The State Worker

New Mexico, Iowa have California-style state pay issues

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In two stories that sound like they could have happened in California, payroll-system problems have delayed back pay for thousands of New Mexico state workers while in Iowa, the state and a union have come to an agreement over withheld meal money.

About 10,000 current and retired New Mexico employees are supposed to receive $30 million in back pay and raises after the New Mexico Supreme Court let stand a ruling that the state had shortchanged wage increases due employees in mid-2008. Earlier this year, the state increased pay and said it would make good on its debt by June.

The state has issued back pay checks for about 4,200 people. The payments for the others involve more “complex” calculations that are taking more time, according to a state official quoted in The Albuquerque Journal. Here’s video from KOAT:

Meanwhile, 3,200 Iowa state workers will be getting a total $1.5 million in meal money expenses that the state withheld since 2011. (Sounds a lot like the recent beef between California Association of Professional Scientists and the Brown administration.)

AFSCME Council 61 negotiated an agreement with Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration to reimburse members for funds withheld since 2011. Some employees stand to receive $2,500 or more, the union told the Associated Press.

Call Jon Ortiz, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1043.