Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes announced today that he will include in his fiscal 1986 budget a 4 percent general salary increase for 60,000 state employes, plus selective raises of up to 7 percent more for about one-quarter of the state work force.
The total cost of the pay increase, which also includes partial implementation of a longevity scale for state police recommended by a gubernatorial task force, would be $76 million for the fiscal year that will begin July 1.
About 13,000 state employes will receive increases above the general 4 percent raise in what is known as the annual salary review. The annual review is used to increase salaries in job categories in which the state has difficulty competing with the private sector.
"These increases represent a wise investment in our efforts to reduce the cost of recruiting and retraining replacements for employes leaving state service for financial reasons," said Hughes.
Of those receiving more than 4 percent, about 10,000 are secretaries or clerical workers whose annual salary is below $12,000 and who will get raises totaling 11 percent.
Also included in the annual salary review were physicians, nurses, therapists, sanitarians, park rangers and maintenance workers.
Officials of Maryland public employe unions, while praising Hughes for the size of the annual salary review, nonetheless were critical of the general wage increase.
Joseph Adler, executive director of the Maryland Classified Employees Association, called the 4 percent raise "inadequate for the general state employe group." Adler said that state employe salaries have grown by 26 percent since Hughes took office, compared to an inflation rate rise of almost 50 percent. Hughes gave state workers a 6 percent increase last year.
"We're grateful . . . , but there are a whole lot of people out there who are not getting enough of a raise to bring them up to par," added William Bolander, associate director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 92.
Bolander accused Hughes of "feathering the nests" of top administrators in state service at the expense of lower paid employes.
But a lobbyist for the Maryland Troopers Association called the inclusion of longevity pay for state police a "positive and responsive step" by Hughes.
More than half of the state police will benefit from the longevity increments, which will give those with nine or more years on the force an additional 2 percent raise, and those with 21 or more years an additional 4 percent. A task force that studied state police pay had recommended four longevity steps ranging from 2 to 8 percent.