Schools raise some salaries
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004
&uot;I understand there were emotions. We will continue to work and study and come back with recommendations to the board for other groups.&uot;
Those were the words of Shelby County School Superintendent Evan Major in the aftermath of a rejection by the Shelby County Board of Education to grant central office clerk typists a 6 percent pay raise they were expecting last Thursday night.
The raise for clerk typists was defeated when Board members Peg Hill and Trey Ireland voted &uot;no&uot; to a revision in the salary schedules that included them. School Board President Dr. Lee Doebler voted for the raise. Board members Steve Martin and Allen Rice were absent.
While Doebler was opposed to approving a revision of salary schedules without the clerk typists’ raise, he voted for the revisions with the exclusion of the clerks after Major stressed the importance of getting a new salary schedule approved for the school board to be able to move forward with regard to contracts.
Excluded were a revised central office clerk typist schedule, a revised central office accounting/payroll clerk schedule and a revised central office chief clerk schedule.
While the board did not raise the pay of clerk typists, several other board of education employees received raises in pay through changes in status, the re-organization of the Finance Department and revised job descriptions.
The board also approved taking on the responsibility of hiring school building custodians who were previously hired by individual schools.
&uot;Those (positions) that were elevated (received pay increases) were because of increased responsibilities in their jobs,&uot; Major said.
Included in the finance department re-organization were revised job descriptions for audit manager, finance manager, payroll manager. Other job descriptions were revised for attendance registrar, network administrator and senior network engineer.
A new position was created for Child Nutrition Program nutrition education area manager.
Also receiving increases in pay as a result of changes in status were Kristi Williams, human resources/personnel supervisor at the central office to human resources/personnel coordinator; and Susan Poling from technology supervisor at the central office to technology coordinator.
A breakdown of central office salary adjustments, according to public relations supervisor Cindy Warner, is as follows:
* Chief accountant Ollie Bulger. Title did not change, but a salary adjustment was recommended by supervisor. The previous salary was $46,725.60; the new salary is $47,225.64, an increase of $500.04.
* Audit manager (currently vacant). Title change from &uot;local school auditor&uot; and salary adjustment requested by supervisor as part of re-organization within the finance department. No previous salary. Now, $39,667.
* Finance manager (currently vacant). New position and title requested by supervisor as part of re-organization within the finance department. Previous salary zero. New salary $39,667.
* Payroll manager Signa Ferguson. Title changed from &uot;payroll supervisor&uot; and salary adjustment was requested by supervisor as part of the re-organization within the finance department and to be consistent with other positions of similar scope, educational level and responsibility within the job market. Previous salary $40,607.15. Now $44,074, an crease of $3,467.52.
* Field auditors Amy Goodwin, Carol Harrison, Patti Moore and a new position not yet filled. Title did not change. Salary adjustment was requested by supervisor as part of the re-organization within the finance department. The position was recommended for a salary change consistent with other positions of similar scope, educational level and responsibility in the job market.
– Amy Goodwin, previous salary $30,057.96, new $36,057.96, an increase of $6,000.
– Carol Harrison, previous salary $34,934.64, new $40,934.64, an increase of $6,000.
– Patti Moore, previous salary of $31,249.08, new $37,249.08, an increase of $6,000.
– New position, vacant. No previous salary. New salary $34,903.
* CNP area manager titles did not change. However, the position was recommended for a salary schedule change that was consistent with other positions of similar scope, educational level and responsibility in the job market.
– Ashley Alexander, previous salary, $31,050.96, new $36,330, an increase of $5,279.04.
– Peggy Davis, previous salary, $35,091.21, new $41,057.04, an increase of $5,965.80.
– Nancy Hunt, previous salary, $35,115.12, new $41,085.12, an increase of $5,970.
– Betty Ingram, previous salary, $30,057.96, new $36,057.96, an increase of $6,000.
* Technology Network Administrators. This is a title change from &uot;assistant network administrator&uot; and
along with a salary adjustment was recommended by the supervisor to provide a better description of the job duties and responsibilities.
– J.D. Chaves, previous salary, $45,432.12, new $47,500.08, an increase of $2,067.96.
– David Gates, previous salary, $46,213.32, new $48,400.08, an increase of $2,186.76.
