Governor Lincoln Chafee is requesting a 6 percent wage hike for members of his cabinet after shooting down a proposal to raise salaries for state university and college professors. According to The Providence Journal, the governor’s plan would provide a 3 percent increase to 14 state employees in June, followed by another 3 percent increase in December.
Last year, Chafee criticized higher education leaders for negotiating a tentative contract providing 3 percent raises for college and university employees. The governor said it would be unfair to increase salaries for state college workers at a time when families were struggling financially and tuition prices continued to rise.
The board then in charge of higher education responded by reconsidering the contract and never approved the tentative deal before being disbanded. The new State Board of Education has not yet taken up the contract.
Chafee’s office argues that department heads have been asked to slash budgets and have been working hard to increase government efficiencies. The governor’s spokeswoman tells The Providence Journal some members of the cabinet have not had a salary increase in 10 years.