MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - We’re learning more about merit pay raises and bonuses being given to state government workers, at a time when most had their take-home pay cut. A Madison TV station and the Capital Times have have reported on $300,000 in bonuses given to 93 Justice Department workers. This afternoon, the Associated Press said 218 total state employees have been promised $765,000 in total merit raises and bonuses.Governor Scott Walker quietly reinstated merit pay over a month ago, after former Governor Jim Doyle cut it off in 2008. But the AP says state agencies were asked to delay the extra compensation at least until new fiscal year begins on July first.In any case, Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said agencies had to find the money within their budgets for the bonuses – and no new state money could be spent. Huebsch said Walker wanted to reward top performers, similar to what the private sector does. The UW System also promised about $300,000 in merit raises and bonuses. Five UW employees got the largest amounts awarded in the government – around $5,500. University spokesman David Giroux told the AP the bonuses went to those who took on extra responsibility, while getting larger pay offers from elsewhere. Giroux said it was about quote, “hanging on to the people we need to get the job done.”
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