Public Servants Missing Pay Raises as N.C. Governor Blocks Higher Salaries Again

Teachers will miss automatic ‘step’ raises this pay cycle, as well as targeted raises, as state operates under a continuing budget from last biennium

Raleigh, N.C. – State employees, teachers, correctional officers, and other public servants will miss out on budgeted pay increases this month as Gov. Roy Cooper continues to obstruct state funds to demand the General Assembly expand Medicaid.

The North Carolina legislature committed a seventh consecutive pay increase for teachers in its bipartisan state budget that was vetoed in late June.  Over that run of pay raises, the state had the third-fastest rising teacher pay in the nation according to the National Association of Educators.

North Carolina has passed 18 states in teacher pay rankings over the course of the General Assembly budgeting seven consecutive pay raises.  Since the pay raises began, nearly half of teachers have received at least a $10,000 raise.

The State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) supported this year’s spending plan and urged lawmakers to approve the compromise proposal that would provide a 5% pay raise and 5 bonus leave days to most state employees.

SEANC also supported a historic pay increase in the 2018 budget, calling it “a plan that will make North Carolina a leader in terms of living wages for public employees.”

Yet Gov. Cooper has never signed a state budget providing pay raises for public servants and vetoed three consecutive spending plans offering higher salaries for teachers, correctional officers, and state employees. 

“The state House has kept our commitment to reward North Carolina’s hardworking public servants year-after-year, because we know how important higher take home-pay is for public servants,” said Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland).   

Step raises that teachers would automatically receive of $1,000 per year, separate from targeted raises, are also frozen as the state operates on a continuing budget resolution until the legislature can once-again overcome Gov. Cooper’s veto of higher salaries. 

The pay raises for educators in the 2019-2020 budget approved by the General Assembly focus on better pay for veteran teachers after previous salary increases targeted early and middle-career teachers to raise starting teacher pay to $35,000 and average pay over $53,000.

Better pay for government employees has been a priority of the General Assembly’s successful approach to the state budget that built a $900 million surplus, strong savings reserve, lower taxes, and growing economy.

“The Governor is obstructing a proven approach to raising state employee pay through responsible budgets that invest in core priorities like education, infrastructure, public safety, and state personnel,” Speaker Moore said. 

“To hold up higher pay for thousands of North Carolina families, their communities, and their school systems, over a single policy preference is unconscionable.  We are committed to delivering another round of higher salaries despite the Governor’s game of keep-away from taxpayers and public servants with their own earnings.”