RALEIGH — North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services workers marched into the department headquarters Thursday in hopes of having their message heard. At issue is what they call a troubling trend of deteriorating benefits for DHHS workers.

“I have worked for 20 years in this hospital,” said registered nurse, Beverly Moriarty. “And we have had raises three times.”

The North Carolina Public Service Workers Union say they need “safety rights and raises,” things they say are missing under the current administration and have been missing under past administrations as well.

“After working on their jobs five to 10 years, 82 percent of our healthcare workers and technicians are stuck at the bottom of their salary grade. Which is only about $25,000,” said Bonita Johnson, who works at the Murdoch Developmental Center.

Adding fuel to the their fire are hiring decisions by the current administration at pay levels far above what the workers are making.

“I’m a 21 year six month employee of the state of North Carolina,” said Larsene Taylor with the Union. “You are going to pay somebody two years, no experience and give them up to $82,000. That’s ‘BS’.”

The department and the secretary did not respond to this rally, and particular concerns by these workers. But Secretary Aldona Wos said in September she thought the pay scale was proper for her hires.

“Actually it should be more,” Wos said in September. “But that option doesn’t exist. Based on their responsibilities and their portfolio- absolutely [the right pay].”

The legislature voted to not add raises for state employees in the current budget, saying there was not money for pay increases.

– Loretta Boniti