Governor Deval Patrick granted a 3 percent raise yesterday to 4,000 state managers beginning July 1, despite a budget that cuts higher education, local aid, and social services.
Patrick’s budget chief, Jay Gonzalez, sent a memo to Cabinet secretaries yesterday authorizing the raise, which will cost the state about $9.9 million and coincides with a salary increase for unionized employees. Managers have not had a pay raise since July 2007, a result of the fiscal crisis, and union members have seen only a 1 percent pay raise since that time.
“While we acknowledge that our economy is not fully recovered, this wage adjustment is the right thing to do to help the Commonwealth retain and recruit a talented and competitive workforce that can continue to work hard for the people of Massachusetts,’’ Patrick said in a statement that chronicled sacrifices by state employees during the recession, such as furlough days and high health care payments.
The governor and his staff will not get the raises, said a spokeswoman for Gonzalez, nor will the eight Cabinet secretaries.
The coming year’s budget, which also begins July 1, will be among the toughest in state history, as Patrick and lawmakers have been forced to address a $1.9 billion gap. Federal stimulus money that has propped up state programs during the depths of the economic downturn expires this year, forcing extensive cuts.
State college tuition and fees, for example, are set to increase 7.5 percent next semester, following a vote Wednesday by the University of Massachusetts board.
Read the rest of Noah Bierman's story here.