By The Associated Press

Thousands of Arizona state government workers are opting to give up civil-service job protections in favor of getting short-term pay increases and the possibility of other gains down the road.

The State Human Resources director says 5,300 workers voluntarily changed their status to "uncovered" under the state personnel system.

That's 38 percent of the total of nearly 14,000 workers eligible to make that decision under Gov. Jan Brewer's makeover of the state government personnel system.

Brewer has called the change one of the keys to her government reform agenda. She first pushed it in the 2011 legislative session, and it passed in this year's session.