When it comes to a pay increase, J.C. Boykin, a maintenance supervisor at N.C. State, is usually in the dark. He is a 10-year veteran state employee, but a House budget proposal before lawmakers will not give him a pay raise. Instead, it will give him extra vacation time with pay.
"The consensus seems to be that anything is better than nothing. As far as 10 vacation days, it is a perk and amounts to two weeks pay anyway you look at it," Boykin said.
"We've heard a lot of positive comments from a lot of employees. They are really pleased just with the fact that the House recognized employees where the Senate budget had nothing for employees and neither did the governor's," said Sherry Melton of the State Employees Association.
The House budget plan offers early retirement pay options for long-term state employees. The early retirement option will not be available to school teachers, but instead, they will receive a step pay increase.
"The state employees are on a fixed income just like retirees and they are dependent upon the Legislature for any increases whatsoever, so this is a step in the right direction," Boykin said.
The full House is set to vote on the $14 billion state budget on Thursday.