NC women's report finds improvements, challenges
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GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A report on how North Carolina women are faring says they're participating more in politics and are narrowing their income gap with men, but they still face obstacles to health care and benefits that would help them thrive in the workforce.

Gov. Bev Perdue said Thursday the summary on the first "Status of Women in North Carolina" report in 16 years shows progress but persistent problems that keep women in poverty.

Perdue says many of the shortcomings found in the study are nationwide problems and not just in North Carolina. But she says North Carolina state government falls short when it hires temporary workers who don't get benefits because of budget cuts.

The report cost $90,000, with a third of the cost paid by the state.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

10/11/2012 12:24:24 PM (GMT -4:00)

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I would like to thank Governor Purdue for speaking about this important issue for women in North Carolina. I have been a temporary employee at the North Carolina Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for eight months, and the employment conditions as a temporary employee come along with serious financial and health drawbacks including: no paid sick time, no health benefits, a one-month unpaid "furlough" each year, and no retirement benefits. The Office of State Personnel's temp agency, Temporary Solutions, says that it "assists agencies in filling their workforce needs due to illnesses, vacations, peak production levels, transition periods, and other instances when workloads demand more staff. Job assignments range from a few hours to several months..." But it is commonly known here that the NC Department of Health and Human Services relies heavily on the work of numerous temps to get the day-to-day work of the state done. Some have been here for ten years. I work on a grant that runs for two years, yet have been hired as a temp. While I love my job and the work that I get to do, the employment conditions make my life so financially unstable that I feel compelled to search for more secure employment. It also frustrates me to work alongside permanent employees who receive copious benefits, including paid time off, health coverage, and retirement. I wish the state of North Carolina would consider the wellness of its whole workforce, and not just those in permanent positions.