New pay plan for Arkansas workers to cost up to $60 million

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A new pay plan for about 25,000 state employees in Arkansas is estimated to cost between $57 million and $60 million a year.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that some agency administrators, registered nurses, information-technology employees and various entry-level workers will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the overhaul of state government's pay plan.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the plan will provide a salary increase of at least 1 percent to all state employees that it covers. Hutchinson says it will also boost the state's competitiveness with salaries in the private sector.

Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance and Administration, says the plan boosted the average annual salary for covered employees from $38,461 as of June 15 to $40,772 in the fiscal year that began July 1.