Gov. Bill Haslam dismissing a Comptroller’s report questioning his efforts to impose a merit pay plan for state workers. Haslam has replaced automatic pay hikes with a merit work evaluation that also makes it easier to terminate under-performing employees. He says the evaluation process encourages workers to improve their job performance in exchange for pay hikes. A comptroller’s audit says the administration has had trouble training some 8,000 supervisors and managers that are evaluating some 40,000 employees. The report says as few as 8 trainers are available due to short staffing. Haslam says the Tennessee State Employees Association, which represents career workers, has endorsed the merit plan.