Low-Paid UNC Staff Expected to Get Raises

About 75 UNC workers – including some groundskeepers, housekeepers, mail clerks and other employees who currently earn less than $18,312 a year – soon could receive pay raises to bring them above the federal poverty line.

Approximately 50 of these workers, who are state-paid employees, are in line for part of $4.5 million authorized by Gov. Mike Easley ’72, who announced in January that the money would be used to raise the wages of the lowest-paid state workers in North Carolina.

The money is meant to secure a living wage for state workers, bringing their salaries to at least $18,312 a year. That amount is 120 percent of the poverty level for a family of three, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The other employees are not state-paid, but Laurie Charest ’75, associate vice chancellor for human resources, said that funding would come from “other means” to boost their pay. Charest said she didn’t know exactly what the source would be.

In 2002, the lowest salary of a permanent full-time UNC worker was $17,692, according to the Office of Human Resources. No employee earns less than $15,260, the federal poverty guideline for a family of three. But in 2002, eight employees earned less than $18,400, the poverty guideline for a family of four.

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