State budget includes teacher pay increase, COVID relief

After years of working to provide public education during a pandemic without pay raises, or a state budget, public schools in North Carolina will once again operate with a state budget in place after it was signed Nov. 18 by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. 

Macon to spend millions on new pay plan

After spending the last several years discussing the need for an updated pay scale, Macon County commissioners recently approved spending close to $9 million over the next three years to increase county employee pay. 

Housing crunch exacerbates WCU’s stagnant salaries

With the state’s biennial budget process  now nearing its conclusion, Western Carolina University employees are hopeful that they could soon see their first permanent raise in three years. 

Jackson considers more salary for first responders

After multiple work sessions and a public hearing, Jackson County commissioners may designate an additional $444,000 in the 2021-22 budget for law enforcement and emergency response salaries. 

Retired teachers ask state for a raise

When teachers were starting their careers in North Carolina some 30 years ago, they did so with the understanding that their health care would be covered and the money they put into their retirement fund would cover the cost of living when the time came. 

Tribal employees to see 7 percent raise

Christmas will be extra sweet this year for tribal employees following Tribal Council’s vote to enact a 7 percent cost-of-living raise retroactive to the start of the fiscal year Oct. 1. Employees will start receiving their new salary as well as retroactive pay at the next payday Dec. 20.

After 125 years, we can do better

Bob Savelson • Guest columnist

Thinking about Labor Day, it has been a national holiday since 1894. Consistent with the nation’s ambivalent feelings about whether organized labor should truly be part of its social fabric, the statute was signed by President Grover Cleveland — who earlier that year had dispatched federal troops to break a strike called to support Pullman car employees protesting wage cuts. 

Community college leader works to hike salaries

North Carolina Community College President Peter Hans says his main goal is to advocate for more funding for the state community college system, including working to boost the salaries.

Far-reaching consequences of the shutdown

Last week my boys flew on an airplane for the first time without me. I was a nervous wreck to say the least. They went on a trip to Universal Studios with their dad and his girlfriend, so aside from already being sad about not being there to make memories with them, my stress was heightened by the fact they were in the air and I was on the ground. 

The hardest part about divorce is missing out on chunks of your children’s lives. As their mom, it feels disorienting to not be with my children all the time or for them to experience new adventures of which I’m not a part. 

Working 9 to 5 (plus nights and weekends)

Unemployment rates are about as low as they’re going to get in Western North Carolina and there are jobs to be had for those who want them, but many people across different professions have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet as wages have not kept pace with the cost of living. 

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