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Pay raises, payday shifts planned for '97

By Larry Hincker

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 24 - March 21, 1996

The Virginia General Assembly has passed legislation that provides for state employee pay increases and shifts the payroll pay dates. Classified staff members will receive a 4.35-percent raise on Dec. 1, 1996. Faculty members will be eligible for raises from a 6-percent merit pool. Pay increases are scheduled for Dec. 1, 1996 and 1997.

To fund planned pay raises for the faculty and staff and to bring the state's payroll practices more in line with industry standards, a shift in paydays will occur throughout the first eight months of 1997. To achieve the pay raise, pay dates will gradually "slide" between January 17 and Sept. 1, 1997. Time between pay periods will range from 14 to 17 days. (See chart.) Beginning Sept. 16, 1997, pay days will again be on the first and 16th of each month.

Although this means that 1997 will have 23 pay days instead of 24, gross pay in 1997 will be about the same as 1996, since pay will include the raise, according to Minnis Ridenour, executive vice president. The 4.35-percent increase for the classified staff is the exact amount needed to pay employees over 23 pay periods in 1997 equivalent to the amount that was received in 1996 at the prior salary level across 24 pay periods. However, because part of this increase is received in 1996, gross annualized pay for 1997 will be about .1 percent less than 1996 for the classified staff. In any event, it will be higher than if there had been no pay increase. (Faculty comparisons are difficult, because raises are not exact; they are merit-based.) However, the additional two weeks pay for all employees will be deferred into the future. Those earnings will be payable upon retirement or termination of service-and will be paid at your higher (final) rate.

Retirement contributions and future increases will be based on the higher base pay rate. This plan is actually preferable to another option, since there is a bona fide raise. The state had floated the idea of a bonus plan without a pay raise, but the General Assembly opted for this plan to provide the raise in base pay.

Currently, regular employees are paid for the pay period immediately preceding the pay day. The new system will enable payroll reports to be reconciled before issuing paychecks. For example, pay received on the 16th of the month will be for time worked from the first through 15th of the previous month.

PAY PERIOD-PAY DATE INFORMATION

Pay period-1997 Pay date

January 1 to January 15 January 17

January 16 to January 31 February 3

February 1 to February 15 February 19

February 16 to February 28 March 5

March 1 to March 15 March 21

March 16 to March 31 April 7

April 1 to April 15 April 23

Pay period-1997 Pay date

April 16 to April 30 May 9

May 1 to May 15 May 26

May 16 to May 31 June 12

June 1 to June 15 June 27

June 16 to June 30 July 14

July 1 to July 15 July 30

July 16 to July 30 August 15

August 1 to August 15 August 29