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Even with raises, some school workers to have pay slashed

The good news is all county school employees will be getting a 2 percent pay raise in the coming school year.

The bad news is some employees will see a reduction in their pay due to cuts Halifax County School Board members are proposing to make to individual employees’ salaries.

The decision on whose salaries to cut is being based on an inequity in salaries that School Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon alluded to earlier this year.

School Finance Director Jay Camp said Tuesday afternoon, the superintendent and Executive Director for Administration Valdivia Marshall reviewed personnel files and conducted their own internal audit finding inconsistencies with employees’ years of experience, degrees and salaries.

“The next couple of weeks are going to be tough,” he added.

Camp declined to say how many employees’ salaries would be affected by salary reductions.

After emerging from closed session discussion Monday, school board members voted 4-2-1 to authorize Marshall and Camp to meet and discuss salary adjustments with those affected employees. 

ED-2 trustee Karen Hopkins, ED-8 trustee Walter Potts opposed, ED-4 Cheryl Terry abstained, and Chairman Kimberly Farson was absent.

The board is expected to make these salary adjustments official at its March 25 meeting.

According to ED-5 trustee Dr. Roger Long, the affected employees won’t see changes in their salaries until next year’s contract.

“It has budget implications whether it’ll be up or down,” said Long.

School board members also unanimously approved giving all employees a 2 percent raise Monday night.

The governor has earmarked $416,612 in state funding to provide 2 percent raises for Standards of Quality positions.

School board members sought an additional $308,961 from the county to provide 2 percent raises for all other positions in the school system so that all employees will receive across the board raises.

The proposed county budget includes $360,000 above last year’s funding for the schools that can be used to provide raises for employees.

The cost for providing a 2 percent raise for all school employees totals $725,573, Herndon said.

The school board will hold a final budget work session March 25 at 6 p.m. in the school board conference room.

A public hearing on the school budget has been set for Monday at 6 p.m. in the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax.