Governor proposes pay raises

Published 8:59 pm Friday, May 9, 2014


IRENE MILLS | CONTRIBUTED Beaufort County Sheriff Alan Jordan walks with Gov. Pat McCrory after the April tornado in Chocowinity.

Beaufort County Sheriff Alan Jordan walks with Gov. Pat McCrory after the April tornado in Chocowinity.

RALEIGH – A proposal by Gov. Pat McCrory could mean a pay raise for local teachers and state employees in the near future.

The proposal is expected to go to the N.C. General Assembly and be voted on for the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget.

McCrory’s education initiative calls for not just a pay increase for teachers, but also supplements for educators who obtain advanced degrees. That would be something new for teachers in North Carolina because in recent years, the General Assembly wanted to take away pay raises for educators who had a masters degree.

“For years, teachers have suffered through little to no pay raise as the state had to endure one of the toughest economic recessions in generations,” McCrory said in a press release. “The Career Pathways for Teachers framework reverses that trend with modest raises in the short-term, and a meaningful, long-term plan that empowers teachers to determine their own financial future while at the same time giving local school districts the flexibility to address the most pressing needs of their students and community.”

Part of the governor’s plan to give state employees $1,000 raises would directly benefit those making less money, according to Ryan Tronovitch, a member of McCrory’s press office.

The governor announced in February he would begin working to increase the base pay for beginning teachers to $35,000, which would be nearly a $5,000 raise.

“A raise and salary adjustment has been sorely needed for a long time, so we’re excited. We would like to go even further but we feel like this is a good start.” Dr. Don Phipps, Beaufort County Schools superintendent, said.

Veteran teachers with service of 16 to 32 years would have a base pay of $50,000 and educators of 33 years or more would stay at the same rate.

The career pathways McCrory talks about is a professional pay schedule, that would allow teachers to earn more money earlier. The plan would also give teachers raises for high-need subjects in high-need schools. He also plans a $9 million fund to assist school districts that maximize student achievement.

“It (masters degrees) basically wasn’t going to be recognized because it wasn’t a requirement for the job,” Phipps said. “The governor’s proposal includes the career pathways to allow teachers to either be professionally certified or do some other things in their field to extend their knowledge base and to be rewarded for that.”

In Beaufort County, the governor’s $1,000 raise proposal would go to North Carolina Highway Patrol, Beaufort County Community College faculty and staff, Department of Motor Vehicles staff  and state road crews.

“Anything is better than nothing, but we are grateful for this proposal,” said Dr. Barbara Tansey, president of BCCC. “The size of the raise could trigger somebody to go into a new tax bracket, so they could end up losing money, but we are grateful.”


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