Published by Laurie Pender on December 13, 2017
Fayetteville, NC – In September 2016, the Cumberland County Board of Education directed the Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) Human Resources’ Department to begin the process of conducting a comprehensive salary study. The major goals of this study were to ensure that the CCS had an internally equitable pay structure and that this pay structure was externally competitive.
The Board enlisted the services of the School Efficiency Consultants (SEC) to conduct this salary study. This study entailed reviewing the district’s salary scales and comparing them to those utilized within other school districts and outside entities. The Board requested that the SEC specifically examine the current teacher supplement scale to determine whether the CCS’ supplement scales were regionally competitive and aligned to the schedules utilized in systems of similar size. The SEC was also asked to review the compensation levels/salary scales of all salaried classified staff (e.g., Teacher Assistants, Clerical Staff, Auxiliary Services Personnel, Custodial Staff, etc.), school-based administrators, and central services administrators.
The review by SEC indicated that CCS’ teacher supplement is regionally competitive and competitive with other districts of similar size and demographics. The SEC noted that the salaries of the most experienced educators have been stagnant because of the structure of the state salary schedule that caps annual teacher pay at just over $51,000.00.
SEC’s review of the school-based administrator pay scales indicated that the North Carolina General Assembly recently took actions that resulted in significant changes to principal and assistant principal compensation starting this school year. SEC indicated that the current average supplement for school-based administrators in the CCS is comparable to the supplements reported to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for most of the districts in the survey group. SEC’s review of the classified and central services pay scales indicated that the last comprehensive review of these salary scales occurred in the 1990’s. These employees have remained on the same step for an extended period of time without progressing on the salary schedule based on their experience. This has resulted in stagnant salaries and internal inequity between new employees and employees with significant years of service.
Based on this report, SEC was asked by the Board to work with the Human Resources’ Department to develop a new 29-step salary schedule for these positions that was based on regional market data.
As part of the comprehensive salary review, the Human Resources’ Department worked with various Central Service’s departments to review the extra duty supplement rates, e.g., Athletic Coaches, Band Directors, Orchestra, Choral Directors, Battle of the Books, Quiz Bowl, Science Olympiad, Math Counts, and Forensic Coaches. A review of the salary scales for Cafeteria Managers, Cafeteria Staff, Driver’s Education Instructors, and Bus Drivers was also completed.
The recommendations were presented to the Nov. 30 Personnel Committee of the Board of Education and approved by the full board at the December 12, 2017, Board meeting.
These recommendations included:
The revised salary scales will result in an average salary increase of 10%. It is important to note that this appropriation of funds by the Board of Education for the purpose of salary represents the single largest salary adjustment in the history of the Cumberland County Schools. This allocation of funds is a reflection of the Board’s commitment to recruiting and retaining a high-quality workforce. The Board has vowed to continue their efforts to advocate for a state salary schedule that fairly compensates all state employees.