NC House and Senate agree on budget; 7 percent raise for teachers

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis announced a budget deal Tuesday that includes an average seven percent pay raise for North Carolina teachers.

WTVD reports that the $21.25 billion deal would mean teachers would average a raise of about $3,500.

Teacher groups call Tillis and Berger's announcement “politics,” pointing to budget details that tell a different story.

“Very few teachers will get that seven percent raise,” said Ann Petitjean with the Forsyth County Association of Educators.

Petitjean says it comes down to longevity pay -- something all state employees get except teachers who've been cut by lawmakers.

“Teachers who've been teaching for 25 years [for example], they will no longer get a longevity check,” Petitjean said. “So if they are making a 4.5 percent longevity check their raise will only be 2.5 percent to equal that 7 percent.”

This is the largest teacher raise in state history, Berger and Tillis said. The raise would move North Carolina from 46th to 32nd nationally in teacher pay rankings.

Additionally, the plan will not cut teacher assistant positions, as earlier budget plans had threatened to do.

The budget will also boost early-career teacher pay by 14 percent over the next two years to $35,000.

Educators say to give a real raise would involve restoring longevity pay on top of a raise. Tillis and Berger did not respond to comment Tuesday evening on restoring teacher longevity pay.

68 comments

      • Alice

        News Flash for Observer10…MOST teachers work all year too. Most professional private sector jobs get about 2 weeks vacation. Teachers don’t get much more than that when you consider they plan lessons and attend professional development (that they often foot the bill for) and attend “required” meetings over the summer and sometimes spring and winter breaks. You obviously know nothing about the educational profession.

    • Hobbes

      It’s always this way. Teachers cry poverty. Local news runs 74 stories about NC teachers going to other states. The population gets on a high horse. The politicians pander. Other state employees split a smaller pot. They’ll do the same thing next year.

    • NRA4ever

      yes, you are. while the private sector is worsening by the day, you want more. people are having their hours cut, and losing jobs, in large part due to obamacare.
      get a real job. oh, i forgot…. you cannot.

      • JT

        A “real job” might constitute teaching you how to think your way out of a wet paper bag–no wonder you’re anti-education. You are a blithering idiot.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox

        That was happening long before Obamacare. It was Trickledown, outsourcing, and because society has allowed it to happen instead of raising $&@# about it.

    • JB

      Really? Teachers don’t get pay raises when you guys get them from my understanding. They haven’t had a raise in a while and deserve one. I know many state employees deserve a raise, this being said, we need to work harder to keep good teachers in the state. The way they’re treated in dealing with our children just plain stinks and it’s time we recognized them.

      • Chucky

        This is really directed at JB so to the rest of you… feel free to skip it because I know it is very long. :)

        Well let’s just all get personal about this. I know that teachers do buy supplies for their classrooms and they also (some of them) buy supplies for their students because their parents don’t do it… but there are fundraisers and supply drives for students so that the teachers don’t have to buy it all. I know that because I have several people in my family who either are retired teachers, are teachers or used to be teachers. You might think that you are the only forsaken employee of the state but that is simply not true. The department that I work for, the judicial system, has run out of money over the last few years to buy us basic supplies like pens and envelopes. They are basic supplies that we need to have when the general public comes to our office for services. We also buy our own office supplies and equipment because the state does not provide all that we need and most of what we need is more expensive and more durable equipment than what we are provided with. Now as for the raises… In the last 8 years I have had ONE pay raise and that was 5 years ago. I am a salaried employee who works for the court system and our salaries were frozen in 2009. I was a lucky one because they froze them (illegally mind you because our salaries are statutorily set) right after I got my step increase in 2009. Some of my coworkers have missed 2 step increases. Thanks to the increased costs of health insurance (all NC employees got) and additional taxes, not to mention costs of living, I am now bringing home less than I was 5 years ago. I watched other state employees get bonus leave, extra vacation, monetary bonuses and small raises while myself and my coworkers got nothing, not even the bonus leave. So JB, don’t act like teachers deserve the raises more than any other state employee. They are no better nor is their current plight any worse than any of the other state employees in NC. For those of you who say I can choose another job… I have been doing this job for 21 years now. I will be able to retire in another 9 and I have put in my time so I am stuck like many other employees who get punished for sticking with a job longer. The “average of 7%” that they are talking about for teachers will primarily be given to newer teachers. Those who have been there longer will get more like .5-1%. Ask an experienced teacher. I know two who got shafted at around 28 years when the teachers got a large raise… they got 1%.

