Officials from seven community colleges in Wyoming have sent a letter to Gov. Matt Mead requesting that he advocate for cost-of-living pay increases for their employees.
The letter, which was delivered to Mead in September, said colleges are having a tough time recruiting and retaining well-qualified employees when their salary does not account for increasing health care costs, inflation and a lack of affordable housing, according to Wyoming News.
“As the economic picture of Wyoming has improved slightly and provided some relief for state revenues, now is the time to make these investments in our state employees,” Laramie County Community College president Dr. Joe Schaffer wrote in the letter.
The letter detailed how many employees from the seven colleges have resigned from their positions as a result of finding opportunities with higher wages.
“Within the state’s 20-year plan for economic diversification, the heavy reliance on the work of the community colleges to help achieve our shared aspirations is clear,” Schaffer said. “Yet, at a time when the state is expecting more from us, we are operating under a considerable strain.”
Budgetary restraints and decreases implemented by the state legislature in 2017-18 as well as rising costs of health care are contributors to the problem, Wyoming News reported.