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Politics

Unions Scoff at Rick Scott’s Bonus Proposal

January 30, 2013 - 6:00pm

State workers unions are scoffing at a proposal by Gov. Rick Scott to include a one-time $1,200 bonus for those employees, along with raises for up to 35 percent of employees in each agency, as part of the $74 billion budget due out this afternoon.

"We appreciate the governor's acknowledgement that the officers deserve a reward for their outstanding accomplishments, Matt Puckett, Florida PBA executive director, stated in a release.

But we believe base salary increases are long overdue. Some officers have gone six years without a wage increase due to state budget constraints -- not poor performance."

Doug Martin, of the American Federation of State, Municipal and Council Employees, said Scott's offer was impressive, but not good enough. In the past, Scott had only offered bonuses for 35 percent of the workforce.

"It's definitely better than what we expected," Martin told the Tallahassee Democrat.

Martin, while noting the offer is generous, prefers cost-of-living salary increases for his union members, who havent seen a base raise since 2007.

Scott is set to release his 2013 agenda at 2 p.m. at the Capitol.

On Wednesday, Scott said his agenda remains focused on jobs and education, highlighted eliminating sales tax on manufacturing equipment -- a $141 million savings to businesses -- and by a call to increase funding for K-12 education by $1.2 billion, which includes his previously announced $2,500 pay hike for teachers. The pay hike would account for $480 million of the increase.


Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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