Almost all (98%) of US-based respondents are planning pay increases for their staff in 2016, according to research by Towers Watson Data Services.The survey of 1,116 US employers, published in August 2015, also found that executives and management can expect average increases of around 3% in 2016. The research also revealed:Respondents project an average salary increase of 3% for exempt non-management staff in 2016, the same as the increase received in 2014 and 2015.Respondents are planning a 3% salary increase for non-exempt salaried and non-exempt hourly employees in 2016. Exempt workers who received the highest performance ratings were granted an average salary increase of almost 5% this year, 77% higher than the 3% increase given to workers receiving an average rating.85% of exempt employees received a bonus this year, up from 81% in 2014.87% of exempt employees were eligible to receive an annual or short-term bonus in 2015, compared to 86% in 2014.Sandra McLellan, North America practice leader, rewards, at Towers Watson, said: “While most organisations are finding the talent they need at current salary levels, we are seeing more employers prioritising how their salary budgets are being spent, especially in light of their ongoing difficulty in attracting and retaining top performers or employees with critical skills.“We’ve seen many employers make dramatic changes to their approach to performance management, including eliminating formal performance reviews or taking a ‘ratingless’ approach to reviews. Many organisations are rethinking whether linking base salary increases primarily to last year’s performance makes sense or if this should be the role of short-term incentive and bonus programmes.“It’s no longer all about base salary. While our research consistently shows the importance of pay when employees decide to stay or leave an organisation, we also know their decisions are not just about the money. Opportunities for career development, learning development and challenging work are top drivers of retention.“It’s the value of the total package; compensation, benefits and non-monetary rewards, that makes the difference. As a result, organisations are paying closer attention to understanding how employees value these elements.”
“It was the most negative campaign I’ve ever seen on the lower peninsula,” Seaton said.State Republican Party spokeswoman Suzanne Downing says the party has room for improvement, in turning out voters in the November general election.“Every single district could improve their voter turnout, and I think as a party we’re going to work a lot harder on that for the general,” Downing said.The only legislator who isn’t a member of either caucus – Eagle River Representative Lora Reinbold – was re-elected. The Republican caucus expelled her in 2015 after she refused to support a caucus-backed budget. She says she wants to rejoin the caucus and work with them to set their principles for the next term.Rep. Lora Reinbold won the Republican nomination for her seat. (Photo by Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)“And alls I’m asking is that we stick with those principles,” Reinbold said. “And that’s why it’s really important the team that we send down there. And we’re just hoping that we’re lock in step and stay under the umbrella of our principles.”While most competitive races were in the House, the state’s most expensive race was in an Anchorage Senate district, where Natasha Von Imhof defeated Representative Craig Johnson and Jeff Landfield.The state Division of Elections still has to count absentee and questioned votes, and won’t certify the primary results for more than two weeks.Anne Hillman of Alaska Public Media and Shahla Farzan of KBBI contributed to this report. Alaskans ejected as many as five incumbents from the House in the primary yesterday. And they also rejected two House members who tried to move up to the Senate. But not many people showed up to vote. It was the lowest turnout for a primary in state history.Listen nowThree Republican incumbents and two Democrats who caucused with the Republicans trailed their opponents in a primary that drew only 15 percent of voters, not counting outstanding absentee ballots.Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, speaks in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 6, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, April 6, 2015. (Photo by Skip Gray, 360 North)House Majority Leader Charisse Millett attributes both incumbents’ headwind and the lowest-ever turnout to the same factor – low oil prices that have hurt Alaska’s economy and the state budget.“When you are in a deficit, I think people are, you know, it’s depressing. People to get and vote for, you know, candidates that are upbeat, and it’s hard to be upbeat in this environment.”A lack of highly competitive statewide races also contributed to the low turnout.Millett, who was unopposed, said it was a tough year to run for re-election.“People are looking for someone to blame for the falling oil prices and, you know, a sitting legislator is an easy target,” Millett said.It’s not yet clear how the primary will affect the balance of power in the Legislature. But if the current totals hold up and Republicans continue to hold the majority, they will have to do so with two fewer Democrats joining them. That’s because Bob Herron of Bethel was defeated by Zach Fansler, and Benjamin Nageak of Barrow trails Dean Westlake of Kotzebue.Casey Reynolds, who edits the political blog The Midnight Sun, says this year’s special sessions kept incumbents in Juneau and away from their districts. With the apparent losses of Herron and Nageak, he sees the chances of a bipartisan coalition increasing.“A bipartisan organization is more likely today than it was before the election,” Reynolds said. “And the general election is going to be very important. It’s really going to be the deciding factor on this one.”One Republican who showed a willingness to cross party lines lost. George Rauscher defeated Republican Representative Jim Colver in a district that sprawls from Valdez through parts of Palmer to Big Delta. Business groups targeted Colver after he voted to reduce oil and gas tax credits.George Rauscher, candidate for Alaska House seat 9. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)Rauscher had said Colver was likely to join a bipartisan coalition with Democrats. But similar comments aimed at other candidates didn’t succeed. In Palmer, Richard Best lost after making a similar charge against DeLena Johnson. And Homer incumbent Paul Seaton won, despite, he said, being subjected to disturbing and unfounded charges.