Perdue cuts pay of state employees, teachers

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue has cut the pay of all state employees and teachers by half a percent. Perdue signed an executive order Tuesday that says employees will receive 10 hours of flexible time off in exchange for the loss in pay. She said says the move will save $65 million this year, although that's relatively small compared to the $3 billion budget shortfall the state now expects to see this year. Perdue said in a statement she also has identified ways to close the remaining budget gap. She said that will include more special funds, tapping the state's Savings Reserve Account and using federal recovery dollars. The Democrat said the economic crisis has forced her "to make difficult decisions." (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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3 yrs ago I was told that just one test such as Algebra 1 cost 1million dollars due the the revisions, multiple test reviews. I got paid better for the day of reviewing test items than teaching my students for the day with 7 yrs experience at the time.
I'm not a teacher but I am the mother of a third grader in Harnett County and I, along with every other parent with which I have spoken, are furious!! I would love to know how it cost this state to administer the EOG's...I'm sure the cost is enormous! I certainly know the cost to our children is enormous; the counseler at my son's school told me these kids are under tremendous pressure...my son was so stressed that he passed out at school and the Dr.s at Wake Med told me it was directly related to the pressure he's experiencing at school. These test are a senseless waste of our tax dollars and our teacher's time. My child's poor teacher has spent this entire school year basically 'teaching' the EOG's yet, a child that has been honor roll all year can fail the EOG's and fail their grade. Our teachers are not paid nearly what they worth or deserve as it is...it's so unfair they should have to take a painful paycut because we have a new governor on a major powertrip. I'm sure there are plenty of pork barrel projects that could have been eliminated and leave the much deserved teacher pay alone!!!
She is lucky I'm not a teacher....as teachers are already overworked as it is, I would be damned if I'm going to continue working as much as I did before the pay cut. You would see my class watching a movie once a week. She cuts my pay, I cut my work effort by the same amount
That is very sad you feel that way. I am very happy you are not a teacher. It is the children who would suffer through less education.....
Your obviously not a teacher either, because if you were you would realize that our governor is doing everything that she can to lower test scores, graduation rates and run off every teacher that can get a job in private industry or another state because she continues to: lower our pay and are classroom allotment (down to an amazing $75 a year to stock a classroom-- that did not even cover overhead and board makers for me), she has cut over 20% from sports and art programs and frozen the purchase of new text books because the state cannot "afford" to finish the state curriculum changes. Furthermore, this proposed 11.6% cut equals out to about 11 million dollars taken from each school in New Hanover County-- this means no field trips, technology improvement,late buses for tutoring and sports teams, school sponsored scholarships, school purchases such as calculators, batteries, replacement books, etc. At this point teachers cannot even go to the staff development training that we need to renew our licences, because tere is no money for regestration or sib fees. So when people see this I hope that they understand the pay cut that we took this year, and the 5 DAY cut they are proposing for next year (while still expecting us to pull out miracles on standardized test with no supplies and 5 less school days) is not where the cuts stop, now we have to stock a majority of our classrooms if we want to have supplies, we have to convert technology back to archaic forms because the computers and tech supplies are dying and we cannot replace them and through all of this, we have to still work 60- 80 hours a week, support and educate our students who clearly see that the state doesn't care about them and most of us, now have to work a second or third job to pay our bill and feed our kids. Please, tell me another career, in which a person with a higher education would ever be expected to put up with this ( I have a Masters in Math and I know that I could be working in private industry make 3-4 times what I am making now-- but this job is a calling) Unfortunately, I do believe this is heading for a strike, right now, North Carolina does not have a strong teacher union, nor is it mandatory, however I believe if this continues, the teachers and other state employee will walk-- and that is certainly not what is best for our kids. So, Bev, please stop with the condescending "I was an educator" emails, because we all know you never have to wonder how you were going to feed you children for the next week, and fix this situation. Maybe you should pretend the school system is one of your friends that didn't pay their taxes, and then you would throw some lottery money at us!
Very, Very good comment. Thanks so much for all the facts and figures. God bless teachers like you that truly answer a calling.
