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W.Va. Division of Highways again a no-show at state Personnel Board for pay grade updates

By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Thursday’s West Virginia Personnel Board meeting agenda was notable for what it was lacking: Any mention of a new Division of Highways pay plan mandated by legislation passed in 2017, and currently the subject of a mass employee grievance.

Under the Justice administration bill, the division was directed to address high turnover and high vacancy rates at Highways by revamping its hiring process and rewriting job titles and pay grade classifications to improve rates of pay.

Since then, as the employee grievance — now in mediation — notes, Highways has adjusted pay grades for only a fraction of its roughly 5,000 employees. To date, the Personnel Board has approved Highways’ policy changes raising pay grades for the division’s lowest-paid employees and to substantially increase pay for bridge safety and maintenance workers.

Highways officials last appeared before the board in March, when the board rejected Highways’ latest round of proposed changes in job descriptions and pay grades, finding them lacking in detail. …

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