Local Politics

Pay cuts start for state employees

Posted May 29, 2009 8:54 a.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2009 9:37 a.m. EDT

— 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.