Many North Carolina government workers got a raise in March, including 102 state employees who saw their pay rise by more than $10,000 a year.
Some got promotions or were transferred to a higher paying role, among other reasons for the big pay changes. These sorts of raises happen every month, as do pay decreases for people who are demoted or switch from full-time to part-time, among other reasons. Public records released this month also show that 11 state employees were dismissed from their jobs last month for either poor performance or unacceptable conduct — including a law enforcement officer and a prison guard.
But raises and promotions were more common than punishments. Some state workers saw their salaries rise by a significant amount, even doubling in at least one case.
Jameka Patrick Jackson's March 26 promotion to director of Edgecombe Youth Development Center in Rocky Mount came with a $37,750 raise to a new annual salary of $72,050. Jackson was only briefly in her previous, lower-paid job. She had worked as the director of Dobbs Youth Development Center in Kinston before moving out of state in 2016, then returned in 2017 and worked briefly at Maury Correctional Institution as a case manager.
Jackson's raise was one of the largest among the state workforce last month. Others at the top of the list included:
- Amy Funderburk, who became the clerk of the North Carolina Supreme Court, got a $33,108 raise to $134,488. That's slightly less than the $137,363 salary that the previous Supreme Court clerk, Bryan Boyd, made before he resigned last year.
- Jamie Ragan, a manager at the Department of Environmental Quality, got a $33,171 raise to $105,829. Ragan became the director of the agency's Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service, according to her LinkedIn page. Heather Carter, a supervisor at DEQ, got a $21,988 raise to $76,206. And a DEQ engineer, David Miller, got a $15,241 raise to $75,000.
- David Kaleb Rathbone of the Department of Agriculture got a $24,897 raise to $90,000 after he was named director of the agency's Research Stations Division.
- Jill Warren Lucas, the new communications director for the Office of State Human Resources, got a $17,050 raise to $79,000.
- DOT engineering supervisor Matthew Whitley got a $17,825 raise to $107,397. And DOT engineer Forrest Dungan got a $19,437 raise to $74,971.
- Patti Bowers became the director of statewide procurement for the Department of Information Technology and got a $13,347 raise to $146,820.
- Drew Stanley, a prison administrator, got a a $14,781 raise to $85,169. And Donald Greene, an assistant prison superintendent, got a $12,293 raise to $61,465.
At the Department of Health and Human Services, two high-ranking managers who came in with the new administration last year also got large raises.
Susan Perry-Manning, deputy secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, hadn't been on the job for quite a year yet last month when she got a $10,000 raise to $163,000. And DHHS deputy chief of staff Christen Young got a $10,000 raise to $171,000. She had a little more than a year on the job.
Both report to Mandy Cohen, a member of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's Cabinet whose own salary rose by $50,000 in her first year on the job.
Cohen now makes $192,500 a year, after a $17,500 raise in January that coincided with raises Cooper gave to all of his Cabinet members.
Using public records, The News & Observer maintains a searchable database of most state employees that includes information about their salaries, raises and employment history. There is a database for UNC System employees, as well as a different database for all other state government employees.
Neither database includes public school workers since they are employed by local school districts and not the state (except for the School of Science and Math, a public boarding school whose employees are part of the UNC System database).