      • Real World

        To Chuicky: I am so sorry you have to buy your own pens and envelopes. Seems like a real inconvenience, somebody get this guy a raise please. I to come from a family of teacher and they absolutely deserve the raise to keep all of the teachers in the state. We have some incredible teaching schools and the low pay does in fact have teachers looking elsewhere to places like Virginia and Tennessee for jobs. They are shaping the minds of tomorrow and are unfortunately now having to act as surrogate parents. This raise isn’t enough but it is certainly a start.

    • anom

      right….there are other people working for the state!!!!! it’s always about the teachers…who chose that occupation.

      • JB

        Really? You’re going to go to the personal choice argument? Okay, the other people that choice to accept other state jobs made that choice as well, ANOM. Are you kidding me? You think this is a valid argument?

    • Stephen

      ALL the people complaining about how easy teachers have it. How we are propped up by NCAE and the news media about needing and getting a raise. How we only work 10 months out of the year. I have one suggestion for all people working in state government or the private sector that think teaching is getting the better end of the deal. COME work in my classroom. When I tell people what I do for a living I usually get two responses: God bless you for what you do and I could never do your job and deal with those kids. So I invite anyone that is not a teacher to come and do my job for a week. I think you will get a different perspective about what we do.

    • Brad

      If anyone is given a better opportunity in this world, it makes me happy for them. If the teachers are getting a raise, Great! If only the beginning teachers are getting a raise Great! If police officers or city workers are getting a raise Great! This news is good news. As an experienced teacher, my past experience tells me that this raise may only be given to newer teachers. But I am not going to knock it or protest this. Raises to government workers are Great! Let’s support one another!

    • Dan

      To Chucky ( and I am not a teacher): North Carolina’s dismal numbers have become a drumbeat in education circles: 46th nationally in average teacher pay. Dead last in pay trends over the past decade. Turnover on the rise – at a 10-year high in CMS.

      While there’s fierce debate over how to solve the problem, there are points of broad agreement: North Carolina teachers deserve better pay.

      Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/05/03/4883964/nc-lags-the-nation-in-teacher.html#.U9ttGp69KSM#storylink=cpy

      Dan

  • Doc Bennett

    OK Teachers, here you go!

    WGHP-You know you are lying about the largest raise in history!
    Our Education Governor (sour mouth Hunt) surely gave MUCH bigger raises.
    How about the former teacher we had in office? She gave much bigger.
    All those years of the Dems running the house/senate/governor’s mansion at the same time. They must have gotten huge raises then!

    • JB

      Why is there an issue with giving teachers a pay raise? They deal with our children with limited support from parents and decreasing power in the classroom, allowing the “little darlings” to act like jackasses because they’ve seen their parents act like bigger ones. They get little support from many, not all, principals or school boards. Their jobs are 100 times more complicated than they were when many of us were growing up. They can barely teach because of their extra duties and you complain about them getting an overdue raise. This is an example of the value Americans put on education. Grow up!

      • Mark Stabler

        Let me make everyone really mad. You are so right about no discipline and no support from parents. The real down fall of schools occurred when the government decided to eliminate schools for those with special needs and to mix them into the general school population. These students require extra time from the teachers and prove in many cases to be a distraction to the entire class. I personally don’t think it is fair to the regular student or to the special needs students. Those with special needs require smaller classes with specialized teachers. Some teachers do purchase supplies for their class, but I doubt that it would amount to 10% of teachers. They shouldn’t need to purchase supplies and they shouldn’t purchase them. The school districts need to eliminate 10% or more administrative positions and use that money for supplies. That would be ample money to provide all the supplies needed, and would not harm the level of education provided, in fact in would enhance it. Some of the money spent on athletics and coaches should be funneled into the classroom as well. Seems like schools can raise money for new football fields, field houses and all sorts of athletic equipment but not for paper and pencils. It’s not the amount of money, it’s how it is being spent.

