Many Alabama state employees are going to get their first raises in five years.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to reinstate merit raises starting Jan. 1.
State employees got their last merit raises and cost-of-living raises in late 2008. There have been none since then because the recession affected state tax collections.
Bentley signed a letter saying state employees have been asked to do more with less for several years, and it's time to resume merit raises. They can be up to 5 percent annually for meritorious performance.
The executive director of the Alabama State Employees Association, Mac McArthur, said the organization has worked with the governor and legislature for several months to resume the raises, and it is great news for employees who've seen their pay eroded by inflation.