Gov. Doug Ducey, who this year offered teachers raises of less than 1 percent because of the state's austere budget, has given 44 of his staff members raises of up to 20 percent each over the past 2½ years, records obtained by The Arizona Republic show.

Those documents show Ducey has distributed raises to most of his staff since he was elected in 2015, with some getting multiple bumps in pay. The governor also promoted at least 40 employees, with their salaries increasing by amounts ranging from 5 to 100 percent. Just more than one-fourth of those receiving additional pay from promotions also received merit pay raises.

The average raise for a Ducey staffer was 11 percent since he took office.

The bulk of state employees have not had across-the-board pay hikes in recent years,  though the average pay for state workers has increased 4.2 percent, to $45,981, since Ducey took office because of merit raises to select workers. 

That increase mirrors inflation, as the consumer price index increased 4.2 percent in the metro-Phoenix area during the Ducey era. It increased 5.6 percent nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ducey, meanwhile, also has been generous to political appointees.

The largest pay hikes 

Department of Child Safety Director Greg McKay's pay increased by 33 percent since Ducey took office, lifting his annual salary to $215,250. Registrar of Contractors Director Jeff Fleetham, a donor to Ducey's gubernatorial campaign and political action committee, received a nearly 13 percent hike, jumping his pay to $115,000. Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead was given a 12.6 percent raise, lifting his pay to $197,000. And Parks Director Sue Black, recruited by  Ducey from Wisconsin, was given a 9.4 percent raise, bringing her pay to $175,000.

The Republican governor rewarded Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) Director Thomas Betlach, who makes $215,250 annually, with a $10,762 bonus last year.

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[Editor: Nothing happens in the economy until someone creates something to sell, be it a product or a service.  Ordinarily, we don't mind pay raises where merited.  However, if Governor Ducey believes we are still in an austerity situation in this state, he should not be doling out taxpayer-funded pay raises to his staff at a greater rate than he believes teachers deserve.  Does a person making over $200,000 deserve more during a time when the average worker, the ones who make the economic wheels turn, earns a mean average of $46,290 and the median pay for teachers in Arizona is $44,000. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics It's these people who pay the taxes that pay for the raises.]

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Remember PROP 123 that he and the GOP Legislators put on the Ballot to steal monies from the Trust Fund that SOT Dewit opposed, well teachers once again didn't get what was promised, but these Political Hacks got what they've been promised. Now lets not forget as well how poorly the process went in May to notify the voters with pamphlets as over 20% of those voting had already voted before receiving the info on PROP 123 due to the SOS not mailing them out, does anyone smell some Collusion in this? God Bless You All; Clair VAN Steenwyk

Many teachers put in 12 hour days and help build the future. The political hacks have their snoots deep in the trough and destroy the future!

Wow, $215 K per year.   That's aver $4 K per week.  How many of you out there make $4 K per week?  Maybe he works an 80 hour week. 

Remember Professional Politicians are required to pay off those who help and move their agenda along and Ducey is doing just that.

Oh, so he's got allot of palms to grease.

If one agrees government's purpose is to secure people's unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and an opportunity to pursue Happiness then one must agree Governor Ducey, along with most, if not every other elected official representing the people of Arizona, is guilty of a variety of crimes for having supported our being governed in accordance with the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. The $100 trillion plus combined public and private debt owed by Americans is a direct result of America's monetary policy called for by the 5th Plank of the Manifesto. I know of no elected official that has not shown their support for this policy. Whether they are simply supporters of communist policies or card carrying members of the Party is unknown but one fact is clear; they are not honoring their oath and supporting the Constitution.

Our beginning teachers get around $930 a week.  All have Bachelor's degrees with many Master's and some PhD's.  Frank and I are no longer young, and neither one of us can remember when a bond issue or mill levy money actually got to the teacher's that the public voted for them.  It's been a good while since we have voted for more money for teachers, because the administrators and all their buddies in the central office keep the money and the teacher's are left out in the cold again.  Until we stop voting money for these people, this will not stop.  And if you have kids in school, tell their teacher's how much you appreciate their efforts.

Pat and Frank Lister

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