Need Input – New Salary Schedules

DeKalb Schools administration is moving fast and furious to correct this issue. I’m trying to get out and vet the documentation as expeditiously as possible. I could use your feedback.

It looks like we are re-approving the Jan 7th E scales for teachers. Z, G, N, and LT salary steps are revised. Everything will be retroactively applied to Jan 1, 2019. Implementation is expected to be by the end of March.

The salary schedules come with a big price tag. The annual cost of this is expected to be about $40 million.

DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION CALLED MEETING – Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The DCSD administration is requesting that the Board approve the retroactive application of the January 7th salary steps (E scales for teachers), as well as revised Z, G, N, and LT Salary Steps as attached.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

  January 7th Approved E Scale (and revised Z, G, N, LT) Salary Scales
  Annualized Payroll Projection Impacts (By Fund for second half FY2019)
  Salary Schedule Correction Process Schedule and Timeline

ANNUALIZED PAYROLL PROJECTION IMPACTS


FAQ – Updated 2/12/2019 8:20pm

I have some answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Where are the other salary schedules – These are only the adjusted salary schedules. If a particular salary schedule is not mentioned here, then refer back to the original January salary schedules that were approved.

Update On Phase 2 Salary Steps for All Staff

Some Salary Schedules slid down from Dec to Jan – The administration is asking to address these on a case by case basis. There will be an appeals process.

Experience to Step Calculation – The administration is attempting to simplify this. Plainly stated, first year teachers with no experience are on step 1. 2nd year teachers with one full years experience are on step 2 … and so on. The actual experience column will be the teacher’s actual experience.

Step Slot – That is a nomenclature assigned to a small percentage of teachers a few years back. I believe the administration is looking to get those employees off the “step slot”.

Communication – The school district will hopefully communicate to all employees by the end of next week their step and salary. They will include instructions for an appeals process.

168 responses to “Need Input – New Salary Schedules

  1. The documents at the top of your original post (Supporting Documents)? Do you know if they fixed the problem with the missing Bachelors column? If not, how will that be handled? I am not asking for myself…just curious as I do have co-workers with Bachelors education and always the possibility of a new hire in any of those disciplines.

    If you have final, approved documents could you post them so everyone reading sees the latest and correct?

  2. @Educator, The docs on this post were the docs approved at the Wednesday board meeting. Any corrections would have to come before the board.

    @Dismayed, I asked about the bachelor’s column. Linda Woodard, who recently retired from the school district, is the interim chief of HCM. She told me that any schedule that doesn’t have a bachelors column is for a position that requires at least a masters.

    02/13/2019 Called Meeting
    1. Approval and ratification of January 7th Salary Step Documentation (E scales for teachers), as well as revised Z, G, N, and LT Salary Steps to be Retroactively Applied to the first working day of January 2019, and to be reflected no later than the March 29, 2019 Payroll. Approval of Revised FY 2019 Budget Impact for all Funds. Approval of use of Resulting Salary Levels for Contract Offers

  3. Stan,
    If you are referring to the documents attached to your original post, in this thread, they do not have Bachelors degree on them (with exception of teachers scale). Did they really approve this without a correction? What happens to my co-workers that are on that scale? What about new hires with Bachelors?

  4. Hello @Dismayed, I asked about the bachelor’s column. Linda Woodard, who recently retired from the school district, is the interim chief of HCM. She told me that any schedule that doesn’t have a bachelors column is for a position that requires at least a masters. I’m not sure what the plan is if that’s not the case.

  5. Stan,
    This is where we don’t have competent people working in HR! She is correct that NOW these professions require at a minimum a Masters or Doctorate. That doesn’t mean the there aren’t employees that were grandfathered in with a Bachelors. I have a co-worker with 30 years experience that has a Bachelor’s degree in our field. Should she be paid at the Masters level? While I value her experience, that doesn’t seem fair to those that did go back to school or had to go to school extra years/cost to earn the Masters or Doctorate degree.

  6. Wow…the incompetence continues. This is alarming. Write letters folks!

  7. Disrespected Classified

    Stan,
    I appreciate you looking out for the employees of DeKalb; however, I am truly upset. I reached out to Compensation in regards to my Step Level. The response i received was disheartening.

    I have been employed with DeKalb since 2008; left twice(but the months out were a combination of 7 months) and have maintained the same position at all times. To find out that I’m being placed on a level when I have MUCH more experience than 5 years.

