Senate prioritizes pay raises for state employees

Jun 03, 2019

The N.C. Senate passed its budget Friday that includes the largest two-year pay increase for state employees in more than a decade.

It’s the first time that state employees would receive a larger raise than teachers after years of being an afterthought in budget negotiations. SEANC's lobbyists have worked hard to point out the inequity in pay increases to Senate leaders.

SEANC was the only association invited to take part in the Senate’s press conference to unveil the proposal on Tuesday. President Jimmy Davis and Executive Director Robert Broome were on hand to point out that state employees had not been made a priority in recent state budgets.

"It's not possible to make up for decades of inequity in one year, but you have to start somewhere," Broome told reporters. "The time has come for lawmakers to prioritize the pay of all state employees."

Sen. Harry Brown, the head budget writer for the Senate, said over the last five years teachers have received raises of 20 percent, while state workers received 7.6 percent.

Most state employees would receive a 2.5% pay increase in each of the next two years if the proposal passes into law. The UNC System would receive $15 million to pay for raises for its staff, to be determined by the UNC Board of Governors.

Correctional officers would receive an additional bump of up to $7,500 depending on the vacancy rates of the prisons in which they work

After the press conference, Davis and Broome recorded the message below on the budget for members.

Retirees must act now to show they deserve respect!

SEANC does have points of strong disagreement with the Senate budget, though. Like the House, the Senate left retirees out in the cold once again. But we’re not giving up. 

SEANC’s lobbyists are hard at work asking legislators to respect the retirees who are struggling with rising prices of everything from food to medicine to services by granting a true cost-of-living increase. 

SEANC asks all members to stand up for retirees by clicking here to contact your legislators. Tell them why you think retirees deserve a meaningful raise.

Unexpected proposal would displace 2,000 DHHS workers

Another source of contention SEANC has with the Senate’s budget came out of left field once the whole proposal had been published Tuesday night.

Tucked away in a few lines of the budget bill was language that will uproot the lives of up to 2,000 state employee families. The proposal includes $250 million to build a new administrative facility in Granville County to house employees who currently work in the Dorothea Dix location in Raleigh.

SEANC spoke out against the proposal, which affects more than twice the number of employees impacted by the planned move of DMV headquarters to Rocky Mount. We continue to lobby lawmakers to rethink the plan and keep these employees in Raleigh.