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School Board accepts job reclassification report

February 29, 2000|By BRUCE HAMILTON

A controversial job reclassification study was accepted in principle by the Washington County Board of Education Tuesday.

The School Board hired Washington consulting firm Hendricks & Associates Inc. last March to evaluate the jobs of 935 school support workers. The union representing those workers has repeatedly criticized the report as flawed.

The School Board's proposed budget for the 2000-2001 year included a $50,000 line item to implement the study. The figure represents the estimated cost of changing one-fourth of the workers' pay scales and giving several raises.

Charles Hendricks, president of the firm, said his proposal is a market-based system that makes pay grades more competitive. ESP Local No. 1 President Bonnie Parks said Hendricks' plan gives the most money to the newest employees in a merit-pay plan.

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Although the board's budget included money for the study's recommendations, it had not formally adopted the report. Last month, Parks said allocating the funds was irresponsible and premature.

When the School Board presented its budget to the County Commissioners Monday, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook asked if the study had been adopted. "No," answered a board member.

The School Board's advertised agenda for Tuesday's business meeting and work session did not include the reclassification study. But board members discussed it during the morning, amended the agenda and voted 6-0 to accept it Tuesday night.

Board member Andrew Humphreys said some details of the study will be negotiated with employees. "I think it's fair to say we aren't finished dealing with those issues," he said.

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