I think teachers should all take the same day off in protest. Shame on you Beverly Perdue. The wording makes it look like we are losing pay, but gaining something. We are actually losing twice- not gaining anything. Being forced to take off what would be a paid workday --and not get paid or get much needed work completed! We are already expected to be “Highly Qualified”, (spend our own money making sure we continue to stay highly qualified), are held accountable to make sure that each of the students in our over-crowded classrooms is not only performing at or above grade-level, but is prepared to pass the ever increasing state mandated assessments. We provide multiple individualized accommodations daily for all students including those with special needs and those who have disruptive behavior disorders, work extra hours after school and on Saturdays to help students that have too many absences or are at risk of failing, we are assigned to committees and have extra curricular duties, we make sure our students are well fed and have enough exercise, we must provide ways for students to learn positive character traits and we must enrich them with global awareness, ETC!!! I'm sure that Beverly Perdue, back in her days of teaching, never experienced anything even close to the overwhelming accountability we have to manage daily. How many more kicks can our guts take?
Some of the fellow teachers at my school were just talking about striking if this continues, but another teacher thinks that it may say in our contract that we aren't allowed to strike. Make sure you read that before you decide to do this and the cops come knocking at your door looking for you.
As soon as they cut your pay, your contract is invalid (assuming the pay is specifically listed in the contract)
There will be a protest this weekend organized by NCAE: http://saveourschools.ning.com/events/pay-cut-protest-save-our Time: May 16, 2009 from 12pm to 1pm Location: NCAE Headquarters Building Street: 700 S. Salisbury St. City/Town: Raleigh, NC Website or Map: http://maps.google.com/maps... Contact Info: 919-832-3000 Event Type: protest Organized By: NCAE Event Description• Teachers and other school employees are angry about the 11th hour cut to their salaries. • Members must get in the game to make a difference for themselves in these difficult economic times. • North Carolina must modernize its tax structure in order to maintain services and promote public education. • Public education must be protected in difficult economic times as well as in good. • Participants are asked to bring umbrellas (rain/shine). The umbrellas symbolize that hundreds of NCAE members stood out in the rain on Election Day to support candidates for office who promised strong commitment to public education. • Bring signs • Wear your Blue NCAE T-Shirts
I agree with you! We should all take the same day off. However, they have put so many rules in place for our "flexible" leave that it would not be allowed. I STILL think we should take the same day off. We could take a "SICK OUT" day. I like the last day of school, myself. We will end up donating that pay, though. No one has any time that they can take off. There is too much to do. We actually have professional responsibilities. We aren't hourly employees that can clock out and forget it. She is not treating us as professionals. THIS SATURDAY is a protest in Raleigh. I hope people will show up. Every Wednesday I hope you will all wear red to show your outrage. What else can we do?
Beverly, you should be ashamed of yourself for cutting the state employees pay. Now that you have their morale at an all time low, are you going to kick them while they're down as well? It might be kinder to just fire a bunch of them. That way they could go on welfare, and probably live better than they did when they were honest hard working citizens. Some of them might even commit crimes, go to prison, and really have it good! I have never believed that any of the lottery money was going to improve our education system. If any of that money does go towards education, it is instead of, not in addition to, other money that might have been budgeted to education. If I had a hundred dollars to send my child to school, and somebody gave me another hundred dollars for her school, I would take the two hundred dollars, and send her to a better school. You wouldn't do that though. You would spend the hundred given to you, and spend the other hundred supporting some illegal alien or a deadbeat welfare recipient.
Maybe she could give up the chauffeur driven SUV. I bet SHE wont take the optional pay cut and I bet her cronies wont either. Thanks for respecting my 18 years of state service! KICK PERDUE OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!!!!!
I can bet you ONE PERSON who isn't going to see a pay cut....anyone want to guess WHO? It's going to take stupid stuff like this to make people TICKED OFF ENOUGH to rip control of this state out of Democrats hands...they don't know the MEANING of a BUDGET...my five year old can do math better than these knuckleheads can!
