After Mattox invited the DOH workers into his office, Thompson told him, "If workers can get a better pay structure, they will stay with you."
"I agree with you," Mattox said, adding that a DOH committee is working on the same issue. "But whatever we propose has to go through the Division of Personnel. Hopefully, they will adopt it."
Mattox said he personally supports "improving employees' pay."
Chambers said, "There should be a pay structure. You should get a raise every two years."
Gwynne Dillard, who has worked for the DOH for 31 years, said, "It is just not right the way they pay us. They pay teachers and school bus drivers good money. They make a lot more than we do -- but they couldn't even get to school if we didn't clear and maintain the roads.
"The more you learn, the more you know and the more you experience," Dillard said, "the more money you should make."
The petition delivered to Mattox asks the DOH to "develop a wage structure" like the state Parkways Authority. Adopting that system of "step wage increases based on years of service [would] address the wage disparities in our current wage structure in which most DOH employees are at the bottom of their pay grade and never move up in the pay grade of their classification," Thompson said.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.