Christmas — at least the pay — won’t come early next year for Kentucky’s 34,000-plus state workers.
State Personnel Secretary Thomas B. Stephens is going to stop in December 2017 “the long-standing tradition” of rearranging the regular pay schedule in the last month of the year to pay state employees prior to the Christmas holiday.
State workers are paid on the 15th and 30th days of the month except in December, when the second paycheck has traditionally come a few days before Christmas. This year, payday is Dec. 22.
But in December 2017, state workers will get paid on the 15th and 30th — as they do in the other 11 months of the year. The change will affect workers in all three branches of government — executive, judicial and legislative.
Personnel Cabinet spokeswoman Jodi Whitaker said Wednesday that the change is being made at the request of state employees.
“We have heard from a number of employees that early pay is burdensome because of the nearly month-long gap it creates between paychecks,” Whitaker said. “Therefore, we have decided to discontinue the practice in 2017, giving employees a year to adjust to the change.”
David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said he has not heard any state worker complain about the pre-Christmas pay in December.
The change next year appears to be fine, said Smith, as long as state workers are made aware of it to plan accordingly, he said.
Smith said his group will notify state workers next June and November to remind them about the change.
The Personnel Cabinet sent a memo about the early pay schedule on Nov. 22 to all constitutional officers, cabinet secretaries, agency heads and human resources officers in state government.