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School Board approves salary scales to achieve two-percent raises

The King George School Board approved salary scales earlier this month that are designed to achieve two percent increases for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

Salary scales were approved for the upcoming year for all employees, including those for teachers, therapists, paraprofessionals, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, school and guidance secretaries, central office and

financial secretaries, administrative assistants and personnel/payroll specialist, computer technicians, bus drivers, bus monitors, chief mechanic, custodians, cafeteria workers, and cafeteria assistant managers.

In addition, individual salaries were approved for administrators and central office staff, along with those for each principal and assistant principal position.

SCALE DISCUSSION
At the meeting on June 10 when action was taken, there was also a School Board discussion initiated by Ken Novell that bemoaned the problem about the scales not yet fully aligned at the lower steps.

He’s right. Steps 2 through 6 are asterisked, noting that there is less than two percent between those steps. Another note also appears on the scales’ pages, saying, “Steps may not equate to years of experience.”

The economic bust in 2008 and the continuing lagging economy have taken their toll.

Like King George, numerous divisions put a freeze on pay raises for the successive three years.

But the division, like many across the state, has ended up with a scale that no longer has steps that equate to longevity, or years of service.

That fact may contribute toward a growing desire by some to get away from longevity scales where raises are granted solely on seniority. The trend is toward raises that reward ‘accountability,’ but that is in the talking stages for most divisions, with longevity raises a simpler phenomenon to implement.

Regarding equal increments between each step, School Board members agreed this month that it would be a funding problem to simply enact two percent increases between steps at the lower range of the scales, with Chairman John Davis pointing out that it would be very costly.

That’s because if two percent increases are simply introduced between the lower steps and carried upward on the scales, costs for raises would be multiplied as the increases rippled upward to the top of the scales, most of which have 31 steps.

Davis noted that Superintendent Rob Benson would be attending a “conference that works on that.” That statement indicated the wide-ranging problem in divisions across the state that have traditionally equated the numbers of steps in salary scales to years of service.

Rick Randall noted that it is preferable to have identical raises between each step, he added that it’s not as necessary to have them in those lower steps.

Benson stated that with the 2013-14 scales an attempt was made to begin addressing the problem. He said, “We tried to eliminate some of that decompression by limiting the amount that you increase that initial step.”

But Mike Rose provided a silver lining to their action, saying that employees are receiving step increases. He stated, “This is the first time we’ve ever done a step increase since I’ve been on the School Board for four years.”

The salaries and scales for positions employed by the School Board for 2013-14 can be found online at the School Board’s website, contained in the meeting packet for June 10.

 

TEACHER SALARY SCALE HIGHLIGHTS
The scale for teachers, the largest employee group, is outlined below, with salaries for the first 10 steps noted, including the asterisked steps as mentioned above. The teacher salary scale is the only one that contains an additional note on the bottom, stating, “New hires cap at Step 10.”

It is noteworthy that teachers are exempt from over-time laws under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Teaching jobs are considered full-time, but most divisions still provide jobs that are not full-year, with a lengthy break from mid-June to mid- or late August and time off for winter and spring holidays.

Along with that, teachers are not provided ‘vacation’ pay, but are provided sick leave and some ‘personal’ days during the school year. 

Step 1 – New teachers without experience hired to begin this fall will have a salary of $36,360.  That is the same amount for which new teachers were hired at the beginning of this school year.
Step 2 – $37,087.
Step 3 – $37,367.
Step 4 – $37,648.
Step 5 – $37,928.
Step 6 – $38,207.
Step 7 – $38,971.
Step 8 – $39,750.
Step 9 – $40,547.
Step 10 – $41,356.
The rest of the steps are assumed to have two percent increases between them, with a sampling of steps noted below.
Step 15 –$45,662.
Step 20 –$50,414.
Step 25 –$55,661.
Step 30 –$61,455.
The teacher scale caps out at step 31, the final salary step on the scale noted below.
Step 31 –$62,683.

Phyllis Cook

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