Most of Arkansas's nearly 57,000 state employees have gotten a two percent pay raise.
The cost-of-living pay raises that began July 1 with the start of the 2014 fiscal year are the first for state employees in three years, boosting the average annual salary from $38,700 to $39,474, according to the Department of Finance and Administration, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Sunday.
The state had 56,879 full-time workers at the end of fiscal year 2012, the most recent numbers available, and the pay raises are for about 27,000 of those employees. The salary increase was funded by the Legislature at most agencies, but not at the state's two- and four-year colleges, although some colleges are providing at least some employees with raises.
In general, classified workers are support personnel, and non-classified workers are faculty members and administrators.
Faculty members at some of the state's higher-education institutions, including the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and on the University of Arkansas campuses in Fort Smith, Little Rock and Pine Bluff - aren't getting the 2 percent increase, although their classified employees are, according to officials at those universities.
State employee salaries are projected to total $3.572 billion in fiscal 2014 - $49 million more than in fiscal 2013 - according to state budget administrator Brandon Sharp.