Some school employees will get a raise Oct. 1

By ELIOT DUKE
Of the Record staff
Posted 8/17/21

The Harnett County Schools Board of Education approved a new salary table for classified employees.

Monica Thompson, HCS assistant superintendent of human resources, presented findings of a recent …

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Some school employees will get a raise Oct. 1

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The Harnett County Schools Board of Education approved a new salary table for classified employees.

Monica Thompson, HCS assistant superintendent of human resources, presented findings of a recent classified staff salary study to the Board of Education on Monday that will see many system employees receive a raise. Under the new proposal, new and current HCS bus drivers will start out making $15 an hour once the raises go into effect on Oct. 1.

“I’m so thankful to be able to offer this to our folks because for such a long time they didn’t have any hope to get any raise,” Thompson said. “This is a big step for us in the right direction.”

Thompson introduced the study to the education board last month, as the district examined different ways to keep classified employees from leaving HCS for better pay. The findings showed a number of classified employees qualified for a pay increase that would get them more in line with other municipalities. What an employee receives is based on several factors such as employment tenure and the difference between their pay and market value.

“Some will receive more,” said Thompson. “We want to thank everyone who has worked here for a number of years and we appreciate their loyalty to this district. Raises will not be retroactive and no one will receive a decrease in pay.”

County commissioners already approved $500 bonuses for all classified staff, but HCS wanted to do more with its share of leftover COVID-19 funds. A breakdown of the study showed a high percentage of teacher assistants and student clerical staff qualified for the pay increase, but different departments were closer to market value than others. Only 52 of 180 classified employees in transportation, custodial and maintenance can expect a raise.

“I think this is the perfect year to implement this program because everybody will receive something this year because of the county commissioner’s bonus,” Thompson said. “If you’re already receiving market value, you will still receive something.”

Thompson told the board last month that the district is finding it harder to recruit new people to Harnett County who come from other areas where the pay is better. While the new pay scale doesn’t fix all of the district’s problems when it comes to salaries, Thompson says it’s a good start.

“We couldn’t really match the salary,” said Thompson. “Everyone will not get a raise and I do think that will be hard. But there is no way that I think we can change that to get everyone on an even step so we can start moving forward in a more unified fashion and not so displaced all over the scale.”

Financial assistance from commissioners will be needed moving forward if the school district hopes to extend its pay increasing efforts.

“It’s a start,” HCS Superintendent Aaron Fleming said at the July BOE meeting. “Our goal would be to give equal incremental increases to classified staff. We want to be able to kick this off with the funds we have and have them come in at the end if you will and get it to where we can do this for everybody, and not just classified but any employee who’s not salary.”

Additional tweaks could be made to the pay scale in the future, Thompson said.

Eliot Duke can be reached at eduke@mydailyrecord.com or at 910-230-2038.

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Ahawley

Harnett county schools had little choice but to give some of their employees a raise,their sick of the Administration reaping all the benefits & the rest getting peanuts.Their trying to keep employees from leaving,its federal money anyway.I had a Nc legislator tell me that the Harnett county school system was the most corrupt organization in all of N.C.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021