In the first round of pay raises since Wisconsin all but ended collective bargaining rights for state workers, supervisors issued average pay increases of 6.52 percent -- but only about one of 14 eligible workers saw increases.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported that more than half of the merit awards were one-time payments, and did not become part of base salaries.
The pay boosts are higher than those seen over the last decade, when contracts mandated pay increases ranging from zero to 2 percent.
One union leader complained managers are showing favoritism. Experts said the state risks losing valuable employees who didn't see raises.
Cullen Werwie, a spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker, said more departments will pay "discretionary merit compensation" in the future, and Walker will work to keep the best workers.