State government’s top human resources director told lawmakers Thursday that she is not to blame for the 4 percent state employee merit pay raises that have become a largely automatic boost. State Civil Service Director Anne Soileau said the heads of state agencies are free to limit the raises to their best and brightest instead of treating them like cost-of-living increases.
An estimated 96 percent of the state’s 62,560 classified employees receive a merit increase of 4 percent every year. The raise traces to civil service rules that allow many state workers to receive a 4 percent merit increase annually.
“I’m not forcing anybody to give anybody 4 percent,” Soileau told the House Appropriations Committee. She said the buck stops with state agency heads, who sometimes find it easier to blame someone than to be accountable for their own actions.