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ND United President hoping Gov. Burgum will include substantial raises for teachers and public workers in his executive budget

Nick Archuleta
Nick Archuleta

On Thursday, Gov. Doug Burgum will outline the guidelines state agencies will use to prepare their budget requests for the 2025-2027 biennium.

Burgum will present his proposed executive budget to state lawmakers in December, during the Legislature’s organizational session. It will be his last executive budget proposal, since he did not seek re-election as Governor.

And the head of the organization that represents teachers and state employees is hoping Burgum will have proposals for higher salaries.

"The National Education Association came out with its annual ranking of the states," Archuleta said. "And North Dakota has fallen from 33rd in the nation, in average teacher salaries, to 37th."

Archuleta said he's hoping that, as the state wrestles with the on-going shortage of teachers, that no further damage is done, by not paying teachers what they're worth.

As for state and other public employees, Archuleta said the Legislature voted to close the “defined benefit” retirement plan for public employees, replacing it with a “defined contribution” plan. And he said closing the “defined benefit” plan is proving to be more expensive to than what lawmakers had planned on.

"So we hope there's money in the budget for salary increases, so that the Legislature doesn't come back and say, 'Well, gosh, we're having to spend way more than we anticipated in closing down the pension plan, and therefor we can't give you salary increases,'" Archuleta said. "There is a shortage of people willing to take these jobs in public service, and we really need to recognize taht fact, and do what we can to attract and retain the high-quality employees that we have."

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