A legislator criticized the state agency that cut funding for some of the senior nutrition programs for giving raises to top administrators. But a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services said the raises were adjusted the last 18 months for all employees in the sprawling agency.
The Oklahoma Commission for Human Services in the last six years put aside $1.5 million to partially address market-rate adjustments, said DHS spokeswoman Lauri Monetti. The adjustments could not be done at once because the pay was so far below other state agencies. "Over the last 18 months, salary adjustments were made to 423 jobs that included mostly front-line workers,” she said. The Hay Group of Kansas City, Mo., was contracted to study the salaries of the agency’s executives and compared them to similar state government jobs, Monetti said. The report found most were paid below recommended ranges; agency leaders being paid within or close to recommended ranges received no increases. Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, said top administrative staff at DHS received almost $200,000 in pay raises. He said 29 of the top 36 administrators at the agency received raises ranging from $135 per month to an additional $1,894 per month.