Local Politics

Pay cuts start for state employees

Posted May 29, 2009

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— State employees got the first of two smaller paychecks Friday, the result of efforts to fill a more than $2 billion shortfall in the state budget.

In April, Gov. Bev Perdue cut pay for state employees by 0.5 percent. The total pay cut will be taken out of employees' paychecks from May and June. 

For example, a worker making $30,000 will see $75 less in May and another $75 less in June, for a total cut of $150.

UNC nurse Pebbles Elsasser said the cut will hurt her family. Her husband is unemployed and her daughter is recovering from brain surgery, she said.

"It's almost like you go to your child and you say, 'Guess what? Would you rather have your medication so that you can continue to live every day or would would rather eat or do I have gas money to get to work?'" Elsasser said.

In return, state workers are expected to take an extra 10 hours off by the end of this year.

The pay cut will keep an estimated $65 million in state coffers.

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  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH May 29, 2009

    I am not disputing the math in the statement. I am disputing that the only cut that occurs is the $150...As a 10 month WCPSS employee, I lost nearly $300 in one check today! That is because they took their cut from all 10 months....meaning I am not only losing .5% for just 2 months. They took it for 10 months! They paid me for work already completed and took some of it back today! There is no way this is legal! If I were only losing .5% for 2 months of pay, that is fine....but not for 10 months!

    Also, 10 month teachers can not take furlough days because we can only take them when kids are not in school. There is only 1 teacher workday left and we MUST be there to input grades, clean the rooms, do all end of year procedure, and check-out. I don't care about the furlough; it doesn't make me lose anything. It is taking my money retroactively that is the problem!

  • amyrn May 29, 2009

    Also, at the NC School of Science and Math, graduates have received tuition waivers to college in the UNC system. Now, the governor wants to take that. Did she or did she not get into this office by being voted for by the educators? She has really done a number on them!

  • amyrn May 29, 2009

    $30,000 x .5% = $150 which divided by two = $75 for each month....yes that is correct. I make a little over $30,000 and mine was more than that. However, if you read the rules regarding the furlough days, it says you get 10 hours off between June 1 and Dec. 31 WITHOUT any further reduction in pay. Am I happy to lose the money this month and next? No, but I AM happy, VERY happy to have a job. By the way, I also brown bag unless I am out of the office on a required trip and some of those days I also brown bag. I also drive an older vehicle with a lot of mileage, but right now, in this economy, I don't want to go into major debt for a vehicle. I am not adverse to taking 8 hours per month off without pay for the next year if it will help. I may not be able to eat out as often or buy some new clothes but I am willing to do it. What I am concerned about is the impact on the budgets for education. We are looking at losing funding in our county for school sports.

  • affirmativediversity May 29, 2009

    "Comp Time" the dirty little secret of STATE AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT!

  • gandalla May 29, 2009

    Well..the one the good thing that will come out of this..

    NCAE and other agencies will not endorse Bevie next go around....she shouldn't have been elected at all..but maybe this will get her out the door faster.
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    This is funny no matter what BEV does the NCAE and all other state personnel will always in their majority vote for the democrat.

  • Brick CIty Girl May 29, 2009

    Speedy-- Yeah, you are one up on me with the car. I certainly can't speak for all state employees, but the vast majority of those in my section brown bag - so much so that we all chipped in for a full size refrigerator and microwave.
    The 8% is what I have heard from several people in various areas of state government-- 8% cut, with 20 days furlough. I have heard of several businesses that have furloughed employees for 6 weeks or so-- then the employee can claim unemployment. Because they are only talking about 20 days, and because we will not be allowed to take it all at once, that is not a possibility for state employees. I have to admit, the amount of griping is excessive for the cuts taken so far. Yes, it was done wrong, and yes, it is going to be a couple of really tough months, but we'll survive. I think the feeling I am getting from coworkers (and ME) is fear of what is to come next.

  • grayboomerang May 29, 2009

    Well..the one the good thing that will come out of this..

    NCAE and other agencies will not endorse Bevie next go around....she shouldn't have been elected at all..but maybe this will get her out the door faster.

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH May 29, 2009

    Okay, I am not going through 223 comments to see if anyone said this. The statement here: "For example, a worker making $30,000 will see $75 less in May and another $75 less in June, for a total cut of $150." is incorrect. Had this been all, I would have gladly given this money. However, WCPSS employees lost pay retroactively as well. Is this legal? It is like paying me and then taking it back! Both the state and Wake County took their money....why? Only the state mentioned taking .5%, not the county!

  • Bendal1 May 29, 2009

    Actually, most salaried state employees are told NOT to take "comp time" whenever we work over 40 hours/week. If we bring it up to the higher management, we're told yes, "comp time" is technically available, but that it is to be used only by those who work a seasonal job like highway construction workers and inspectors. Those in an office are expected to "donate" their time up to whatever it takes to get the job done, with no comp time available.

  • What.If...... May 29, 2009

    Everyone pays a state worker's salary, including state workers, they pay taxes too. Please understand it's not just the private sector that pays their salary.

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