Topeka A state employee group Thursday described Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' proposed 2.5 percent pay raise as "lacking."
Carl Hill, chief of staff of the Kansas Association of Public Employees, asked the House budget writing committee for a 3 percent increase for state workers, plus a step increase.
"Without step movement, there is horrid inequity for the long-term employee," Hill said.
The committee took no action as it has only started the budget review process.
Within state employee pay ranges are steps of pay levels. Until recent years, state workers traditionally were given step increases annually based on longevity and pay.
But since 2001, there have been no step increases, only occasional cost-of-living increases that apply to all state employees. So now, it is possible for a worker to have several years of experience and earn the same as a new hire in the same position.
"It is time to restore step movement to the state pay plan," Hill said.
Several members of the committee said they were sympathetic to state employees but said because of recent tight budgets there has not been enough for step increases.
"We do realize we have the best state employees in the world," Rep. Bonnie Sharp, D-Kansas City, said.
Hill also asked the committee to approve an extra monthly check to public employee retirees who have not received an increase in benefits since 1998.