      • JB

        Mark; Thank you for your post. I can tell you that teachers spend more than 10% of their salaries for supplies and now parents are expected to provide classroom supplies. My child requires extra time and it’s greatly appreciated by us. He is increasingly able to spend time in the regular classroom which he is becoming better at doing. This is a great benefit of teachers’ work so please don’t knock it.

  • smashhopp

    “Although a few aspects of the plan are clear enough – teachers will get a raise of 7 percent on average – several other aspect of the plan, such as what kind of raise state workers will see, are not yet public.

    Lead Senate budget writer Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said he expected the final deal to be worked out Tuesday, with the first opportunity for a Senate vote likely to come Thursday. Brown and others working on the budget were circumspect Monday about giving away too many details before a final deal is done. ”

    Read more at http://www.wral.com/today-nccapitol-7-29-don-t-jinx-it/13847708/#5GL1hVzAUMjfBRxK.99

  • K

    I’m sick of hearing about teachers and their ‘plight’!! Yes, they need and deserve a raise. But so do the vast majority of rank and file state employees!! Yet the teachers are the only ones that ever get results. They are important…but not one iota more important than the multitude of other state employees that work their tails off DURING summers, weekends, holidays and inclement weather in order that we all are afforded emergency services, safety and protection 24/7. What do those people ever get? Minimal wages and minute, if any, salary increase. So what if teachers move to Texas for more money. If things were so great in Texas…those folks wouldn’t be in NC trying to recruit! There would be a line of teachers begging for an opportunity to teach there!

    • NRA4ever

      oh, , and the private sector is robust. why don’t you help our the “rank and file” yourself.

      • K

        The state budget has little to do with pay increases for the private sector. The state budget dictates any or no pay increase for state employees. Period. I never implied that members of the private sector didn’t also deserve a raise. And for your information, I WAS a member of the “rank and file” for 26 dedicated years until I was laid off. I took the verbal abuse from an ungrateful public and was treated as trash by many who needed help… and I provided that help. I was also told “thank you” by a few that sincerely appreciated someone being there and helping them. Nevertheless, my best effort to assist went unchanged and being able to help was the driving force. There will always be those that have no appreciation for anything.

    • Doc Bennett

      In the private sector if employees don’t like their salary they…….GET A NEW JOB. If you don’t like the pay the state offers come out here where it is produce or get fired.

    • Wendy Hallis

      The pay increase is for ALL state employees, not just teachers. Teachers will no longer receive longevity pay while all other state employees will get longevity pay. READ people.

    • JB

      K; So you’re sick of the teacher’s “plight” huh? So they teach your brats (or try to) and this is how you thank them. Your comment is part of the reason we are becoming one of the dumbest nations in the world.

  • part of the problem

    The NCAE has taken good care of their members likely better than some unions !! Now do not other state employees deserve the same type of union treatment !!

  • Nunya

    All state employees are lard a#?, sorry, good for nothing, cant make it in the real world people. The only ones worse than them are local government employees.All of you deserve nothing. You work for the people, if you don’t like your job, do something else. I have yet to see a local, state, federal agency not screwed up anyway. None of you help the working middle class anyway. You have milked us enough, cut benefits, cut jobs, cut everyone, cut everything government related.

    • anom

      you are an idot…..i’ll agree some are lazy….but that’s in every company….you are probably one who calls and say I pay your salary….well so do I……and in reality your probably one who lives off the system and doesnt pay taxes

    • anom

      nunya…hope you see this….just want to give you a reality check…..i’m making less now than i made with another company in 1996…..if you can add that’s 17 years ago and I’m now making LESS MONEY!! So dont tell me what great jobs there are…..but it’s a job!!

  • NanaKay

    As a non-classified school employee, I’ll try not to spend my whopping $500 raise all in one place. Those of you who don’t work in schools get $1000. Enjoy!

