Is anyone looking into the fact that we’ve had several years with a lack of increases in salaries across the board? This has put us in a situation where we’re not competitive with many other areas of the state and we’re losing staff. Then it’s a complicated situation because of the rules that are in place for hiring staff. It’s a problem in many areas, housekeeping in particular.
Dr. Perman: No. 1, everybody shares your perspective starting with me. I wasn’t here for all of the last five years but I know what the four years of furloughs and the lack of raises have done to put us at a broad disadvantage for taking care of our employees, acquiring new people, and retaining those we have. Of course, what we can do as a state agency is dictated by the state.
But things are turning around. Our workforce received a 2 percent raise on Jan. 1 and if anybody read my recent announcement, we have good news upcoming. Perhaps Marjorie Powell, our associate vice president for human resources, can provide some specifics.
Ms. Powell: On Jan. 1 in 2014, we will receive a 3 percent COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) that will be in place for all UMB employees. We also will be eligible to receive a merit increase in April 2014. The details need to be worked out. Human Resources will have much more about this in upcoming months.