State Employees Receive Lapel Pins Instead of Raises


>>IMG_0727In November, North Carolina state employees received some unexpected swag in their employee mailboxes: a genuine North Carolina logo lapel pin. The pin serves as “a token of appreciation for all that you do to make North Carolina a place where we are all inspired to do, see, create, experience, and achieve more.”

Heads were being scratched all over the state. We have real problems in North Carolina, problems that won’t be fixed by spending $1.5 million of taxpayer money on lapel pins and >>rebranding the state logo .

The reaction from state employees has been mixed, to say the least. At offices and universities across the state, employees have expressed bewilderment, anger, and indignation about the pins.

Here are just a few of the reactions on Twitter:

Lapel pins for all >># NC employees. Guess >>@PatMcCroryNC is still tone-deaf after >>#womenshealth cookie incident.”

UNC faculty, whose salaries have been flat for years, get one time bonus of $750, while chancellors get pay increases up to 18%… Also, we all got a NC lapel pin from the Governor. >>#notjoking ‬”

“Did the governor hand them their lapel pins personally? I certainly hope so. For all others, there is a movement on at least one campus to send this all-too-generous gift back to McCrory. I thought I would share, in case others want to collect them in their own offices and ship them back.”

A faculty member at Western North Carolina University wrote an open letter to Governor McCrory on her >>blogpost , citing her reasons for not wearing the pin:

“I’m not proud of my state at present, not willing to don an “NC” pin when I think that those letters rather stand for “Nefarious Conservatism” or “No Compensation” – particularly with regard to our state’s educators.”

The author's new pin.

The author’s pin, featuring the new NC logo.

Instead of sending NC employees lapel pins, here’s what we could have spent the money on:

  1. Keeping NC teachers. >>Fifteen-percent of NC teachers left their jobs last year, citing dissatisfaction as their main reason. Their pay is low, they are hamstrung with regards to resources, and are limited in what they are allowed to say. To top it all off, instead of an actual pay raise, teachers were instead given a one-time bonus of $750 dollars, which happened during the same legislative session that saw tax benefits increase for the wealthy.
  2. Not raising the sales tax. While personal income taxes were reduced from 5.5 percent to 5 percent, which again mainly benefits the wealthiest North Carolinians, sales tax has been expanded to now include maintenance, repair services, and installations. Sales tax has long been seen as a >>burden on the lower income brackets , and this extension increasingly places pressure on those who are already feeling the financial pinch. Need that clunker of a car that barely runs repaired again? Well, it is going to cost you more.
  3. Helping NC’s immigrant population. When >>HB 318 was signed into law, it restricted access to health care, education, and other services for immigrants living in North Carolina.
  4. Almost anything else. This money could have been spent on almost anything else and it would have benefited NC residents more. Make public transportation free for a day. Give every child a book. Donate the money to homeless shelters. I really mean it. Please do something worthwhile with my taxpayer money!

There are 10 comments

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  1. Jacqueline Billeci

    I have one untouched ‘Nothing Compares’ collectible pin for bid in the original packaging. Willing to trade for food.

  2. Tiffany Hunt

    I am so happy others feel the same way I do. That money could have been used for something other than pins. Wasteful spending.

  3. April Jones

    This article says it all! I too am happy that I am not alone in feeling the way I do about this situation. I wasn’t quite sure how to convey my frustration, disappointment and anger over this, but you have hit the nail on the head. I feel as though we’ve been shortchanged in so many ways. I’m beyond disappointed and frustrated to say the least.

  4. HOPE

    $1.5 Million dollars on lapel pins!!!!! I guess now State Employees can all relate to the “Griswald Jelly of the Month Club” bonus. Although I think it would have been better than a lapel pin. You know, because Jelly is the gift that keeps on giving… :/

  5. Linda Creech

    Hell my husband got the shaft again on raise and he did not get a pin. Talk about sorry, good for nothing government. Low life. No wonder people are leaving the North Carolina government jobs. Legislators do not care one bit for no one but those whining teachers. I told him I would find out why his dept with gov was not recognized but hell they never are.

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