Members of Bethel Baptist Church in Tallahassee along with preachers from around Florida made it clear. They want to see across the board pay raises for Florida's state workers.
"It's time to say to the Governor and to the president of the legislature that it is high time that we honor our hard working state employees," said Bethel Reverend R.B. Holmes.
No local state senators or representatives were invited to the event, but Reverend Holmes says they were contacted.
Eyewitness News reporter Matt Galka asked Reverend Holmes why he supported state workers as opposed to non-state workers who also haven't gotten a raise in six years.
"I'm talking specifically about state employees, that's where my energy is focused now," said Holmes.
Even though he did not attend, Democrat State Representative Alan Williams agrees with the clergy's message about state employees.
"Even though these are tough budget times, we need to find the ability to give them what I believe is a fair wage and an increase in salary," said Rep. Williams.
According to the most recent numbers, state government is the largest employer in Leon County by far at more than 20-thousand workers.
Bethel Missionary Baptist Church Release: Ministers' Alliance, Tallahassee Chapter of National Action Network, Elected Officials Want Support for Hard-hit Families Across the State of Florida
Tallahassee, Florida - A coalition of ministers, community leaders, and state elected officials will hold a joint press conference Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at 11:00 AM at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 224 North Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The group will push for Governor Rick Scott to allocate a pay raise for all state employees, including teachers.
Led by Reverend R.B. Holmes, Jr., Pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and local president of the Tallahassee Chapter of the National Action Network, the group is advocating for pay raises all state employees. "I am pleased that Governor Scott has proposed to give all teachers a $2500 pay raise; I think this is a movement in the right direction. However, we can find the will and the resources to honor all state employees" said Holmes in a recent editorial in the Capital Outlook newspaper.
"It is time for the Governor and the Legislature to give a pay raise to all state employees" said Rev. Joseph Wright President of the Tallahassee SCLC chapter.
"State employees contribute to the strength of our economy. Many of them are first- responders; some serve as our nurses, teachers, state troopers, and protectors of our water, food, and in other areas" stated Rev. Holmes.
The group will also announce its action plan to rally the faith-based community, community organizations, and key legislative leaders to support pay increases for all state employees, including teachers.