– Ken Carter, previous salary, $48,000, new $52,000, an increase of $4,000.
* Supplement for community education program manager/administrative assistant Rebecca Gamble. The title did not change. The supplement was recommended by the supervisor to compensate for additional administrative duties that are currently being assumed.
Previous salary, $41,868, new $45,468, an increase of $3,600.
* Technology coordinator Susan Poling. This is a change in status from technology supervisor, not a title change but a promotion with an increased level of responsibility.
Previous salary, $69,569.64, new, $79,577, an increase of $10,007.36.
* Human resources/personnel coordinator Kristi Williams. This is a change in status from Human resources/personnel supervisor, not a title change but a promotion with an increased level of responsibility.
Previous salary, $62,847.84, new $72,257.72, an increase of $9,409.88.
In what proved a premature statement of thanks to the board for approving a 6 percent pay increase for clerk typist, Anne Phelps, a clerk typist for 10 years, said, &uot;During the nearly 10 years that I have been employee here, this is the very first time that I, and others in my position, have received a local increase.&uot;
She said every three to six years clerks have received an increase from the state in the form of &uot;small COLAs&uot; (cost of living adjustments).
Phelps said the number of administrators, the salaries of administrators, the student population and the workload of support staff have grown. However, she noted, &uot;always without a raise for us (clerk typist).&uot;
Phelps also asked the board to revise job descriptions so that clerk typists titles reflect the work they actually perform and the skills they possess.
&uot;Even my supervisors refer to me as their secretary, not their clerk typist,&uot; she said.
Also in what proved a somewhat premature statement, Susan Hyatt, Shelby County Education Association president and 11th grade teacher at Shelby County High School, told the board she wanted to thank them for 13-month pay for new hires, taking on custodial salaries to free up local school money and looking at giving the 46 employees a 6 percent payraise and changing the status of six others to realize a pay increase.
However, she said, &uot;What concerns me is the inequity of these actions.&uot;
While acknowledging an improving financial condition for the school system, Hyatt said, &uot;Do the recipients (of pay increases) deserve them? Sure. Are there others who deserve a raise? Sure. But where is the plan?
&uot;Do these raises speak to these inequities (reported in studies) or are they, as I posed to Dr. Doebler earlier today, ‘random acts of kindness?’&uot; she asked.
&uot;If they are ‘random acts of kindness,’ I know 1,300 SCEA members and dedicated teachers who are as deserving of these random acts.&uot;
&uot;They are people who spend their already-decreasing paychecks, for they haven’t even had a cost-of-living-adjustment in four years, on classroom supplies … people who teach, document what they teach and then fill out the paperwork about what they’ve taught and how they’ve documented it.&uot;
She continued addressing the board.
&uot;Board members, Mr. Major – I applaud you for all that you do to make Shelby County a better place to work. All I ask is that you make decisions fairly and equitably, so that when we do see the work of our education family being rewarded, we all feel like celebrating instead of asking each other, why him and not her? why me and not them? why are some of us being asked to wait on the state to give us a token cost-of-living adjustment, while others of us will benefit from that raise as well as a local raise?&uot;
In voting opposing the pay increase for clerk typist at this time, Ireland said the school system was not following
previous expert recommendations and called for further study as to whose pay needs to be increased and when.
He said the raise for clerk typists was &uot;just premature.&uot;
&uot;It’s not that I don’t want them to get a raise but go through it methodically and make sure it’s right,&uot; Ireland said.
School Board member Peg Hill said she was not opposed to giving people a raise, but
the move to give clerk typist in the central office a pay increase was based on &uot;emotions.&uot; She also agreed that further study was needed.
Janet Novatnak, uniserv director for District 13, said of clerk typists, &uot;I believe these folks deserved to get a raise … We want to see everybody get a local raise … I think everybody missed the whole point.&uot;
Phelps concluded of the board’s decision, &uot;I’m very sad. I’m very disappointed. But I understand their reasons. I believe they are the right reasons.&uot;
She continued, &uot;Ms. Hill described her desire for a whole package, job title, job description and salary schedule for support staff. And Mr. Ireland commented he wanted a plan for the entire system. I think that is a good thing and does need to be addressed, but it needs to start with us (clerk typists).&uot;
She added, however, &uot;Major has assured me the title description and title changes will happen.