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West Virginia Highways workers lose largest mass public employee grievance in state history

By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — What is believed to be the largest mass state employee grievance in West Virginia history, involving 501 Division of Highways employees, has been denied.

In a decision issued Tuesday, Public Employees Grievance Board Chief Administrative Law Judge Billie Thacker Catlett concluded that the employees had failed to prove that Highways officials were required, under a 2017 law, to give pay raises to all employees or that a staggered rollout of a new compensation plan discriminated against many employees who did not receive raises.

“It is understandable why grievants feel betrayed,” Catlett wrote. “In its response to a legislative audit in 2020, the respondents admitted that the DOH was ranked 50th in compensation among the nation’s state highway agencies. Grievants saw employees in other classifications get substantial pay increases and were told to be patient, and yet their raises never came.”

The grievance stemmed from Highways’ slow response to a 2017 law intended to address recruitment and retention issues caused by comparatively low pay by authorizing the division to create its own classification and compensation plan…

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/wv-highways-workers-lose-largest-mass-public-employee-grievance-in-state-history/article_9c961002-e7c0-5425-8da2-93c29b9674d2.html

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