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State Workers Sue Georgia for Raises

ATLANTA (CN) - Ten thousand state employees demand that Georgia come through with the raises it promised. The class action in Fulton County Superior Court says Gov. Sonny Perdue has no right with withhold the 2.5 pay increase the Legislature authorized last year.

William Estill filed the complaint on behalf of more than 10,000 state employees. Georgia's 2008 Appropriation Act authorized the pay increases, to take effect Jan. 1, 2009, but employees are still waiting for it.

Estill says Perdue signed a 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Act two and a half months after state employees should have got their raises. This act deferred the 2009 salary increase. Estill says it's not really a deferment, it's a denial of the salary increase, as nothing in the Supplemental Act or the following 2010 Appropriation Act will reimburse employees for the raises they lost this year.

Other methods, such as a reduction in force or higher taxes could have been used rather than slashing raises for all employees across the board, Estill says.

He seeks an injunction reinstating the raises, with back pay. He is represented by Wilbur D. Owens III with Owens & Mulherin.

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