- Last Updated on 07:54 AM 03/27/13
- BY Tiffany Hudson
Proposed salary adjustments — giving raises to some school employees and cutting income to others — met with a less than favorable response Monday night when a majority of Halifax County School Board members rejected Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon’s recommendation following a lengthy closed door session.
At the March 11 school board meeting, trustees authorized Executive Director for Administration Valdivia Marshall and Director of Finance Jay Camp to discuss proposed salary adjustments with affected employees before bringing back their recommendations to the board for a final vote Monday.
Chairman Kimberly Farson offered the motion to reject the superintendent’s recommendation for salary adjustments, and ED-8 trustee Walter Potts seconded the motion.
Final vote was 6-1-1 with ED-1 trustee Phyllis Smith voting against the motion and ED-6 school board member Fay
For the past two weeks, the pair of school officials has traveled from school to school meeting with a number of Halifax County School System employees who were informed about adjustments to their salaries proposed to be made in the upcoming contract year.
Some were notified they may receive increases in pay, while others were told of impending cuts to their salaries.
Those affected employees were selected based on inconsistencies in their salaries, Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon said.
According to board members, discussion about adjusting certain employees’ salaries arose in December when Prismatic representative Tatia Prieto met with school board members to review the efficiency study and its 122 recommendations.
Included in the recommendations was the suggestion for board members to establish and publish a new compensation and pay plan.
Board members said Monday that several comments and concerns were made following the study in reference to this recommendation, and Prieto suggested a compensation study be completed.
“It’s been a growing problem,” said Farson.
Tuesday morning the school board chairman said salary adjustments were not included as budgeted items in the upcoming school year after being removed from the budget before it was approved Monday night. (See related budget story)
However, board members did vote to bring up the issue of salary adjustments for discussion at the next regular scheduled school board meeting.
By a 6-2 vote, board members approved presenting salary adjustments in categorical listings excluding experience adjustments at the April 8 meeting.
ED-1 trustee Phyllis Smith and ED-2 trustee Karen Hopkins voted against the motion.
According to Farson, board members asked administration to bring back a list of the proposed salary adjustments in categories offering more details.
“Basically we’re asking, instead of lumping everyone together, for a more broken down list, proof to support the recommendations and clarity to discuss it, and it’s all being brought back for the April 8 meeting,” said Farson.
But Farson was quick to add that just because the board is bringing the information back for discussion at the next board meeting, “it’s not locked in that the board will be taking action on it. It could just be for information only.”
“All of this has led us to work toward putting a policy in place…so at the April 8 meeting, you will see us begin working on putting a policy in place,” Farson concluded.