48 school staffers top set pay scale

Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

After the School Board agreed last month to block employees from exceeding their set pay range, Hanover school officials found that 48 employees make more money than their pay scale allows.

The school system is currently taking an “in-depth” look at all employees’ contracts across the board. At the moment, school officials have only looked at “classified employees” such as bus drivers and custodians.

Robert Hundley Jr.

Robert Hundley Jr.

“It’s our responsibility to look at every employee classification to make sure we don’t exceed the pay ranges,” said Chairman Robert L. Hundley Jr., Chickahominy District Representative.

Superintendent Jamelle Wilson said staff has been reviewing personnel records over the past several weeks.

“[Staff] is now completing its review of specific policies and practices regarding employee compensation,” Wilson said via email.

Wilson added that findings from their reviews would more than likely be presented to the School Board in September.

Examination of employee contracts began shortly after former traffic guard and current Cold Harbor Supervisor Elton Wade Sr.’s pay “came to light,” Hundley said.

Wade, who retired from his post in June, received $41.25 an hour for two traffic guard positions at different schools, when according to his position description, the maximum amount he could have earned was $19.07.

The School Board’s decision in July placed a cap on the pay range and “froze” salaries that already exceeded the pay range, meaning their compensation will remain the same.

“If you’re at the top, you won’t go any higher,” said Norman Sulser, Cold Harbor District representative. Sulser, appointed in June, was the first to initiate the motion last month.

After all employee contracts are looked at, the School Board will have the responsibility of approving any changes to pay ranges, Sulser said.

“The idea is to remain competitive with the school districts around us,” he added.

The last time any pay ranges were changed was in 2005.

Sulser said one of the reasons employees were capable of making more money is because of a “pay raise but not a pay raise,” meaning 5 percent of employee pay went directly into a retirement fund.

In efforts to offset those costs, employees received a 2 percent raise. Hundley said both of these factors contributed to employees’ ability to exceed their pay range.

According to Hundley, the employee compensations that fall outside of the pay range only make up between .04 and .05 percent of the School Board’s budget.

“From this point forward, we’re going to continue to ensure the pay ranges aren’t going to [be] exceed[ed],” Hundley said.

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