    The email i received from compensation was confusing and didn’t make sense. The only thing that I got from it was.. “Just because you have seven years, doesn’t equal your step being a Step 7.”

    Please explain and help Stan!

  8. Hi Stan
    I understood as many others that the Counselor scale that was proposed by MAG is what would go into effect for the now Z scale. It appears that HCM and the BOE has changed their mind on the MAG proposed Counselor scale. I hope the Z scale will go in front of the Board again.
    Thank you Stan for your tireless push for transparency, and using your power to do good in our school system.

  9. Calculating Years Experience – DeKalb Schools, like all public schools, must calculate years experience by using the criteria as outlined in Georgia Code: GBA(5) 160-5-2-.05 Experience for Salary Purposes.

  10. Stan,
    I am an administrator in DeKalb and my heart goes out to my colleagues at Elementary schools. They work just as hard as I do and are paid less. Is there anyway that you could advocate for them? Even if they’re not earning the same pay, can it be revised to a simple 3k difference?

  11. So it looks like there is a plan to provide the increases retroactive the January 1 however at what cost to the taxpayers and long term budget will this have? By the annualized payroll projections Stan provided, it looks like just over 41 million per year. This is over 15 million dollars more than what was approved by the Board at the June 26th meeting. Can the school district afford this? Will taxes have to increase?

    No question that in the June 26th meeting the ‘proposal’ from MAG was discussed but when did the proposed schedule become the actual schedule? I thought Dr. Gregory was supposed to come back and present one to the Board for consideration. Maybe she knew the MAG proposal was not sustainable and tried to present a schedule that was more realistic and within the approved budget. Maybe she was rebuffed because everyone tried to make the MAG proposal the actual schedule even though it was not approved.

    This entire situation has resulted in more questions than answers. I hope the school district can get to the bottom of this.

  12. I hope Stan can push for transparency too. The Counselor scale proposed by MAG was approved by the Board this past summer (along with teachers scale as the two scales were together). This recent round of approvals dropped the MAG proposed steps increases for Counselors/SLP/OT/PT.

  13. @educator,
    where do you see that the MAG proposed scales were actually approved? are you saying they were approved then later the second (erroneous) salary structure was approved? and now they have corrected those and approved (on 2/13) the Z scale (and others) without the Bachelor column? it’s such a mess, i can’t keep up!

  14. @dismayed…I read in an email over the summer that MAG teacher and counselor scales were approved. Look at Stan’s post Feb.15th at 9:47am post.

  15. In fairness to Stan, he indicated it looked like the draft proposal was approved. Hopefully he can come back with something more definitive regarding what happened at that meeting soon as the next question would be why the impact to the budget estimate went from 25 million to 41 million. If taxes must increase to pay for the proposed salary scales in upcoming years, you can bet that taxpayers will ask a lot of questions.

  16. Yes….all fairness to Stan! I agree Stan did say it seemed to him the MAG draft proposal of both teacher and Counselor payscale from June 26th Board Meeting was approved.

  17. June 26 Board Meeting – Am I losing my mind? I thought there were salary schedules on the June 26 board meeting agenda item. I don’t see any schedules on that agenda item anymore.

    This is important because on 6/27/2018 I wrote, “Good Afternoon Dr. Gregory. It was mentioned that the new Jan 2019 salary step structures for teachers is available online. Can you shoot me that link? Thanks, Stan”

    7/13/2018 – reply from Dr. Gregor “I’ve attached the new salary step structure that will be implemented. This new structure will be on our updated website as of Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Per board policy, the salary schedule will have to be approved by the board, prior to being implemented. “

  18. I’m done. I knew her response to your public question about BOE approved salary structure that adjusted the MAG findings was shady and FAKE. And I know they are going to try to pressure you. Stan, hang in there. You are in for a tough journey. This is beyond crazy. Wow…

  19. I don’t see the payscale on June 26th either Stan. Pay scales have been posted and then removed through out this pay debacle.

  20. Draft means it is not final and can still be subject to change. It is final when it is approved and voted on by the Board.

    It looks like Dr. Gregory sent a draft salary step schedule to Stan on 7/13 because she indicated it still had to be approved by the Board before it would be implemented. This also seems to suggest that a salary schedule was not approved in the June 26th meeting.

    I am all for transparency but if drafts are released in the public domain without a draft watermark or strong clarification that it is a draft, one can assume they are final. This is where misunderstandings and confusion can take over. I’m looking forward to getting to the bottom of this.

