Oklahoma lawmaker: Changes to compensation system will foster better government

BY STATE REP. LESLIE OSBORN

The state compensation system is broken and antiquated. The time has come to consider modern trends in employment, to ensure that we deliver efficient, high-quality service to Oklahomans.

When the compensation system for state employees was created, it was widely accepted that if employees did a good job and were paid adequately, they would stay for the “gold watch.” Today, society accepts that employees are portable; they don’t all graduate from college, accept a job and stay at that job until they retire.

One of the antiquated ways we reward state employees is with longevity pay. Changes must be made to scrap longevity pay and replace it with performance pay. If an agency employs three accountants and one does twice the workload of the other two, the agency head needs the flexibility to reward that employee with better pay.

The job of state government is to administer the core functions of government. The state must employ competent people to do those jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible. With state employees, as in any other business, you get what you pay for.

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