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KGEA asks for 3% raises

The King George School Board kicked off its budget deliberations last week by hearing from the King George Education Association (KGEA).
Co-presidents Urzetta Lewis and Kathy Heil provided a list of compensation issues that were developed at a meeting of about 80 school employees.
The top three compensation issues were highlighted by the pair.
Those include 3 percent salary increases, a freeze on the employee portion of health insurance costs by having the division absorb any increases.
The top compensation issue is to provide a raise to school employees earning minimum wage.
Heil told The Journal that those would include some substitutes who work as bus aides or cafeteria workers.

PERSONAL LEAVE POLICY CHANGE REQUESTED    
The KGEA also asked for a change in a policy about use of “personal leave.”
“Personal leave” is somewhat unique to school divisions, particularly teachers.  
Like other division employees, teachers receive sick leave and other types of leave, including bereavement leave.
But teachers do not receive annual leave or vacation days because their salaries and benefits are based on a shorter work year than most other full-time jobs.
The teacher work year is a little more than 9 months, with teachers scheduled time off during parts of June and August and all of July.
They also get more than a week off at both Christmas and Easter.
So, in lieu of vacation or annual leave, teachers in King George receive up to four days per year of personal leave.
Personal leave is designed to allow eligible employees to attend to urgent personal business that cannot be transacted outside the regular school hours, or to attend to emergencies that require the presence of the employee and are not permissible under the sick leave plan.
The KGEA provided a proposed amendment to a School Board policy that would allow a percentage of those who get paid personal leave to take it directly preceding or following holiday or other break periods.
In addition to the KGEA presentation, six division employees spoke during public comment, with most urging higher salaries.
Those speaking included Yvonne Richard, saying she was co-president of another division employee group, Virginia Professional Educators, saying she was in the midst of surveying its members on employment issues.
Others speaking were high school teachers Raymond Mikula, Faith Calleson and Nicole Lowe, along with middle school guidance secretary Kelly Mitcheltree and middle school teacher Hope McCullough.

Phyllis Cook
Staff Reporter

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