Governor of North Carolina increases pay for state staff

Roy Cooper

The governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper (pictured), has legislated to provide pay increases for state employees, adult correction staff and state Highway Patrol employees, effective from July 2019 and July 2020.

On 30 August 2019, Cooper signed into law House Bills 609, 226 and 126, enabling state employees to receive pay increases for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years.

In order to implement the pay rises, Cooper has appropriated $239,220,554 (£194,957,574.89) for 2019-2020 pay awards, and $572,705,157 (£466,737,521.80) for 2020-2021 pay increases, from the government’s General Fund. The pay rises are effective from 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2020.

State staff who are specifically employed at one or more state adult correctional facilities, and who were performing this job role as at 30 June 2019, will receive a 2.5% pay increase for the 2019-2020 financial year; if these employees remain in this position for the following year, they will receive a further 2.5% pay rise for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Employees at the Department of Public Safety, working at high-need correctional facilities with elevated levels of vacant positions, are also entitled to a flat-dollar salary supplement, payable monthly for a two-year period. The minimum base supplement rate is $2,500 (£2,038) a year.

Full-time, permanent employees at the Department of Public Safety are also to be awarded with an additional five days of annual leave, credited on 1 July 2019.

The two-year pay increase structure and additional five days of annual leave will also be applied to law enforcement officers employed at the state Highway Patrol. These officers will therefore receive a 2.5% pay rise effective from 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2020 if they remain employed in their position as at 30 June 2019 and 30 June 2020. The extra annual leave is applicable from 1 July 2019.

The Bill regarding Highway Patrol wages further accommodates for experience-based pay. To maintain this structure, the entry-level annual salary for state Highway Patrol staff is now $45,100 (£36,765.52) for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and $46,228 (£37,685.07) for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Cooper said: “We appreciate our hardworking state employees across North Carolina. However, Republicans are insisting that teachers get a smaller pay raise than other state employees. This hurts our efforts to attract and keep highly qualified teachers in every classroom. I urge Republican legislators to pass a pay raise that doesn’t short-change teachers.

“In addition, this bill provides for a pay raise for the governor. I have today donated the pay raise for the year in the amount of $3,682 [(£3,001.57)] to Donors Choose which provides funds to teachers directly in the classroom with supplies and other needs.”