  • Hollie

    all I can say as a teacher of 17 years thank you Lord!!!! its been a long time coming and definitely deserved by teachers!!!!

  • KC

    Lots of ignorant posts here. Very happy for these teachers as they are educating OUR children and the future of this country. You have your private sector job because someone along the way TAUGHT you a thing or two.

  • Deanna L. Gardner

    I would invite anyone to try and survive on what I make as a teacher in NC. I HAVE TO WORK two jobs in order to pay my bills. I know all state employees do not get what we deserve but WE ARE EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN, OUR FUTURE. For the record, we may not officially be in the classroom for 2 months, but please believe we are working, planning, and buying supplies. I was given $75 to fund my class for the upcoming school year and I am being moved into a new grade level. Not one person who complains about teachers, our salary, and our “lack of work” will volunteer to do the job one day.

    • sue

      I am a TA try and make it on what we bring home. Our checks got cut from 100 percent pay to 82percent that is a cut about 250 a month

    • davecortez

      Well said. What I tell people is, you know those workshops and seminars your company sends you to for training? A leader or facilitator delivers the educational material to a room full of people, ususally with an assistant’s help and a few breaks during the day. That facilitator has to be “on”, prepared, and flexible to the needs of the people in the audience. There is visual material to present as well as structured independent practice for the participants to engage in. How much should that professional be paid to do this every day? Now, imagine having to deliver this seminar to an audience much younger. They can’t control their impulses successfully yet, many can’t read, If they lose focus, they miss the message and you have to keep track of every child’s progress in getting this message. Often there is no assistant. Yes, teachers need better pay. And people who complain constantly about teachers are really just chronic complainers themselves.

  • sue

    Teachers assistant should get a pay raise too. We dont even get paid 100 percent we get paid at 82percent treat us like dirt they walk on Iam important too I have bills too
    We teacher just like our teachers do they test all day while we teacher the class

  • Rebecca Shepard

    The private sector is hurting with paying bills and raises aren’t happening in a lot of private sector jobs, so no sympathy for govt workers not getting one. Until the ones generating revenue recover, govt workers will have to suffer along with them.

    And I agree, Perdue didn’t help her fellow teachers. In fact they got a raise from a Republican led State government. Imagine that!

    And if we quit pouring money into illegals and anchor babies, we will have more money for our citizens.

  • El

    The idea that teachers only HAVE to work 10 months of the year is such misconception. Yes, we only work 10 months but we also only get PAID for 10 months. While it might be divided out over 12 months, it’s still based on 10 months. So another way to look at it, is that teachers only GET to work for 10 months. How many of you would want to have to look for temporary jobs every summer?

  • Terrie Jordan

    I certainly hope the NEWS REPORTERS read and understand this is very misleading. They need to stop saying TEACHERS MAY GET 7% RAISE. They need to let the public know that most of us won’t see anything –or maybe 1% BUT lose our longevity so therefore will be making LESS than before the “raise”. Everybody, please help spread the word. Email the Gov. NOW!!!!! Now for all the “teacher bashers” on here, please know that we go into work early, stay several hours after “quitting time”, work on holidays and weekends, spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for OUR BABIES, We attend meetings and “professional development” AFTER HOURS. I obtained a Master’s Degree and National Board Certification while working 10-14 hour days teaching children. I ALSO have a second job! I realize ALL state employees deserve a raise but teachers have been used as pawns for the last 6-7 years. We do NOT get paid for the summer months. The state willingly takes a portion of our check to hold in their accounts to draw interest off OUR money.PLEASE don’t bash us anymore. We are so beaten down at this point. Not all of us can hop a plane to Texas! I have 3 years to go before I CAN retire. I probably won’t because I could not afford to live on my retirement! PARENTS, please speak out for the great teachers your children have had throughout the years. Business owners please speak out so that you will have a pool of educated job seekers from which to hire. This is not just a teacher issue. It affects everyone who lives in our state!

  • Jennifer alvarez

    I also think it is not right to take away longevity when it has been earned. I can understand not offering it to new edible teachers. Why is it the other state employees will keep longevity. When is the last time teacher bashers and lawmakers have been in a classroom? It is not the same as “well when I was in school”. Or ” anybody can do that job” I challenge any of you teacher bashers to come teach for a week.

