The Hunter Report

School Secretaries want More Pay

School Board votes to form Committee

By: Pat Hunter

May 31, 2009

A Bonus is a Bonus is a Bonus, the Saga continues...

About 2-years ago, the Loudon County Board of Education approved and paid bonuses to 8 secretaries. The bonus ranged from $1,260 or $1,680 (est.) respectively, who salaries had topped out. The one time bonus figured to be about 5-6 percent.

Click to read more: Thumbs down to More BOE Spending. The meeting Minutes were examined by Wayne Honeycutt when he first became school director. He was asked to look into the matter and report back his findings. It was determined based on past School Board Minutes that the pay was a one time bonus. The Minutes were approved and no school board member came forward to question or contest the Minutes, at the time. Last year, the Budget Committee gave a thumbs down to a Click to see $47,000 budget amendment. The School Board wanted to dip into fund reserves to give more pay when the Budget Committee asked School Administrators and School Board to look elsewhere for the funds.

The newly created Committee will look into pay issues for school secretaries and others after one secretary complained about pay at a recent May 21, Special Called Board of Ed. Budget meeting. A Loudon High School secretary Gwen Watson mentioned that several years ago, she and several other secretaries had been overlooked when it came to $1 per hour increase across the board. Some got it and some did not; we tried to re-gain or gain the money and have failed to do so, Watson said. She spoke about a change in bookkeeping procedures at nine schools.

School secretaries and/or book keepers would no longer handle the accounting of the money at each school. Because of that change, BOE Central Office administration seems to think that there is a need for a new position to handle the new work load, the secretary said.

The secretary didnít seem to understand why there would money available to create a new Central Office position when there was no money available for an increase in secretary pay. If there are no funds available, one of the options was to reduce the number of days that school secretaries work to the previous 190 days with secretary pay remaining the same. She requested that the School Board consider her request.

School Board member Bill Marcus made a motion to form a Committee which was seconded by Scott Newman. The motion was unanimously approved by the Board. The Committee will examine secretary pay and the entire pay scale and report back their findings and recommendations to the School Board. The Committee will be comprised of Scott Newman, Gary Ubben, Larry Proaps and Van Shaver.

The Loudon County Budget Committee eagerly await to see what the School Board will do with the proposed School Board budget. The Budget Committee has not finished their budget process and no final recommendation has been made about pay raises for county employees.

With the proposed shift of accounting from nine schools to one person, also means less work for school secretaries and/or book keepers, yet they are asking for more pay. Hmm, interesting concept... less work and more pay. As business in the private sector cut back on personnel, personnel are expected to take on additional duties while pay stays stagnant.