The General Assembly returned to Raleigh on Monday for the launch of its 2016 short session. And the state budget top the list of priorities. It seems that state employee pay and retiree cost-of-living adjustments may be the most contentious issue in budget negotiations once again.
2015-16 Board of Governors Meeting
SEANC Board of Governors meeting
May 13-14, 2016
SEANC Central Office
The General Assembly succeeded in overriding Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto of the budget today, clearing the way for the first pay raise for state employees and retirees since 2008.
Below is SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope's letter to members on the budget:
Dear SEANC members,
Late last night, the N.C. General Assembly was successful in overriding Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of the state budget. This means that active state employees and retirees will receive a pay raise for the first time since 2008.
As you know, SEANC never gives up. We used the override as an opportunity to get an even better deal for employees. So at 3 a.m. today, we gained an additional five days of annual leave for state employees as part of a last-minute budget corrections bill.
The final benefits of the budget for state employees and retirees are as follows:
Even though the governor’s veto put state employees’ pay and public services at risk, SEANC saw an opportunity to continue nonpartisan efforts to encourage legislators to do the right thing.
The veto override wouldn’t have been possible without the heroism of House Reps. Darren Jackson, Marcus Brandon and Marian McLawhorn. These legislators sided with public workers and voted in favor of overriding Gov. Perdue’s veto, even after facing criticism from their own political party. SEANC also thanks House and Senate leadership for working together on passing this budget.
Rep. Darren Jackson spoke in favor of state workers in his remarks to the House floor, saying, “I don’t represent the Democratic Party; I don’t represent the Republican Party. What I represent are my constituents. And being that I live in Wake County, I represent the largest number of state employees and teachers by percentage in the state. [A raise of] 1.2% is a lot to my constituents. I am not willing to leave it (the pay raise) here tonight, and that’s why I am going to vote to override.”
Although this raise is not as much as state employees need, SEANC remains hopeful that this is a starting point for further improvements next year and beyond. We thank you for your momentum in calling and emailing your legislators about this important issue.
SEANC Executive Director