he Oklahoma Democratic Party is processing a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the internal study that was used to evaluate Oklahoma House of Representatives staff employee salaries and retention rates. This study was cited as the reason it was okay for Speaker Shannon to handout $280,000 in raises to only a few employees--some salaries increased by as much as 30 percent.
Speaker T.W. Shannon's spokesman, Joe Griffin, has stated, "We had an internal study, and we found that we had a problem retaining employees."
These salary increases are controversial because legislative leaders previously delayed action on pay increases this year while they waited on a $200,000 independent study on employee compensation. It looks like Speaker Shannon is playing favorites at the capitol while most state employees continue to wait for an across-the-board pay raise which has not happened since 2006.
"The message Speaker Shannon is sending to teachers, social workers, correctional officers, and highway patrol is that they don't matter as much as his personal staff of attorneys," commented Chairman Wallace Collins. "Dollars do not stretch as far as they used to and our leadership needs."