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Okla. Lawmaker to Study State Worker Compensation (Apr 10, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma lawmaker wants a comprehensive study of a compensation plan for state workers who have not had a raise in six years.

Rep. Leslie Osborn of Tuttle said Tuesday the study would help determine if a market-based compensation plan could be adopted for all state workers. The plan would bring state worker salaries closer to private-sector pay.

Sterling Zearley, executive director of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, says state worker salaries are about 19 percent below private market rates. Zearley says salaries are blamed for a 13 percent turnover rate for state employees, costing Oklahoma about $90 million a year.

Osborn says state officials are considering a one-time bonus for state workers of at least $750 that would be paid through changes in state employee health care benefits.

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