HELENA -- Here's a look at the four state departments that have given broadband pay increases:
--Commerce: Director Dore Schwinden said the department has just under 200 employees, and every employee received a raise but him. The raises, totaling $196,000 for this calendar year, came from vacancy savings. Those in lower-paid bands 3, 4 and 5 received a 2 percent raise, while those in the higher-paid bands of 6, 7, 8 and 9 got 1 percent raises.
"We focused modest pay adjustments to keep the broadband intact," he said.
A spreadsheet provided by the department showed the raises ranged from 1 percent to 17.8 percent, and nine employees getting raises of more than 10 percent. The highest pay hike of $9,882 a year went to a computer information systems manager.
-- Fish, Wildlife and Parks: The Helena Independent Record reported earlier this month that 650 of the agencies 700 employees received wages, with 200 of them seeing raises of less than 50 cents an hour. These pay hikes, including benefits, are projected to cost $1.5 million to $2.5 million.
However, the deputy director, top fish and wildlife administrator and the top parks administrator saw salary hikes of more than $10,000, ranging from 12.8 percent to 17.8 percent. Director Joe Maurier said these top officials' wages were compressed with those of middle managers and were less than what other agencies paid for similar administrative jobs.
-- Labor and Industry: Commissioner Keith Kelly said the department gave raises to 238 of its 915 employees, or 26 percent, at a total cost of $600,000 a year. The average raise was 1.3 percent, he said. The range of raises, according a spreadsheet provided by the department, was from 0.638 percent to 22.78 percent, which was received by an insurance claims examiner. Thirty-six department employees got raises topping 10 percent. The biggest annual raise of $11,500 went to an insurance claims examiner.
Kelly said this is the broadband pay plan the department negotiated with unions and the raises varied.
"It really depends on which day you landed on the (department's) doorstep," he said. "Some came in below the market and got frozen. There's normally a raise at six months. We tried to bring them current."
--Revenue: The department gave raises to 37 percent of its employees, or 242 of its 642-person workforce, at a cost of about $385,000 for the year, including added benefits. Director Dan Bucks said the department was living up to its labor agreement negotiated with employees. Seventy-seven percent of the pay raises went to employees earning less than $45,000 a year.
The average pay increase was $1,590 a year, and ranged from 8 cents to $4,312, which went to an attorney. By percentage, the increases ranged from zero (the 8 cents) to 14.06 percent. Receiving the highest percentage increase were three tax technicians I and II, a data processor technician, an administrative assistant IV and a program manager.
"As of Jan. 1, we're keeping our word under our contract with our employees and trying to maintain the integrity of our pay plan," Bucks said. The department will come up with the money by "making good management decisions and tightening our belts and finding it out of the budget the Legislature gave us," he said.