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Possible pay hikes for KY mine inspectors

KENTUCKY state officials may try and attract the most experienced and skilled coal miners into jobs as mine inspectors by boosting their starting salaries from $US34,000 to $US43,000 per year, a top administrator said.

Staff Reporter
Possible pay hikes for KY mine inspectors

Secretary LaJuana Wilcher, head of Kentucky's Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, told a legislative panel Thursday she was considering the plan to boost starting pay for mine inspectors, Associated Press reported.

Wilcher said an increased salary should help attract more mine safety inspectors and help the state retain those it currently has.

She said her proposal would cost the state about $750,000 per year, which her agency would try to fund internally.

“We have the finest mine safety inspection team in the country and we want to be able to keep them, not out of just loyalty, but we want to be able to compensate them in a way that's fair," Wilcher said.

Wilcher also proposed a pay increase for current inspectors. She said those who currently made less than $43,000 would get boosted to that amount and receive an extra 5% hike while those who made between $43,000 and $70,000 would get a flat 5% hike, Associated Press reported.

Kentucky Coal Association president Bill Caylor told Associated Press the increases were needed because the State Government was competing for job candidates with private industry and the Federal Government.

“It's an increase that we have to have," Caylor said. "What we need to do is implement that and see if it works."

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