New Hanover Co. school board approves pay increase for themselves

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The pockets of New Hanover County School Board members got a little bit deeper Tuesday night. The board approved raises for every member.

The board voted 6 to 1 in favor of a nearly 9 percent pay increase. While some say this is simply pay back for what the board gave up three years ago, others say the decision is just plain wrong.

“It's not fair and it's not the right thing to do,” says Carol Murray, who spoke out the board against the raises. “I wasn't surprised because I expected the board to be greedy and give themselves that big raise.”

The board originally cut the 8.7 percent in 2009 when teachers’ pay was cut by one percent. This fall, teachers received a 1.2 percent pay raise, with the understanding that the board's salary would be restored.

Derrick Hickey, who was the only board member to vote against the increase, says finances will not look brighter any time soon and the board should be capable of doing more with less.

“It's not about the money,” Hickey says. “It's about the message that we're sending to our teachers and our students.”

However, board chairman Don Hayes says the raise should have already been established by the budget committee months ago and says it was an oversight.

“No one got upset when we cut it, that eight point something percent, and times were a lot tougher than they are now,” Hayes says.

The increase comes out to about a $1,000 increase. It is expected to go into effect in either December or January.

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Submitted by GuestMan. (not verified) on Wed, 11/21/2012 - 2:49pm.

did you expect from a bunch of republicans. They will look out for themselves and say to hell with everyone else.
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No, not exactly. The current board voted and 2; Ms. DeSheilds and Ms. Redenbaugh, are democrats. http://www.nhcs.net/board/

I don't agree with the raise either and they should have postponed voting on this until the new board was seated in January.

They did not take raises so you would not get laid off a few years ago.
I HOPE NEXT TIME THEY TALK ABOUT CUTS, THEY LAY EVERYONE OF YOU OFF. You all knew what you were getting into when you decided to teach. You don't like the pay, MOVE ON to something else!

Judging from your comment's overall lack of critical thought, you obviously benefitted very little from your education.

wow what about the teacher aides....they get nothing!!!! Everyone keeps saying what about the teachers. What people need to realize is that TA's also teach, we just don't get paid very well or get personal leave days etc. like the certified teacher does. SHAME ON YOU BOARD OF EDUCATION......LOOK AT WHO REALLY TEACHES THE CHILDREN. Compensate the teachers but don't forget the TA's

They should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. It is a joke to think that teachers got a raise! They have increased our health insurance every year, taken away ABC money, decreased our pay along with a reduction in our local supplement. Not to mention, our instructional supply money has been cut as well. There is no other job where you make less and less money each year! It is a disgrace

I have always thought that those who get themselves elected to serve on any board, or are appointed, should not be paid. They should receive reimbursement for any expenses related to the position, but not a salary. Serving on any board should be considered a community service and if you want a salary, you should get a private job.
I do appreciate the service all of these people give, whether elected or appointed. It must be hours of work, hours away from doing things with the family. However, if it a burden, perhaps one should not run for an office or accept an appointment.

6 of 7 school board members don't understand the basic concepts of leadership. Let's replace them with folks who do.

ONLY IN GOVERNMENT can you vote YOURSELF a raise...LOL......

What about the teachers?

did you expect from a bunch of republicans. They will look out for themselves and say to hell with everyone else.

....hey!! maybe they can go invest in some books that talk about motivating people through example-- and do unto others!! They should be ashamed and emabarrassed to be so self centered!

Question: "Why does the old hound dog lay in the sun, reach his head down and lick himself?"

Answer: "Because he can."

This same mentality exists with the county school board. No wonder our school system and education ranking is in the shape it's in! Look at the leaders!

As a retired NC teacher and mother of a teacher in New Hanover, I want to say to the Board members that their decision to vote ANY increase to their elected position salary is not a slap in the face of their teachers and all employees, but a SPIT in their faces. Shame on you!

If I recall the School Board did give up raises for themselves and have done without for the past few years. They work just as hard as teachers, even when teachers are out for summer, the board listens to our complaints. They did say once the teachers got a raise then they would give themselves a raise. If you don't teach then shut up. If you do teach, then instead of the board not taking a raise, maybe they should just lay off next time. As for Hickey, he is a doctor. He does not need a raise and if I recall, he wanted to take away teachers supplements, but Mr. Hayes and the rest of the board chose not to take a raise.

I highly doubt they work as hard as teachers do! My wife is constantly in meetings after school, work is not even done once she is home usually ends around 10 or 11 at night on top of that my wife mentors new teachers for no pay raise! So dont you tell me they work as hard as teachers until you know what the job intels.

I am sure your wife works very hard, but the fact is there is not a shortage of teachers in NC. If there were then the teacher's salaries would be higher. Whether they do the job for a love of children or the time off in the summer or the chance to be home with their family every night, teachers are willing to do the job for the salary they are paid. If this were not the case there would be plenty of vacancies and the salary would have to increase.

