Legislature calls for pay raises, retiree bonuses

May 25, 2018

Legislative leaders painted a grim picture for state employees earlier this year, telling SEANC to expect a modest bonus instead of a base pay increase. There was no mention of anything for retirees, either. At SEANC’s urging, Gov. Roy Cooper used his budget proposal to call for the largest investment in state employees and retirees in a decade.

The governor’s proposal, coupled with grassroots action by SEANC members through emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings at the General Assembly, led House and Senate leaders to change their tune and invite SEANC to the table to discuss our members’ priorities.

On Thursday, House and Senate budget writers invited SEANC to join them in unveiling a plan that raises pay for every state employee, puts more money in retirees’ pockets, addresses critical pay issues for everyone working in a correctional institution, and establishes a $15/hour minimum wage for state workers. Key provisions include:

  • Increasing the minimum salary to $31,200 ($15/hour) for all employees covered by the State Human Resources Act, estimated to be at least 12 percent of the state’s workforce.
  • Raising pay for most employees by at least 2-percent across-the-board. Separate funds for university and community college boards to raise salaries as they see fit.
  • Increasing pay for correctional personnel by 4-percent and providing differential pay for working in custody levels higher than their current classification.
  • Providing retirees with a 1-percent nonrecurring supplemental bonus and fully funding the retirement system’s actuarial required contribution.
  • Doubling the line-of-duty death benefit for correctional personnel from $50,000 to $100,000, with a retroactive provision to include the five officers and staff killed last year.
  • Awarding five bonus days of vacation for all employees.

The full budget is expected to be released on Tuesday, and votes could come as early as next Thursday.

Thank you to the thousands of SEANC members who wrote, called or met with their lawmakers! Your voice was heard. Without you, these negotiations would not have gone from a one-time bonus to a real wage increase for everyone.