AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has given some child protective services caseworkers raises of as much as 9 percent despite a wage freeze for state employees that dates to 2009.
According to internal emails, the raises for 135 employees handed out last week were meant to boost morale and reduce turnover.
An email sent Thursday from Therese Cahill-Low, director of the Office of Child and Family Services, to employees details the raises.
A copy of the email was in a release issued Monday by the Maine State Employees Association.
The changes could add more than $400,000 a year to the state budget.
Republican State Sen. Richard Rosen, co-chairman of the Legislature's Appropriations Committee, tells The Portland Press Herald the raises address the issues of recruitment and retention.
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