A few months ago, the Department completed and submitted its FY 2014 and 2015 budget requests to the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB). The request included the annual salary survey, which shows the average DPS salary would require a 20.5% increase to equal the market.
The Department’s priority within the budget request is funding over the next 5 years to increase employee salaries. This request is for all DPS employees. The figure requested is $10.8 million per year for fiscal years 2014 through 2018. This amounts to a total of $54 million for salary increases over that time period.
AHPA is in support of this proposal from the agency, as discussed at our monthly meetings over past two months. However, AHPA would like to see a more condensed time frame; two or three years, at the maximum, to implement the increases. A three-year plan would require an $18 million appropriation (and permanent spending increase) to the agency for the salary adjustments.
The AHPA has been meeting with legislative leaders, including the Senate President and House Speaker, in an effort to provide substantial information to legislators on the importance of the Department’s budget request, particularly the pay proposal. Meetings have also occurred with staff from Governor Brewer’s office, including Chief of Staff Scott Smith and policy advisors Thomas Adkins and Lorna Romero as well as John Arnold from OSPB. The message is resonating, however, prioritizing the state’s budget will be another daunting task.
Meetings will continue as the new legislative session approaches and even into the session. This effort will also need the help of members across the state. AHPA needs you to contact your legislators, either in person or with a phone call or email, and provide them with specific information about this issue. Some of the talking points should include:
- Average salary at DPS is just over 20% behind market.
- Sworn vacancies have increased significantly since 2008 and will continue through 2016.
- Civilian vacancies have also increased as many have left for higher pay with other agencies or in the private sector.
- The state invests a tremendous amount of time and money in hiring a DPS officer and civilian. That investment is lost when that employee leaves the agency only after a short time.
- DPS salaries need to be competitive in a market that has a targeted applicant pool. Competing with other agencies will continue to reduce the availability of qualified candidates.
- A 2 or 3-year pay plan would prevent the agency from falling behind market. As history has shown, a 5-year plan typically never sees completion and even after the end of those 5 years, salaries have not kept up with the market.
AHPA encourages members and their families to communicate with their respective legislators. You can find your district representatives HERE: http://azredistricting.org/districtlocator Your elected leaders need to hear directly from you, a voting constituent.
Click here to read AHPA’s last pay scale study, that was distributed to all members and elected officials: