FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear has announced a 10% pay raise for Kentucky’s social service workers.

He’s hoping to halt the loss of employees demoralized by low salaries and bulging caseloads. Beshear said Wednesday the pay increase takes effect Dec. 16 for social workers and family support services staff.

It’s the result of reclassifying their jobs to a higher grade. The governor says more than 3,900 employees are in line for the raises, costing about $15 million.

He says existing funds will cover the expense. Beshear says the raises are long overdue, as staffing shortages have left social workers overburdened with growing caseloads.