Well as I see it, if they want to cut my pay a half percent then I will give back what they give me. I will cut what I do by a half percent. That is only fair. Then when they make us take 10 to 20 unpaid days (future plans that I feel are coming) then I will give the same amount back. They need to fix the top heavy government before they mess with the little people.
I don't mind this at all. The thing I do mind is the 8.9% increase in insurance benefits. As it stands now, I pay for my husband and child 595.00 per month now it will be 648.00 per month. In fiscal 2010, it will increase another 8.9% which will come to 706.00 per month. Meanwhile the big guns over BCBS NC has received a 4 million dollar bonus. So I guess the 17.8 % increase for them will assist in paying his wealthy living. Sure wish I could put that money into a savings account. Over the next 20 years I have to work and given no other increase, which will never happen, I would have a cool 200M in savings. I'm sure I will not spend that much in medical bills over the next 20 years, "God willing". God help us all with the Dems in office. SPEND SPEND SPEND
Govenor Perdue should be ashamed! NC politicians are again cutting the salaries of our hard-working and already underpaid state employees and Teachers to save money for what? Haven't we broken enough promises and betrayed this group of workers enough already? I suppose the saved funds will provide more money for welfare and other social programs for those that don't contribute! How about a pay cut in those social programs? The budget crises could have a simple solution. Elected officials could stop wasting our tax money for bloated programs and entitlements that benefit those who don't work or contribute to the system. This free ride is largely at the expense of our working people...and the Democrats have played the poor and uneducated with these social programs for votes long enough! End the massive government waste, fraud, and the free rides that are conditioning so many people in our state to live unproductive and irresponsible lives. It is draining our state and our country at a staggering rate. We will certainly see a surplus of tax dollars to improve our infrastructure,educational systems, and even provided raises for state employees if we just make some deep cuts in the social programs and other wasteful programs! If we continue on the current destructive track, we will further erode the incentive to work for the productive and employed workers whose tax contributions keep this all going anyway. What happens to this system that rewards parasites and punishes the self reliant when virtually everyone decides to get on the system? It's called a collapse! Something has to change soon or we may reach a point of no return.
In the "clarification" order released today, the significance of the pay cut was explained. The 1/2 percent pay cut will be based on the annual salary, but taken out of a single paycheck (for 10 month employees like teachers). This means that the entire amount, 200-350 dollars, will be taken out of a single paycheck. This is a big deal. There are many other ways to save money rather than this, and I have emailed Mrs. Perdue with those suggestions. Please do the same.
THIS IS SO WRONG IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE! I am a teacher and this is insane. I do not get paid all summer and struggle with 2 kids and you are taking hundreds of dollars out of the last check I get until September! I do not believe for one minute that there was not other way possible to get money in the budget! Taking from people who are already underpaid and underappreciated is just wrong! Could you have taken a percentage away from the professional football players and basketball players in this state? They play games and make money!! I work tirelessly to teach kids to read, write, understand science and math! I do not need the stinking 10 hours. I do not work teacher workdays anyway. Therefore, you gave me nothing I will use! Thanks! Tired Teacher
Thank you for your comments. I agree with everything you have said. As a result of all of this mess, my job for next year is a big question mark right now. I have been told that my full-time position will be cut to half time if the proposed budget is passed. Nice... 11 years, pay cuts, and now partial job loss. Oh, I forgot to mention...I teach music. Yes, of all things, let cut the one thing that the kids look forward to, the one thing that lets them express their creativity and talent. This makes me sick.
As a teacher, I could go on forever about what is wrong with this. I will try not to. I am considering going to work without my shoes, though. A quiet protest, but if enough people did it, someone might notice. This week we have had three pay cuts. The first, the merit pay, hits the hardest working people who get the best results. The second, our supplement, which was only 4% to begin with, still was all I had for Christmas money. Still, when the principal said look around, I have to let people go if we don't. I agreed with everyone else that it was better for everyone to lose a little. The thing is, they pour money into multiple copies of tests, and we test all year long now, if you think teachers have it bad, not one of us would trade jobs with a guidance counselor, I assure you. As for the billion dollars, (hurray!) They are building at least 60 new schools with the lottery money, but apparently not paying for teachers to staff them. I also have heard that Bev will be diverting those funds soon, anyway. The school system, and the political systems, have become behemoths that devour our incomes through taxes, with little benefit to the people. So much for brief.
