by Mark Curtis, ABC6 Chief Political Reporter
Rhode Island state employees have fewer financial advancement opportunities compared to other New England states, and compared with the private sector.
Richard Licht, Director of Rhode Island's Department of Administration said, "We have 17–hundred job classifications for about 13–thousands workers. It leads to inefficiency, ineffectiveness and in many cases unfairness."
State workers have not had a raise in two years, and longevity pay was eliminated.
Might they get more money this year?
Governor Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) said, "No promises. We go into negotiations. I am sure there are other issues that the unions – that the bargaining units are interested in – not just wages. So it's all part of the process."
The job study will consider reclassifying some state employees.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Among the goals of the report – to make government more efficient and to bring down the cost. With that in mind, it was pointed out Rhode Island for example, as eight different classifications, for the job of janitor."
One idea being considered, paying people for good job performance, rather than based on the job title.
So far the teacher's union will listen, but is guarded.
Patrick Crowley, of the National Education Association - Rhode Island Chapter said, "The disagreements still need to be flushed out. My members have not had a chance to look at this report. This has been embargoed until today. So we need to talk about those things in–depth."
State leaders say it could be another three to four years before all the changes to state employment can be put into action.