Concerning Salary Increases for State of North Carolina Employees

 

Resolution Of The Employee Forum

The University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill

April 4, 2007

WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to constructively address the concerns of Employees of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the presentation of staff concerns to University officials, the University System Office of General Administration, the State Legislators and the citizenry of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, those concerns include the receipt of regular and appropriate salary increases by state employees as a means of maintaining parity with the cost of living; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature is bound by North Carolina Statute, Chapter 126, Article II, to, “compensate its employees at a level sufficient to encourage excellence of performance and to maintain the labor market competitiveness necessary to recruit and retain a competent work force,”(1); and

WHEREAS, while state employees are appreciative of any and all salary increases, historically those increases have not kept pace with a rising Consumer Price Index and COLA (2) and thus, have resulted in a negative salary growth for university employees(3); and

WHEREAS, the value of state employee benefits have eroded to become inadequately competitive to recruit or retain quality state employees(5); and

WHEREAS, a number of university employees earn less than$25,625, the living income standard(4); and

WHEREAS, with the understanding that inadequate salary raises effect all employees, those most adversely affected are the lowest paid employees; therefore a one-time salary adjustment would be required to offset the continuing erosion of state employees salaries for those receiving less than $25,625(4), coupling this with a 5% percent increase for all to help retain existing, experienced employees in competitive fields; and

WHEREAS, The Employee Forum recognizes that UNC’s General Administration and its Board of Governors are aware of the of the University employees’ salary shortfall; the Employee Forum is appreciative of their continuing support and the efforts of both of these bodies toward actively improving the salaries, benefits and working conditions of all employees of the University of North Carolina; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, strongly urges the Governor and the Legislature to support an increase in the minimum salaries of the lowest paid  employees from $22,300 to $25,625; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum advocates a 5%, increase across all categories to help bring the employees of this University in line with the cost of living.  All raises would begin at the start of the fiscal year 2007–2008; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill appeals to the Chancellor and his Administration to support the concept of this resolution and to convey  this position of the Employee Forum to the University System Office of General Administration and the North Carolina State Legislature (6).

Signed on Behalf of the Delegates of the Employee Forum.

Ernie Patterson, Chair.

 

 

1.     NC General Statute § 128-7(a), entitled Compensation of State Employees.

 

 

Figure 2 –    Comparison of CPI-U with (North Carolina) Legislative COLA Increases

 

Year

CPI-U*

COLA

Compound Loss

2000

3.4%

2.2%

-1.3%

 

 

   

2001

1.6%

1.9%

-1.0%

 

 

   

2002

2.4%

0.0%

-3.4%

 

 

   

2003

1.9%

0.0%

-5.2%

 

 

   

2004

3.3%

2.5% (or $1,000)

-6.1%

 

 

   

2005

3.4%

2% (or $850)

-7.4%

 

 

   

2006

2.5%

5.5%

-4.8%

 

 

   

 

Source: US Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics & NC Office of State Personnel

  • 1.9% increase based on a $625 across the board [sic] divided by the 2001 average salary.
  • 10-days bonus vacation granted in lieu of base pay increase for 2002.
  • 10-days bonus vacation plus $550 one-time bonus for 2003.
  • $1,000 base pay increase for employees with salaries under $40,000; 2.5% base pay increase for employees with salaries over $40,000 for 2004.
  • 5-days bonus vacation plus the greater of $850 or 2% base pay increase for 2005.
  • 5.5% base pay increase for 2006.

 

 

 

Figure 3  –   CPI-U–COLA Salary Loss by SPA Employees, 1999–2006

The top half of the graph above shows the progressive increase of the average SPA employee salary from 1999 to 2006 with each Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) allocated by the North Carolina Legislature for that year.

 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) salary numbers indicate how much the average SPA employee should be receiving in order to maintain the same level of purchasing power as the previous year.

 

The bottom half of the graph shows what the CPI-U–COLA numbers mean in actual loss of purchasing power for the average SPA employee.

 

The CPI minus the COLA salary values for each year is the average SPA employee’s Annual Loss in purchasing power.

 

.       Adding each year’s Annual Loss from 1999 to 2006, shows the average SPA employee’s Cumulative Loss in purchasing power for those years to be $10,423.

 

4.     “A Living Wage for North Carolina, Living Wage Income Standard”, NC Budget & Tax Center, NC Justice Center.

 

 

5.     www.osp.state.nc.us/divinfo/frames/divisions/ecc/2006Comp&BenefitsRpt.pdf

 

 

6.     The 2006 budget cost for 7,300+ FT University SPA employees (excluding benefits) was approximately $ 283,009,000.

 

The 2006 budget cost for a 5.5% increase for 7,300+ FT University SPA employees was approximately $ 15,525,000.

 

The Cumulative Loss to the 7,300+ FT University SPA employees from 2000-2006 was approximately $ 76,207,000.

 

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