LARNED — Larned Mayor William Nusser, city manager Brad Eilts, and councilman Kim Barnes had good news to share with city council Monday night. Governor Laura Kelly authorized pay increases for direct care staff at Larned State Hospital last week, which took effect Sunday, Dec. 1. Security guards received the biggest boost with an 8-step increase, and Mental Health Developmental Disability Technicians received a 4-step increase. Other positions received 2-step increases.
“That puts the Larned State Hospital and the DOC at the same level, and is probably a multi-million dollar win for the city,” Barnes said.
Monday morning, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard announced the executive directive signed last week.
“KDADS’ state hospital employees do important and meaningful work every day that has a direct impact on the quality of life for some of our most vulnerable citizens,” Governor Kelly said. “I was proud to sign this directive to support them in those efforts as part of my commitment to our state workforce.”
Pay increases affect more than 325 current benefits eligible employees and new hires in a variety of supervisory, technician, nursing, developmental and security positions.
“Pay increases are part of a continuing effort by KDADS to address staffing and retention challenges at our state hospitals,” Secretary Howard said. “Fundamentally, we are working to lower overtime costs and hours worked, reduce turnover and unfilled positions, and give our human resource experts tools to enhance recruitment and retention efforts.”
“We operate in a very unique situation in western Kansas, where the number of workforce applicants is smaller than other areas in the state and we compete with other state agencies for those qualified applicants,” said LSH Superintendent Lesia Dipman. “This increase will not only move us toward reducing the disparity in pay levels with facilities in the surrounding area, it will help us acknowledge the work our dedicated staff does every day to provide excellent treatment to our residents.”
Implementing these pay increases is the result of dedicated involvement from and collaboration with Governor Kelly, the Secretaries of KDADS and the Kansas Department of Administration, and the Kansas Organization of State Employees.