Employee pay raise passes

By Rochelle McConkie

House Bill 4, which determines state agency and higher education compensation increases for the upcoming fiscal year, passed in the Senate yesterday and must now be signed by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to go into affect.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley, provides for a 3 percent compensation increase for all university employees and 2 percent cost of living increase contingent on changes in health plans. It also provides funding for a 9.9 percent increase in premiums for higher education employee health benefits.

The bill passed with a vote of 26 to 2.

U Vice President for Government Relations Kim Wirthlin said the U hoped for a compensation increase of 3 to 5 percent, and was happy with the increase in light of recent economic downturns.

“With the revenue much shorter than we thought it would be, we’re glad to have a 3 percent increase,” she said.