North Carolina community colleges have asked the state for 5% salary increases in the next fiscal year, citing such increases as necessary for competitive staff recruitment and retention, The Center Square reported.
The requests from the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) and other colleges and universities come in time for the state General Assembly to formulate its new state spending plan to last the next two fiscal years.
NCCCS asked for $60.2 million in recurring funds in fiscal year 2021-2022 for pay raises for its staff and faculty at 58 campuses.
NCCCS and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) are also asking for money due to enrollment declines. NCCCS is asking for $61 million to stabilize its budget.
NCCCS is third largest in the U.S. but 40th for employee salaries, NCCCS President Thomas Stith III said. The average NCCCS salary for the 2018‐19 fiscal year was $49,481. And employees have not received pay raises in the past two fiscal years.
NCCCS is also requesting $36 million for improving NCCCS’s information technology and cybersecurity systems.
NCICU President Hope Williams is requesting an increase to recurring funding of state need-based aid from $88.9 million to $99.9 million and $750,000 for STEM scholarships. NCICU is additionally asking for $6 million in financial aid for students with families harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.