Editorial: Pay day

Nearly 50 Hanover school employees earn more than the school system says they’re supposed to be worth.

The number could rise. School officials are still picking through stacks of personnel records, searching for overages where they might be found.

The probe comes in the wake of Cold Harbor Supervisor Elton Wade Sr.’s retirement as a school crossing guard, a position for which he was paid more than double the amount typically allotted.

We applaud the school system for looking into the issue. It’s overdue. We look forward to a final report, expected to be ready for the school board’s review in September.

However, questions still remain. For example, how long has this been going on? Our colleagues in the capitol reported the overages tally out to almost $80,000 annually. This number can add up quickly if the school system’s been overpaying those 50 employees for a number of years, as was the case with Wade, who was drawing two different stipends when his colleagues were being paid hourly.

We also wonder about the reasons behind the pay anomalies.

It is understandable that employees who have worked with the school system for a number of years and perform highly should earn more. The same could be said for any position at any company.

However, policy is policy. And once school officials begin dancing outside of that line, the waters muddy very quickly.

School districts statewide have enjoyed a rather lengthy budget crisis. While the state recently announced a substantial surplus (bragged about it, really) most of those savings have come from a shifted burden to localities. This has taken its toll in Hanover and elsewhere, and school officials are wise to search for savings wherever they can be found.

Starting with those making more than policy allows seems fair, if not necessary.

 

Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 11:20 am