In a presentation before the West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Committee on Government and Finance, UE Local 170 made the case that it’s time for the West Virginia Division of Highways to develop a fair wage structure for DOH employees. The Joint Committee on Government and Finance meeting was on August 15. The presentation received news coverage around the state.

Highways employees have complained for years that very few employees ever move up in the pay grade for their classifications. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which UE Local 170 received from the West Virginia Department of Transportation in January 2012, shows that most DOH employees are at the bottom of the pay grade for their classification, causing a high turnover among DOH employees across the state.  

The average hourly rate for DOH employees in the Transportation Worker 2 classification, the largest DOH classification, is $10.80 an hour. Workers in the private sector with similar skills earn two to three times that amount. 

In its presentation, UE Local 170 proposed that the DOH develop a wage structure, like the West Virginia Parkways - which also falls under the WV DOT - with step wage increases based on years of service.

DOH members are circulating a petition to DOT Secretary Paul Mattox, asking the DOH to develop a wage structure like the WV Parkways with step wage increases based on years of service. You can download a petition here. (Adobe Reader required.)

UE Local 170’s presentation before the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is an important development for WV state workers. Usually, it is only the heads of state agencies or their representatives who appear before the committee. This may be the first time that representatives of WV state workers appeared before the committee.

You can read news coverage of the meeting here.