Politics & Government

Raises are coming for thousands of state workers in North Carolina. Will you be one of them?

State employees in typically underpaid jobs will get some good news when they see their first paycheck this month.

The state has set aside $7.8 million a year to give raises to about 3,000 workers who were determined to be underpaid for the work they do. On average, these state employees will see their annual pay rise about $2,600 each, or $217 a month.

And because the raises will be retroactive from February, this next paycheck will be especially large. It's not technically a bonus but it might seem that way for the workers getting the raises, with three months of back pay coming in all at once.

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North Carolina officials are in the middle of re-working the system for how state employees are paid, and part of that is a review of the appropriate pay scale for every type of government job.

The North Carolina General Assembly mandated the changes several years ago, and one focus has been on increasing the minimum possible pay for certain jobs — like correctional officers in prisons, where severe understaffing has led to safety concerns in recent years.

About 500 of the roughly 9,000 correctional officers will be eligible for a salary increase that could be as much as $800, to $32,703, according to the Department of Public Safety. And the new system will let managers offer newly hired officers higher pay than before.

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There are dozens upon dozens of roles within state government, and each has a different pay scale with both a minimum salary and a maximum salary. When the new pay scales roll out this month, officials believe about one in every 20 state workers will find that the new minimum salary is higher than what they make now. If that happens, they're automatically eligible for a raise.

And while that's good news for people making below the new minimum, there also shouldn't be a scare for anyone who makes more than the new maximum salary for their jobs.

"No one will earn less than they are making now," assures a video put together by the Office of State Human Resources.


A previous version of this story misstated some details of correctional officers' raises. Some current correctional officers will get raises. Managers will be able to offer new hires more pay.

Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran