State Employees to Receive Pay Raises in Upcoming Budget

Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina’s state employees will receive a significant pay boost in the upcoming state budget under an agreement announced Thursday by House and Senate budget writers.

Co-chairs of the House and Senate appropriations committees said most state employees will receive a two percent permanent pay raise, with larger increases for State Highway Patrol troopers, correctional officers and those in lower-paid positions. Retired state workers will receive a one percent cost-of-living supplement.

The State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) Executive Director Robert Broome praised the announcement at a press conference with budget writers:

“What I’m just tremendously excited about is the fact that we were able to sit down with the House and Senate leadership and come up with a plan that will make North Carolina a leader in terms of living wages for public employees,” Broome said Thursday.

“For that, SEANC applauds the House and Senate leadership and look forward to working together for a long time to come.” 

The salary increases are possible thanks to pro-growth economic policies implemented by legislative Republicans that have generated North Carolina’s fourth consecutive revenue surplus this year.

Overall, the budget will direct more than $200 million in additional funding toward pay raises for state employees and will include:

  • A 2 percent permanent salary increase for most state employees and a one-time cost-of-living supplement for retirees.


  • Funding to raise the minimum salary for all full-time state employees from $24,332 to at least $31,200.


  • A new pay plan for State Highway Patrol troopers that will raise starting pay to $44,000 and provide troopers a roughly eight percent average pay raise. The new plan will also accelerate the timeframe for a trooper to get to top pay to six years.


  • Roughly $22 million to provide correctional officers working in state prisons a four percent salary increase. The budget will also expand the covered population for the line of duty death benefit, and double the benefit’s value from $50,000 to $100,000, ensuring all families of the victims from recent prison attacks receive that benefit.


  • $20 million for pay raises for public university employees and $24 million for community college employees.


  • A one-time 1% retirement supplement for retirees.


  • Provides 5 non-expiring bonus leave days. The days cannot be cashed out or converted to sick leave and therefore have no impact on the Retirement System.


  • Expands the covered population for the line of duty death benefit, and doubles the benefit’s value. This ensures all families of the victims from recent prison attacks receive the benefit.

“North Carolina is continuing to increase compensation for our valued state employees including teachers, principals, state troopers, and correctional officers to attract, retain, and reward the very best public workforce in the nation,” said senior House appropriations chairman Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake.)

“This budget agreement proves it is possible to provide meaningful raises to our state employees while still demonstrating fiscal discipline, living within our means and allowing taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money,” said Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee co-chairman Brent Jackson (R-Sampson.)

Recent Compensation Increases for North Carolina State Employees:

  • 2014 – 2015: $1,000 pay raise for state employees
  • 2015 – 2016: $750 bonus for state employees
  • 2016 – 2017: 1.5% salary increase + 0.5% bonus for state employees
  • 2017 – 2018: $1,000 pay raise for state employees