Sunday, April 27, 2008

State Workers Plan Monday Rally Over Pay

A group of state workers is expected to hold a rally in West Plains Monday to protest a pay raise package moving through the statehouse.

The communication workers of Local 6355 contend that a pay raise package amended by the state Senate will mostly benefit "insider Jefferson City bureaucrats," and not state workers "on the frontlines."

Organizer Zena Burns said the union workers are planning to rally outside the Department of Social Services office in West Plains between 11 a.m. and noon Monday to show their opposition to the plan.

Governor Matt Blunt has proposed a 3 percent raise for all state workers in his budget request. The Missouri State Workers Union opposes this plan because they claim it "puts more money in the pockets of people at the highest end of the pay scale, leaving little for the front-line workers."

"With many frontline state workers earning poverty level wages already, the smaller raise offered by the Governor would be quickly swallowed up in rising gas prices," said Richard von Glahn of Local 6355 in a press release. "State workers support the bi-partisan House pay raise that evenly distributes the money and gives frontline staff a significant enough increase to help make ends meet," von Glahn added.

The House bill passed in March, but the Senate amended that version.

Burns tells the KY3 Political Notebook that at least a dozen workers in West Plains are planning to use their lunch break to attend the protest. Other similar rallies are planned in different areas in the state, Burns said.

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