Following Substantial Pay Increases, DAFS to Pursue Updated Market Study Report

AUGUSTA, Maine – Following a more than 24 percent pay increase for State of Maine employees in just under five years, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services today submitted a report to the Legislature outlining a new strategy to promote competitive pay and benefits for employees.  

In 2020, the Mills Administration conducted a Market Study Report that compared the compensation of State of Maine employees to both private and public sector jobs at that time. Since then, the Mills Administration, with Legislative approval, has increased the pay for State of Maine employees by at least 24.1 percent, and initiated other efforts that have significantly improved the state’s classification and compensation plans:  

  • conducted hundreds of evaluations impacting the base pay compensation of more than 5,500 positions – nearly half of state government workforce; 
  • established a new higher pay tier that provides a four percent increase over the lower tier for most employees who had reached their maximum allowed pay; 
  • advocated for increased funds available for collective bargaining, which each time was approved by the Legislature, ensuring employees are compensated appropriately within budgetary constraints. 

The report submitted by the Department today states that, because of increased wages, enhanced supplemental pay such as stipends, shift differentials, and allowances, and expanded benefits, the 2020 Market Study is now out of date and outlined a new approach to promoting competitive pay and benefits for State of Maine employees.  As part of a comprehensive list of recommendations, the Department reported it would change its approach to more frequently streamline job classification categories and stay current with market by participating in private and public sector classification and compensation forums.  

The Department will also conduct an updated Market Study Report targeting positions with chronic recruitment and retention issues, as well as a sampling of other classifications, to determine how the State’s improved wages and benefits now compare to private and public sector employers and to ensure that the State stays competitive. That report is expected to be delivered in September 2024.  

In total, the Mills Administration has negotiated at least 24.1 percent in cumulative increase in wages in just under five years, which is equal to all the pay raises given by previous administrations over the prior 16 years. Maine State Government is Maine’s second largest employer and negotiates salary and benefit increases for its more than 9,800 employees through the collective bargaining process with five different unions.