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Committee OKs Tennessee Lottery pay-scale plan

Sep 29, 2003, 3:14 am

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Tennessee Lottery

The pay scale for Tennessee Lottery workers will range from $19,750 a year for a warehouse clerk to $150,000 a year for a senior vice president, plus bonuses, according to a preliminary plan approved by a lottery committee.

Lottery workers also must pass a drug test before being hired.

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation's Human Resources Committee on Friday approved the plan, which still must be voted on by the entire board. Minutes later, new lottery chief Rebecca Paul hired her first employee.

Agenia Clark, director of human resources at Vanderbilt University, will serve in the same role for the lottery. Clark will be a vice president and make a base salary of $100,000 a year.

The plan - modeled after Georgia's games, which Paul led before moving to Tennessee - does not include the pay of executive vice presidents, who could be hired later at salaries higher than that of any senior vice president.

Paul said she didn't know if she would have any executive vice presidents, or how much they would be paid.

The final pay plan also will include bonuses on top of base pay, Paul said.

"We intend to have incentive pay for everybody from the mailroom clerk on up," she said. "We will just have to devise what that is. You can earn either commission or incentive pay based on performance of the lottery in your territory."

Denny Bottorff, chairman of the lottery board, said the goal is to hire "achievement-driven" individuals rather than "security-driven" people in an effort to boost sales. Adopting a preliminary pay grid was necessary so Paul can begin hiring staff, he said.

State legislators and others have been critical of Paul's compensation package, which could pay her more than $750,000 a year if she meets performance goals related to an early startup. Paul's salary makes her the highest-paid lottery director in the nation.

Critics also have said Paul should not pay lottery executives as much as those in Georgia were paid.

But members of the committee said Friday the lottery needs a competitive pay scale to attract top people who will help make the new games a success.

The committee also reviewed, but didn't approve, an organizational chart that had eight lottery executives reporting to Paul.

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