Legislative Update: SEANC fighting salary cuts at UNC

Mar 19, 2021

SEANC is committed to ensuring that UNC System employees are not punished for shortfalls resulting from the pandemic. To that end, we strongly oppose a provision in House Bill 243 that would allow the UNC System to cut salaries to deal with budget problems.

The bill passed the House Education — Universities Committee on Thursday. University officials claim that they have no plans to cut salaries at this time. SEANC insists this should not be an option and should be removed from an otherwise acceptable bill.

H243 is currently in the Rules Committee. Lobbyists are working with legislators to make sure the bill does not pass as it currently is written.

$15 minimum wage must be extended to all state employees

SEANC made history in 2018, working with legislators to pass a first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage for state employees as part of the state budget. This change lifted starting salaries for numerous positions to $31,200 all over the state and brought critical help to working families.

Community college employees and non-certified public-school personnel – maintenance workers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other staff – were left out of this minimum wage salary increase. These employees also haven’t received a pay increase in two years.

These hardworking employees hold the fate of our state’s most valuable assets – our children – in their hands each day. They deserve the same respect as all other state employees for their hard work.

SEANC is working hard this session to call attention to this oversight, asking legislators and the governor to make a $15 per hour minimum wage for these employees a priority in their budgets.

Our efforts have been met with support from both sides of the aisle. SEANC worked with Rep. Terence Everitt, a Wake County Democrat, on minimum wage language and he filed House Bill 5 at the beginning of the session. The bill raises non-certified public-school employees to a minimum of $15 per hour.

This past week, Rep. Erin Paré, a Wake County Republican, filed House Bill 309 that also contains provisions to raise the minimum wage for this group of employees and grants a 2% pay raise for employees who are already at the minimum.