No pay raises next year at Shelby County Schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

No pay raises next year at Shelby County Schools

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Pay raises are on the chopping block for employees of the Shelby County School District according to the system's 2009-2010 budget.

The upcoming budget calls for $10 million in budget cuts, a far cry from increases from one year ago.
"We're not providing any sort of increases, and have identified 10 million in budget cuts just to get to that balanced budget," Pickler said.

Pickler added the cuts were tough to make.

"The single most difficult cut was when we had to make the decision of not offering our hard working employees any sort of an increase," he said.

While the vast majority of employees won't be getting increases under the 09-10 budget, some on step salary structures will.

"Someone who may be on step one as a classroom teacher with undergrad degree, the next year they would move to step two on the ladder," Pickler said.

Picker said increases in computers and software were also cut.

"We live in very difficult economic times," he said. "We have to be responsible and reflective of the fact that we live in an economy, it may get weaker before it gets stronger."

What a difference a year makes.  Last year, Shelby County Schools gave employees three percent raises, and Dr. Webb's contract called for a hefty increase, from $175,000 to close to $232,000.

"This year there's no additional money, and no salary increases," Pickler said.

Critics have suggested the Shelby County School Board was not forthcoming about the reason for Dr. Webb's raise last year.  However, Pickler pointed out that in Tennessee retirement is calculated based on his last five years of salary, and therefore, having the higher salary for one year will have a minuscule impact on his pension.

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