Loudoun County Public School employees may see pay raises in the coming year after School Board members voted April 16 to add increases across the board.
During a work session, the board voted 7-2 in favor of the raises with Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) and Tom Reed (At-Large) dissenting.
Bill Fox’s (Leesburg) compensation plan modified would offer $1,500 increases for all scales with the top step treated as a one-time bonus. It would also give classified positions a 50 cent per hour raise with a cost savings of $805,000 in fiscal 2013.
“I’m introducing this proposal as a better option, better afforded by Ms. Bergel or Ms. Rose. Not only does it compensate but … it’s a very respectable raise across the board,” Fox said, mentioning it would help in adding more positions to the new John Champe High School. “This is a way to give a bonus to the top and give everybody a fair increase without a corresponding increase we have to cut from another program.”
Except for a few, most board members were on board with Fox’s plan. Hornberger said it will take almost $1 million out of the “pockets of our employees” after three years of not provided increases, especially, he said when the county isn’t required to do so.
The additional cost savings in Fox’s plan could potentially add an assistant athletic director, guidance counselor, secretary, guidance secretary and a study hall teaching assistant position back to Champe High School, totaling $282,779.
“I thought we were moving in the direction of a tiered approach to show more fairness. I’m glad there was a change in direction to show faith across the board,” Jennifer Bergel (Catoctin) said.
Other plans included Debbie Rose’s (Algonkian) compensation plan which would give $500 for those earning up to $50,000; $1,000 for those earning between $50,000 and $100,000; $1,500 for those making over $100,000 on all scales except classified which, will receive an additional 50 cents per hour. Those on the top step would receive a $1,500 one-time bonus to create a cost savings of $5 million in fiscal 2013.
The increase to Rose’s compensation plan would have given $750 for those earning up to $50,000; $1,250 for those earning between $50,000 and $100,000; $1,500 for those making over $100,000 on scales except classified, which will receive an additional 50 cents per hour. Those on the top step would receive a $1,500 one-time bonus, which would save $3.2 million for fiscal 2013.
The board also voted to add the assistant athletic director, guidance secretary, guidance counselor, secretary and study hall teaching assistant positions to Champe in fiscal 2013.
“These positions are absolutely needed. If we opened John Champe without these positions we are doing a complete disservice to the school,” Bergel said.
The chief information officer position to guide the consolidation of information technology functions in the school system was voted 6-2-1, with Bergel and Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) dissenting and Reed abstaining, to be put back in the budget for an addition of $200,000.
The School Board has still not heard whether to expect funding from the state, which could potentially affect their budget. There will be a public hearing on the budget April 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the School Administration Building.
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