As a teacher, I am grateful to have a secure job, and in the scheme of things a .5% is a small price to pay for that. However, the conditions of the policy really go about the cut in a negative way. Teachers are paid on a 10 month scale. In order for a teacher to loose .5% of their pay for the 08-09 fiscal year, that means the entire portion of the cut must come out of the May check as opposed to being split between the May and June check like other 12 month state employees. $150 (approximate) less on a paycheck is a large chunk of money in such rough times with no forewarning to budget for the loss. If the .5% were taken out every month for 10 months, that would be the approximate of $15 a month – a very workable loss. The 10 hours are called flex time because it will be up to the discretion of the county on when the hours are to be taken. The county would never give the furlough on a day with students, because a substitute would have to be paid, which of course is in direct opposition to the whole point of the cut-back. As others have mentioned, the only way to do this would be to furlough workdays. A workday furlough is almost pointless because a teacher’s work has to get done. You can’t show up to a room of 25 six-year olds and not be prepared! The flex-time is so flexible in fact, that the state is allowing the time to be taken between May and December of 2009. This is probably to assure the time is taken on non-instructional days. Again, I know it needs to be done, and I’m lucky to have a job. I do hope the State learns a lesson from this and looks hard at next year’s budget to avoid a situation like this next year.
I see some of you saying you don't mind giving up money to help out in this economic crisis and what's $4 a week to help out? Well for me, $4 a week wouldn't be bad if it were taken throughout the year but when I get hit with it all at once it's kind of rough on my pocket book. Not to mention, my husband also works for the state. It's not just $200 for me in May, it's close to $500 for my family! I don't know about some of you, but it's significant to me considering I've had interest rates rise on credit cards without any warning, and we're 10 month employees with no checks coming in June and July! What savings we have for the summer will be used to get through May and then come August we'll really be hurting. We are thankful to have jobs and I know it could be worse. I know this means to save a job. It's just unfortunate that it came at the end of the year, on our LAST paycheck for 2 months.
Bev Purdue want to cut state employees salary. Why isn't her salary being cut? Or why isn't she offering part of her salary. It goes back to the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. The economy is already upside down without a pay cut being imposed on hard working individuals trying to survive and provide for their family. Wonder if Bev Purdue will contribute to paying some of our bills with our pay cuts she has imposed.
I think this is a great idea. If cutting my pay .5% helps keep a couple hundred people employed for a little while longer than so be it. Everyone is taking the cut and so is the Governor. We need to remember that we are a community and need to put the whole above self at times. She would not have done this if it wasn't as dire a situation as it is. State employees got her elected and form her base; surely she wouldn't alienate them if there wasn't an absolute reason to.
Publicly elected officials are exempt from salary cuts, so our lovely Governor is not taking any pay cut. Is there some other sacrifice she is making that wasn't reported?
What cuts is the Governor taking???
Hey, be generous with your own money....not mine. Get some of them sorry people off the government teet and there would be plenty. A few examples....make prisons grow their own food...no work, no eat. Give the surplus to welfare people instead of checks and food stamps. Fire 90% of state bureaucrats...no loss, big gain. Give tax credits for people to spend money....it ain't rocket science. I am very upset that my check is cut...did welfare checks get cut 5%? Did taxes go down 5%? I think you will find a hard time finding sympathy....just wait until July 1 when they announce that this is going to apply for the whole year 2009-2010...
I don't recall her saying she was going to take a pay cut and she makes a lot more than most of us employees and what about the house and senate? I guess the low man catches the crap again as it rolls down the hill from the top. In all, I guess it is better than no job.
That's not bad compared to New Hanover County workers who are being made to take off one week before June, and two weeks after June with no pay. That's a 5.76% decrease in pay for them this year, plus they have stopped their vacation and sick time accruals. When you live paycheck to paycheck, and lose three of them in a year, it hurts.