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There shouldn’t be a delay in state pay raises

Published 10:56pm Monday, June 24, 2013

It is hard to think of someone more deserving of a raise than the state employees of Alabama. It has been nearly five years since Alabama state employees have received a merit raise.

It comes as a sigh of relief to many employees and their families who have struggled with economic hardship. However, the boggling question for many is why now?

Gov. Robert Bentley said Monday state employees “have succeeded in performing their jobs above and beyond the call of duty.” This statement is completely true. The state of Alabama is blessed to have so many diligent people working hard to improve our state.

Democrats in the Alabama Legislature are thankful Gov. Bentley has decided to end the five year freeze on merit raises for state employees, but Democrats are questioning why Gov. Bentley decided to wait until January to instate the raise increase. The reasoning and rationale behind the governor’s action is because the year 2014 will be his make or break year.

Republicans in the Alabama Legislature should not play politics with the livelihood of state employees.

Gov. Bentley strategically planned for the raises to start in a major election year in order to increase the chances of his reelection. Giving merit raises to state employees is not on the top of Gov. Bentley’s priority list. If he feels so strongly about the well-being of our state employees, their raises should start immediately. They should not have to wait another day — much less — another six months to get the raise they deserve.

Republicans are sugar coating their actions to distract citizens of their true intentions. Gov. Bentley is not looking out for the best interest of state employees. He is well aware he will suffer the consequences of his actions in the 2104 election if he cannot turn things around for Alabama.

It is time for the Republicans to stop playing politics. Their income is what makes sure their families are fed and taken care of. State employees cannot afford for the government to dabble into their finances.

State employees in Alabama should not have to wait for a merit pay raise. They need their raises now. They needed them five years ago. There are too many families that would benefit from this gesture right now.

Five years is a long time for state employees’ hard work to go unnoticed and unrewarded.

I would like to say thank you to all the state employees for their diligence, hard work and loyalty to the state of Alabama. A merit raise should not just come during an election year. Merit raises for state employees should come more often.

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