RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Pay increases for state employees are included in both Gov. Roy Cooper’s and the N.C. House of Representatives’ budget proposals. The State Employees Association of North Carolina isn’t fully on board with what is being proposed from either.

A budget proposal released by the House proposes a 7.5 percent salary increase for state employees. The governor is proposing an 8 percent boost.

“It won’t cut it,” said Ardis Watkins, executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina.

She’d like to see the state’s $3 billion surplus be used for larger raises.

“The state has done incredibly from an economic standpoint. This is the time to actually make a meaningful investment in employees. They’re leaving,” said Watkins.

Data from the Office of State Budget and Management shows a more than 20 percent vacancy rate for state jobs. The turnover rate for first year state employees is 37 percent.

“They don’t need well wishes and thank yous. They need to pay their bills and to do that we need a much bigger raise,” said Watkins.

Watkins says the bare minimum would be raises that match inflation paired with retention bonuses.

CBS 17 asked Republican House Speaker Tim Moore how he responds to those dissatisfied with the proposed raised.

Moore responded, “I hope they understand that we’re stepping forward and doing what we can and what we can’t afford.”

Watkins said one of their biggest hang-ups is with the inequity in raise.

Some state positions are being offered bigger salary increases under the House budget. Moore said proposing double-digit raises for State Highway Patrol and teachers are a response to higher vacancy rates there.

“Where we saw an acute issue with keeping employees, we knew we had to go in and add additional sums there so that’s why we did it,” said Moore.

In addition to the 7.5 percent pay increase, the House also proposes an additional 2 percent raise for hard to hire positions.

Without significant changes to the budget — Watkins fears state vacancy rates could keep rising.

“No other way for this story to end if we don’t do a lot better in the budget,” she said.

The House will vote on the budget Wednesday and Thursday. It will then head to the Senate.

Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger told CBS 17 they will likely go in a different direction, hinting at proposing more equitable raises.

“We’re concerned about, do we have the capacity to put in place a recurring obligation to the state’s taxpayers. That’s what a raise ultimately represents and try to deal with some degree of equity between the teachers and the state employees,” said Berger.