NC Workers' Group Fights Budget Cuts

February 5, 2002 ( - A North Carolina state workers' group is continuing its battle against state officials cutting money from current and former employees to make up a budget deficit that could be as high as $900 million.

The latest salvo from the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) came in a letter to Governor Michael Easley from SEANC executive director Dana Cope. Cope urged Easley to remember workers’ contributions in virtually every area of state services.

“I implore you to consider a quarter of a million employees a top priority as you develop a plan to address the projected (budget) shortfall, rightly indicating their role and value in bringing North Carolina through these tough economic times,” Cope said in the letter.

Last year, Easley diverted $230 million in scheduled retirement contributions to balance the budget. In addition, the legislature recently reduced the employer contribution to the pension fund for more than 500,000 state employees and teachers.