Unbelieveable! I guess all the teachers are so relieved that these people will have extra cash in their pockets for the year. How long has it been since teachers got a raise? 4? 5 years? Way to go leaders of NHCS district. Happy holidays to you.

I mean the article does say the teachers got a raise this fall. Winter has not begun yet so I would say they got a raise a lot more recently than the 4 or 5 years you mention.

Just to clarify something for you-- NC teachers’ salaries have been frozen for the past five years, this means that the ladder scale that we are paid on was frozen and we have not moved up a ladder step. So I, as a 9th year teacher, am being paid at a 4th year scale. Furthermore, when our salary was frozen, we were also notified that we were losing workdays and that the state was taking 1% of our salary in furlough time that we can never actually take because it cannot be used during instructional time or on required work days, only on undesignated work days which were also cut out of the calendar. Last year, the state voted for five more school days, without adjusting pay and required furlough days again and increased our insurance cost. New Hanover County has decreased our supplement and cut all bonuses even though we have continued to improve in scores and grow in numbers. As you can see, while the cost of living has continued to grow, our pay has shrunk. The state did give us a 1.2% raise this year, which increase my monthly pay by $5.38, after taxes which is over $1100 less than what I should be making based on the ladder scale. I guess I should be grateful.
Most of our high schools have between 1600 and 1800 students and currently two of them are functioning without a full administrative staff (which has been approximately 450 students to one administrator in this county), class sizes are well above 35 and TA's are all but gone. No one goes into teaching for the money, and the attitude that we are just whining because obviously we get summers off and the day ends at 3:30 is insulting. I work between 70- 80 a week on average, am at school at least one day a week during the summer for which I am not getting paid and I still work two other jobs because I have a mortgage to pay. The reality is that North Carolina and particularly New Hanover County (which by the way has the lowest supplement for its tax income in the state) have pushed teachers to the point of poverty. We are all college educated, many with Masters and PhD's and we make significantly less than the people who fix your cars or plumbing. I know five teachers at my school who have lost their homes over the past year and who can no longer afford the health coverage offered by the state. The simple truth is that no board of ed would try this is a union state, which is why all of the non union states are among the lowest performing. To the person who said that teachers should just stop complaining or lose their jobs, one: do you really want your child educated by the lowest bidder or the person who is most qualified? Two: I did know what the pay was, however, I did not know that the state could cut it at any moment and take money out of a check I have already earned (which is exactly what they did with the furlough time via email). I love to teach, and I am very good at it, but you may just get you wish because it is getting to the point that I will no longer be able to feed my family off of my salary. This pay raise for the board may seem minuscule (which I believe is the adjective that Hickey used to describe it when he “symbolically” turned it down) but it is a slap in the face to every employee in this county who has had to struggle to make ends meet both at home and in the classroom. That includes the teachers, assistants, custodial staff, admin staff, child nutrition, transportation and everyone else who keeps the school system running. This is an insult and we have heard it loud and clear.

My wife is a school teacher and one of the brightest this state has to offer. The pay scale for teachers in NC is ridiculous 30,000 for someone who has a bachelors degree.

Not to bright! She teaches so she must not be too bright!

Please tell your wife thank you for her service. As bright as she is there are probably plenty of opportunities for her to take other jobs making more money. I hope that all college students will get wise counseling that asks them to take a look at salaries in their proposed field and consider that closely before choosing a major.

That's more than the starting salary for a firefighter....and more than most who have been in the fire service for 5 years

Fiscal austerity for everyone but themselves.

I thought I voted republican

Pay back for what they gave up 3 years ago?! What about the teachers who gave up part of their pay 5 years ago?! That money could've been used as a bonus for the teachers. Brunswick and Pender Counties' school boards voted to give the school employees a bonus, not a raise for themselves! Thanks for caring about the teachers!

With more than 1600 teachers in NH county they could have all been given a $4 raise (for the year). Yeah - that would have made a big difference. A $4 raise would fell more like a slap in the face than giving the school board a raise did.

I think this is a travesty what the board is doing. How did Dr. Markley vote? Isn’t he the person who is supposed to back up his employees and doesn’t he think his employees deserve to be compensated for the growth the schools have shown. Most teachers that received a “raise” only added about an extra $40.00 a month. I know that something is better than nothing but come on this is just a slap in the face!!!!!

$80 per month was the amount of the school board's "raise" . Both raises we're proportional to the cuts they took a few years back. Also, the school board's raise cost a total of about $7000 per year. Whereas the teacher's raise cost upwards of $800,000 per year.

These supervisors are public servants. Until they can cough up the restoration for all school employees, this increase for themselves is self-serving and unethical. They should be fired.