Vast Majority of State Employees Receive NO Raise Under McCrory's Budget
WFMY has a report out that looks at the various salaries for state employees and compares them with equivalent position in the private sector. For most professions, state employees make significantly less than their private sector counterparts. This has lead to an exodus, with state employee turnover more than double what it is in the private sector. Costs associated with that turnover drain $300 million from taxpayers every year.
The situation isn't likely to get better soon, as Governor McCrory's budget provides no raise for the vast majority of state employees.
The governor just released a 298 page proposed budget. A couple of lines inside include targeted pay raises for hard to fill state positions. The other employees won't get anything more than they have now. Prompting 2 Wants To Know to ask if current pay is enough to recruit and retain qualified public workers.
Brenda Hooker says no. She left her state gig for private industry because of one reason - low pay. After 18 years as NC Central's Transportation Director, she was making $37,500 - even though similar jobs earn an average $80,000 in private industry according to salary.com. Brenda says money was so tight, she had to moonlight selling wedding dresses at David's Bridal.
"We were living pay check to paycheck, and I had a child that wanted to go to college, and I needed to pay for it," she said.
2 Wants To Know reviewed records from the State's Human Resources Department. The latest information from 2013 shows 5.3 percent of state employees quit like Brenda. More than double the 1.9 percent of all workers in the US - public and private. The HR department estimates that turnover costs us almost $300 million every year. You're paying for recruiting, training and mistakes of new workers. The head of the State Employees Association Mitch Leonard explains:
"People go to work in state government where they get their training. Then they move over to local municipality government because they have better pay," he said.