UNC System Updates

Updates on the UNC System Annual Salary Increase Process and Bonus Leave

UNC Asheville receives updates from the UNC System Office regarding the budget and salary increases. Below are the latest updates.

Nov. 20, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As you may have heard, the Legislature recently adjourned until January 14th following a week-long session focused on redrawing Congressional district maps. This action comes at the end of a long session, which began in January and ended on October 31st, featuring a number of bills that will impact the UNC System. Here is the current status of some important matters relevant to the work that we do.

The State Appropriations Act (H. 966) provided significant funding for the University, including a number of UNC System Board of Governors-approved priorities. It included almost every UNC System policy request, including a number of long-held priorities, which provide additional flexibility to our institutions. H. 966 included more than $630 million in authorized funding for major renovations and new capital projects, as well as $80 million in much-needed repair and renovation funding to address our significant infrastructure backlog.

However, the budget act only provided $15 million and $30 million in each year of the biennium for compensation increases, which equates to roughly a half (0.5) percent and one percent (compared to two and a half percent and five percent for most non-UNC System state employees). The final version of the budget was vetoed by Governor Cooper in late June. On September 11th, the House overrode the governor’s veto. This action moved the bill to the Senate for its consideration of the veto override. This discussion has yet to take place.

Before adjourning on October 31st, the Legislature passed two significant bills impacting the UNC System. H. 231 would have provided the pay raises that were included in the budget for both UNC and NC Community College System employees, along with a retiree bonus. More importantly, the Legislature passed S. 354 (Strengthening Educator Pay Act), which would have increased the raises for UNC System employees by another $40.8 million and $82.1 million in each year of the biennium, contingent upon a veto override of H. 966. When added to the increase in the Faculty Recruitment & Retention Fund included in the budget, S. 354 would have resulted in a net increase of roughly four percent over the biennium. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed both bills, which leaves the UNC and the NC Community College Systems without new resources to provide critical raises until after the veto is overridden.

This past Friday, the governor offered a counter-proposal. This proposal includes limited (two percent) raises to University employees who are exempt from the State HR Act, while providing those who are subject to the State HR Act with raises equal to that of other state agencies. Rest assured, I will continue to fight for fair compensation increases for all University employees comparable to those received by other state employees.

In short, I’m optimistic and hopeful that we’ll see a state budget implemented in January with the additional compensation funding included in S. 354. We appreciate the Legislature hearing our concerns with the original budget and offering its support for addressing our compensation needs.            


Bill Roper
UNC System Interim President

Nov. 16, 2019

UNC System Human Resources Council,

I wanted to share the below updates regarding funding for the University’s annual salary increase process and bonus leave:

  • The recently passed House Bill 231 essentially duplicated the funding provisions from the previously vetoed State Budget appropriations bill in order to authorize and fund university and community college employee raises (equivalent to a 0.5% salary increase for FY19-20) and to authorize the five days of bonus leave for university and community college employees. The Governor vetoed this bill on November 8.
  • A second funding bill, House Bill  354, was also recently passed by the General Assembly and was geared toward  public school salary increases and also provided a supplemental budget allocation to the university and community colleges for FY19-20. This bill increased the budget for university and community college employee salary increases to an equivalent of 2% for the fiscal year. The Governor vetoed this bill on November 8.

Since then, the General Assembly was out of session for almost two weeks, and no formal action by the legislature regarding university increases or budget has occurred since. This past week, the legislature was in session and focused on redistricting matters.

At this time, we remain with no appropriation for the annual salary increase process for university and community college employees and still lack the ability to authorize bonus leave. However, please know the System Office actively continues its advocacy on these items and we are monitoring developments very closely.

I will continue providing HR Council with further updates as developments warrant.


Matt Brody
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer