Delaware state workers could get pay cut restored

    State workers in Delaware could start seeing bigger paychecks this summer.

    State workers in Delaware could start seeing  bigger paychecks this summer.

    Since last July, around 30,000 state workers have been earning 2.5% less in their paychecks.  The pay cut was one of many measures that helped close the state’s historic $800 million budget gap last year.

    But Monday, the 12 member Joint Finance Committee voted to restore the pay cut at a cost of $35 million dollars.  The Delaware Economic and Financial advisory council (DEFAC) has  projected a $100 million surplus for the 2011 budget year.  Governor Jack Markell has been on record supporting reinstating the pay cut as long as the budget surplus is still there in June.

    It’s welcomed news for state workers, who also had to start paying more for health benefits as well last year.

    “State Employees did take a hit last year, a very difficult hit,” Michael Begatto, AFSCME  Local 81 Executive Director, said.  “It’s going to be hard to recoup from all that and this is just one of the ways we’re able to do that, by restoring that 2.5%.”

     The move has to be approved by the General Assembly to become part of the budget bill.  State lawmakers must pass a balanced budget by June 30.

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