All contracted positions with SCPS receive 2% raise

Published 8:53 am Monday, January 22, 2024

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The Southampton County School Board approved at its Jan. 8 meeting a 2% salary increase for all contracted positions in the division effective January 2024.

Leading up to the vote, Southampton County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gwendolyn P. Shannon introduced the topic as a recommendation.

“I recommend the approval of a 2% salary increase for all employees,” she said. “At our December meeting, the board approved a new teacher pay scale which included the 2% for the teachers. However, I want to ensure that all non-SOQ employees receive the same 2% increase as the teachers.”

Present and participating at the Jan. 8 meeting were the three newly elected members of the school board: Cassandra Hobbs, Brandon Rodgers and Dr. Jennifer Tindle.

To provide context for the new board members on the requested salary increase, Board Chair Dr. Deborah Goodwyn said, “The practice of Southampton County Public Schools has been when the state provides funding for SOQ-funded positions, which would not be all employees, we go ahead and approve the raise for all employees, not just SOQ positions.”

When Goodwyn mentioned that the request was for a 2% salary increase effective January 2024 for all full-time school division employees, SCPS Director of Finance Joy Carr noted that the request was broader than that.

“The indication was that we would provide, upon your approval, the increase for all of our contracted or appointed personnel,” Carr said, “because some of our personnel are considered part time, like bus drivers and some of the other workers that work less time. So basically what we were hoping to get approved was all employees that are either under a teacher contract or they are appointed by the school board in a position, be it full time or part time.”

“So all contracted positions?” Goodwyn asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” Carr confirmed.

Goodwyn asked board members if they needed any clarification on the matter.

Rodgers said, “Yeah, could you clarify how much that is as an increase and where we’ll take that from the approved budget that’s in place?”

Carr replied, “What we did when we approved the budget, we originally approved the budget with a 7% increase because the (state) House and the Senate were back and forth with the type of raise that they were going to provide. So what we did is we included the 7%, but we only gave the 5% at the time, because we did not have a final budget from the state.

“So we actually do have the 7% in there, but of course the funding that we received from the state is only for an increase effective in January, so basically we will be able to cover the difference for our non-SOQ positions,” she said.

Board Member Denise Bunn made a motion that the board approve the 2% salary increase, and Board Member Greg Scott seconded it.

“So it’s been moved by Ms. Bunn, seconded by Mr. Scott, that we approve the 2% increase for all contracted positions effective January 2024,” Goodwyn said.

There were no votes in opposition. Seven board members were physically present, Board Member Donna Rountree was joining the meeting by phone, and Board Vice Chair Christopher Smith Sr. was absent.