  • jane zack

    Longevity- PROPOSE to steal longevity from teachers (the only state employees who will not, hen be receiving it, and then give it back to them and call it a raise?) by Tillis, Berger and Pat McCory. We can only VOTE them OUT next election folks.

    • jane zack

      However maybe “steal” is too harsh. It is still just a proposal so maybe the three will reconsider Longevity. Let’s hope so. And let us hope they reconsider the needs of other state employees as well.

  • Deanna Talton

    I am a teacher. I love teaching. I worked in the private sector for a long time, but never felt the satisfaction I feel when a struggling student ‘gets it’ or when a high flyer soars even higher. I’m making a difference! On average, I spend $600-$700 per year out of my pocket for classroom supplies that include but not limited to paper, pencils, Kleenex, hand-sanitizer, crafts and items for hands on activities to providing snacks and money for lunch. I do this because I love teaching. Not every student learns by listening to lecture or completing worksheets and not a single student should be hungry. I, too, have a home, children, and bills to pay. In addition, I have a medical issue that has resulted in 6 surgeries and the high possibility of total vision loss in one eye because a student came to school with pink eye, but I’m still in my classroom. I’m thankful for the raise, although I’ll probably be on the lower end of that 7% average, but taking away longevity for those dedicated to their job is wrong. I received my first longevity pay this past school year. For those like some of my co-workers, losing their longevity will be financially harmful. I urge the House and Senate to reconsider the issue of longevity. For those non-educators, bashing teachers for wanting a decent, livable wage, think about who helped you get where you are. Teachers make a difference. I MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  • Englishteach

    And has anyone stopped to think that if teachers and state employees actually worked together instead of against one another that we would finally be heard? I buy supplies for my classroom and my own children’s classroom (to the tune of $97 for my 5th grader and $68 for my kindergartener). We have lost sight of what matters most and now point fingers at each other and at that democrat or that republican. This will not be solved by partisan politics. My husband works in the private sector and he has received a COL raise every year, even in the worst of economic settings. His insurance deductibles are $15 and $25 and mine are $30 and $70. I make way less than I did 6 years ago and if longevity goes away I will make even less. It’s time to join forces rather than to constantly jab at each other.

    • Chucky

      That is why State Troopers and Magistrates have filed lawsuits against the state for freezing the step increases. Nothing is really being said about those cases but they are still pending and there are rumors of other employees considering doing the same.

  • Nunya

    Your Republicans really helped you teachers out HAHA! Enjoy that ;) 7% you thought you was getting! So stupid anyone ever believes anything these liars ever say. GO McCrory!!! Ignorant teachers, Ha you get what you deserve. And BTW, ALL state, local, and federal employees should have benefits and salaries cut. State is in a crisis, get like the rest of us, work and earn what you get. Government employees think someone owes them something, you work for the taxpayers, remember that. Don’t spend all you longevity or 7% at Kmart!!!!!! HAHA

  • Bonniewest

    What happened to the State Retirees? We used to get the same raise as teachers did, which unfortunately was little to none. It would have been nice to have seen more than 1.44 % increase, which I am not even sure we are going to get. We put in a number of years and provided quality education and really enjoyed teaching.

  • Proud2Be

    From what I understand ALL state employees are getting raises. State employees with the exception of teachers will keep longevity pay.

    • Chucky

      I have been looking but have not seen that anywhere. They have discussed all kinds of options but none have been to give Teachers and the other state employees the same raises. Honestly, I don’t believe the state can afford that. That is why this is such a hot topic. The budget discussions and the way employees are categorized differently with pay, benefits, and health coverage actually causes a lot of resentment between departments. No one state employee is better than any other but they all (including myself) feel as if they are fighting for scraps while the Troopers and Teachers get more press and special treatment (not better treatment necessarily, just special).

