that rocketship. We’re on the rocketship. We just need to keep going and take West Virginia from 50th to first place in every category. We’re getting there, and it’s time for us to reward and pay the dividends to these state employees. I’m confident that we’ll have no problems getting this through the Legislature.”
Hanshaw was also optimistic..
“We’re happy to be able to join with the governor today and indicate that, as the House, we do have support for the across-the-board pay raise,” Hanshaw said. “We know that it’s been a stressful time over the course of these past two years, when people have had to deal with remote work situations that they normally wouldn’t have been accustomed to or have had to work in environments that have not necessarily been conducive to the usual performance of their jobs. We have chronic turnover in some of our most important state jobs here in West Virginia. We have to deal with that, and dealing with it in the form of compensation is an important part of that process.”
Justice did not discuss how much the raise and the bonus would cost the state or how it would be paid for. He did not take questions from the media during the announcement.
Justice referenced the bonus in terms of helping employees with the holidays, but both measures will require the approval of the legislature, which won’t meet until January 2022.