HomeFlorida NewsNearly 100,000 Florida state workers to get another pay increase with $134...

Nearly 100,000 Florida state workers to get another pay increase with $134 million taxpayer money


Florida – In an attempt to address the shortage in the state workforce, the Florida Legislature has included a pay raise for state employees in the upcoming $117 billion state budget, marking the third consecutive year of such an initiative. This decision comes as the state seeks to enhance the compensation for its 96,863 state employees by allocating approximately $134 million towards a 3% pay increase.

Legislative Process and Budget Details

The budget details were finalized by House and Senate leaders on Monday, with the document being published and distributed to lawmakers by Tuesday at 11:48 a.m. This distribution initiated a constitutionally mandated 72-hour cooling-off period, leading up to a vote on Friday, which will conclude the 2024 legislative session. House Speaker Paul Renner indicated a positive outlook for the session’s conclusion, suggesting lawmakers would have a “pretty good Friday.”

Check also: Florida taxpayers to pay $2 billion, one million state employees to get pension increase citing “cost-of-living” adjustment under new bill

The pay raise structure is designed to benefit various categories of state employees. Career Services employees, numbering around 79,000, are set to receive an annual increase of approximately $1,032. Meanwhile, middle managers and those in “select exempt” positions, totaling 16,000 employees, will see their pay increase by an additional $1,325. Furthermore, around 600 senior managers will benefit from a pay boost of $2,658.

This marks the third year in a row—and the fourth in the past five years—that state workers have received pay raises, a significant improvement from the two standalone raises seen between 2008 and 2019.

Concerns Over Teacher Pay

Despite these advancements, the Florida Education Association (FEA), the state’s largest labor union, has raised concerns about the relatively low pay for public school teachers, which is funneled through the state budget to local school districts. FEA President Andrew Spar emphasized the state’s capacity to fairly compensate teachers and education staff professionals, highlighting the importance of fully funding public education and addressing teacher vacancies.

Check also: No Florida governor like DeSantis in the last 15 years: All Florida state workers benefiting from recent governor’s decision

The starting salary for Florida teachers stands at $47,500, below the national average of $50,200, with nearly 5,000 teacher vacancies reported statewide at the beginning of the current school year.

State Government Efficiency

Florida is known for running a leaner government compared to other states, a trend that continues as the state government size decreases. With an average cost of $40 per resident for state worker compensation, Floridians pay less than half the national average of $90. The state employs 96 individuals per 10,000 residents to manage paperwork, maintain facilities, and provide services, which is significantly lower than the national average of 198.

Check also: Minimum wage set to increase across 25 states including Florida in 2024. Here’s how it will impact Florida workers!

The Department of Management Services’ annual workforce report indicates that since 2018, 10,210 workers have left their state jobs, while only 355 positions have been eliminated. Since 2019, the average base pay for state workers has increased by about $4,000. However, the state currently faces more than 17,000 vacant positions, amounting to approximately 19% of positions being unfilled.

Governor Ron DeSantis, who will have the final say on the state pay raise, has proposed eliminating about 1,400 jobs across state government in his budget proposal, further highlighting the ongoing challenge of balancing government efficiency with the need to attract and retain a capable state workforce.

Read more