  • Elaine Azzolina

    I’m glad teachers are getting much needed raise! I don’t think it’s right that teachers that have been there longer will get less of a raise! That’s not right!! I am a state employee who is at poverty level salary! I have to buy my own supplies, brooms, paper towels, tissues, glass cleaner, squeegee to clean windows rewards for children to give an incentive for good behavior!
    I work hard , it can be very stressful with students acting up, and driver’s on the road texting, jumping in of a fully loaded bus! I take pride in trying to keep everyone in and outside my bus safe! There is a lot of responsibility to this job. Our pay is extremely low, and treatment by associates can some time be demeaning. There is a philosophy that you get what you pay for! I can’t stay in this job much longer, but I care about students, I want to make a positive difference. Won’t be able to much longer ask yourself what kind of drivers do you want on the road people that care about the children and realize how much responsibility they have, and safety conscious, or someone that can’t get a job anywhere else? Remember you are on the road with the drivers even if you do take your children to school!

  • Eddie Anderson

    I am a lifelong Republican and I will never vote Republican on the state level again if they do not restore longevity pay for teachers! What a crime!! Do they just not want experienced teachers??? And no, I am not a teacher!! That is just wrong to take that away from teachers that have stuck with the crappy pay for 30 years!! They ate the ONLY state employees loosing this!! If that stays, every teacher I know including my best friend and daughter will not teach another year!! How stupid can my party be???

  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

    So why is it an average of 7%? Because they are condensing the pay plan from over 30 steps (basically each year) to 6 because the group that now occupies ( but hopefully not for much longer) cannot wrap their heads around something that complicated. They tout it as average, but if the chart I have seen is accurate it is as high as 18% for one year and as low as 1+% at another. This does not account for the loss of longevity. Essentially subtract $900+ from any raise for teachers with over 10 years experience. Why couldn’t they just do a straight 7% raise? Oh yeah, tax cuts for them and their buddies.

  • Jim

    NeitherDemocratic Politicians nor Republican Politicians care about teachers. I can’t vote Republican anymore because my pay raise is really a pay cut. I can’t vote Democratic because of their positions on social issues. Retired state employees are even treated worse. I have friends in Virginia who are retired educators and they get a cost of living increase each year. NC retirees are lucky to get a few crumbs every 6 or 7 years while seeing their medical insurance benefits shrink every year.

    • BonnieWest

      Jim, Amen! I could not have said it better. Most of the State employees and teachers have no idea what’s in store for them when they reach retirement & SS age. They have sold out our Medicare to an HMO called either United Healthcare Medicare Advantage or Humana Medicare Advantage and we have to pay on our plan per mo., deducted from our retiree check. Many Drs., etc. will not take this new plan. I had wanted to go to Duke Hospital for neuro work up and was told that they did not accept it. So there are lots of concerns for Retirees and we got the least of all raises after our efforts working for the State of NC and dedicating ourselves to our careers for 30 years. So we are getting less than what Retirees make to start with and have had no raise since the teachers back in 2008.

  • Marie

    What about other state employees, only $500.00? They have no idea what the office staff does and the teacher assistants do in schools. The school secretaries and data managers play nurse for which we don’ t get paid near enough for. We do medication training every year for which we are responsible for administiring medication, epi pens , inhalers, checking for lice and many other things. We deal with all the parents that come through the front door. We are he first line of defense for the teachers, we take most of the complaints before they ever reach them. Teacher assistants watch the classrooms many times, either for SST meetings, teachers testing, coping all the many papers they use, laminating, cutting, checking for notes, receipting money, changing students when they have accidents, holding trash can till a child can get to the office when throwing up, changing that child when they need to. I could go on and on and on. I wish you could do these jobs one time for the pay we get. I don’t think any of the senate or house would do theae jobs for what we get paid. I respect our teachers and what they do. I just want the same recognition for what office staff and teachers assistants do as well, because without these people school could not survive.

  • Sheila

    I am a custodian I work hard to keep our school clean and clean up after children !! I only get 500.00

  • BonnieWest

    Hey folks, let’s just get along! State employees of all types are of equal importance. We need to stand together at this time and support one another. If teachers are the only ones who got a substantiated raise, and I did not, so be it. I am happy that someone in state govt. decided to give any of us a raise instead of past governors who froze our pay.

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