State launches massive salary overhaul

TSEA December 8, 2022 Comments Off on State launches massive salary overhaul
State launches massive salary overhaul

Updated 12/13/2022

The State of Tennessee’s Departments of Human Resources and Finance and Administration, on Thursday, December 8, 2022, announced a new salary structure for executive branch employees. This plan represents the Lee Administration’s effort to increase compensation for many state employees to a market-competitive range. A ‘frequently asked questions’ sheet released by the State about the compensation plan stated the following:

     The changes to the overall salary structure result from a
     statewide compensation study conducted to evaluate the State of
     Tennessee’s competitiveness to attract and retain best-in-class
     talent. Market data was used to determine the competitive salary
     range for every job within the Executive Branch and placed
     positions into the newly designed salary grades. The salary grades
     were specifically designed to align with the State of Tennessee’s
     pay-for-performance philosophy and create additional opportunities
     for employees.

As part of this Compensation Plan, DOHR has adjusted state employee salary ranges closer to the market rate, adjusted salaries 1% above the new minimums, and increased pay as needed to ease salary compression. This ongoing effort will last into the coming years and will need funding in future legislative sessions. TSEA remains in communication with DOHR, and is gathering further details about the scope and impact of the plan.

Read more about the Compensation Plan here:

A few notes:

Employees fall under four possible categories:

  • Employees being brought to the minimum +1% of their salary grade
  • Employees receiving an increase due to compression
  • Employees currently paid a market-competitive salary and not receiving an adjustment
  • Executive Branch employees currently paid on a different base structure and not receiving an adjustment

73% of employees under the new salary structure will receive an increase.

Those previously at the top of their range will now have room to receive pay for performance instead of just a bonus.

Employees who have recently received special salary appropriations are not likely to see much movement, these employees include DCS Case Managers, Correctional Officers, and Probation and Parole officers.

The 2022/2023 budget year was the first of a multiple-year effort to secure and apply funding from the legislature to make all employee job salaries competitive and address any compression issues created with these adjustments. During future legislative sessions, TSEA expects the Governor’s budget to continue funding the market study until fully implemented. TSEA will work with your legislators and the administration through the lengthy budget process to protect this continued investment and persuade the legislature to add additional funds to the total budget. By doing so, additional funding will already be available when there is a final budget vote in May 2023.

We appreciate the legislature and Gov. Lee’s significant investment in state employees. We are encouraged by the potential to increase salary ranges for many of our dedicated, hard-working state workers, allowing for overall higher compensation over time.

A final thought, TSEA works diligently and methodically to keep your legislators informed about your concerns and issues. Through our consistent communication with your legislators and the Governor’s administration, state employees are not lost in the bevy of bills and issues at the legislature. TSEA has worked hard the last several years, sowing seeds of support in the legislature for state employees. We are glad to see those efforts paying off through consistent investments in state employees from the legislature and the governor’s administration.

Do you have questions or feedback about the plan?
For questions, please email the HR service center at: [email protected]

The State has also set up a feedback form, which you can access at this link:

And, of course, you can contact TSEA with questions, issues or concerns. Thank you for being a member of TSEA.