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School Board giving $1 million in pay raises

June 15, 1999|By BRUCE HAMILTON

The Washington County Board of Education is giving $1 million in raises to educational support personnel, administrators and supervisors on July 1.

The School Board on Tuesday approved a 4 percent raise for all administrative employees and raised the top of the pay scale. The administrators' raises will cost $471,600 in the upcoming budget year, according to Director of Budget and Finance Chris South.

The board also approved a negotiated agreement with ESP-Local 1, the union representing workers in maintenance, food service, transportation and other noncertified positions. That raise will cost $614,305, according to South.

The two-year agreement gives all support personnel a 2 percent raise in the first year, according to Director of Human Resources Phil Ray.

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Another 2 percent will be applied to "longevity," or distributed among step increases.

In the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2000, support personnel will get another 2 percent raise with a 1 percent increase in the step increases.

Under the agreement, all support employees will receive at least a 4 percent raise over two years, Ray said. Depending on their lengths of service, some will get more.

There are seven steps in support workers' wage scales. The first is between one and nine years' experience. The last is for those with more than 28 years on the job.

Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr. said the administrators' raise is part of a negotiated agreement last year. The money for this year's raises is included in this year's budget, he said.

School Board President Edwin Hayes said the pay increase is needed to keep good administrators in Washington County. Higher income brackets in other jurisdictions lure away qualified workers, he said.

"We've got the same problems with them that we do with teachers," he said. "We're not competitive."

Washington County will still rank in the bottom third in the state for administrative pay scales when the raise takes effect.

Administrators tend to move from the most rural end of Western Maryland toward the Baltimore metropolitan area, Hayes said.

"It's like we have a river running east," he said.

There are nine categories for administrative pay, with coordinators at the bottom, principals and supervisors in the middle and executive directors at the top.

Each category had nine steps but now has 10 steps.

Assistant principals in middle and elementary schools, for example, start off at $53,890 and top out at $70,315. Executive directors go from $70,610 to $92,130.

Bartlett said the School Board compared the pay scales to other counties in Maryland as well as in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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