  21. When Dr. Gregory released the initial payscale it was not indicated as a draft.Draft status was given later. This “mistake” is a major part of the confusion.

  22. The MAG Study teacher and Counselor scales were BOE approved…they were not approved as a draft. And…then after the approved scales were released they disappeared. Lots of payscales since then have appeared and disappeared. The will of the BOE is responsible for making this right.

  23. DRAFT – These docs come to the board and are attached to an agenda item as a draft. Once it is approved, it is no longer a draft, it is final.

    Initial Salary Schedule – There have been numerous versions of the salary schedule floated out there. Anything I received via email is draft until the board approves. Yeah … it would be helpful to have the draft watermark on it.

  24. Whatever salary schedules were approved last year have been overridden by the January and February salary schedule agenda items the board passed.

  25. Stan,

    You should be used to things disappearing from the online agendas and meeting minutes. It happens all the time. Is it illegal, probably, but DeKalb does whatever it wants and nothing ever happens.

  26. Stan Jester, I emailed you the 2018-2019 salary schedule that was publicized after we go the 2.5% raise in September 2018. Did you take a look at that one? Why couldn’t they build from that? To much like right?

  27. The February approved salary schedule still has major errors!
    How will Bachelor degree educated staff be compensated on the Z-schedule???

    Stan, please discuss this at the Board retreat this weekend.

  28. Kirk Lunde – about the disappearing from online , you have to learn to print it out. DEKALB is good for taking things off and even saying they don’t know anything about it?

  29. Stan as Educator stated there is no Bachelors listed for therapists and counselors. The current one has a masters starting the schedule at the same rate that the original Bachelor rate from phase II. That’s a huge decrease for the masters and no scale for Bachelor

  30. @Z Level. As you stated, there is no bachelors schedule for some positions where some current employees have a bachelors degree. Dr. Woodard tells me those handful of people will be assigned a comparable salary schedule. Sometime in the next few weeks, the employees should get communication on step and salary schedule.

  31. Has anyone answered if teachers that have 30 plus years with the county will receive this looonnnnggg awaited “step-increase”? Because if this entire still unsolved situation , 5 new teachers ( 2- 6 years) in my building are not coming back and have secured jobs in other counties. With that being said, I hope our building’s foundation (30 plus) aren’t left in the cold if these steps actually go through.

  32. @StillWaiting, The board has approved teacher salary schedules and the administration has said they will be implemented. Employees should be getting communication from the school district confirming their step and salary schedule.

  33. Thanks Stan, is there a pay scale that shouse the new salary of 30 plus years posted anywhere?

  34. @StillWaiting, The salary scales the board approved at the January and February board meetings are the full and complete salary schedules. Like all the other Metro Atlanta school districts, the salary schedules eventually reach a cap … around 30 years. Related Docs:

    http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2019/02/9064/
    http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2019/01/8716/

  35. Stan….thank you for your service to DCSD and keeping us informed! I hope at the Board retreat the issue of accurate and timely communication to employees is addressed. We do appreciate you letting us know!

  36. Rachel Strauss

    This is the last week of February. Are contracts still coming out at the end of Feb?

  37. Salary Schedule Update
    1. Teachers will see their new salaries in their March 29 checks.
    2. March 3 – teacher contracts will go out with communication about what schedule and step the certified employee is on.

  38. Hi Stan, the OTs and PTs do not get contracts. When will OT/PT ‘s get step placement communication?

  39. Classified Staff – What’s the plan? The school district is bringing in retired Gwinnett Schools administrators to re-evaluate what we are doing with classified salaries. More communication will go out in 2 to 3 weeks about that.

  40. Stan, OT and PTs are certified/licensed employees! Not sure if you were addressing therapists as classified staff

  41. There are two types of OTs and PTs. There are those that work dirctly for the school and those that work for another company/vendor. Compensation for OTs and PTs that work for another company is between that person and the company they work for.

    The OTs and PTs that work directly for the school district are certified employees. So, I believe that while an OT or PT may not be on contract they will be on a schedule and they will be notified of that schedule on 3/5.

  42. Stan, OT/PT’s are not classified employees! OT’s and PTs are licensed to do a specific job. Can you clarify that HCM knows this please? And, when we will hear from HCM about step placement? Thanks!

  43. @Stan..got it. I’m speaking about therapists that are direct employees

  44. HCM is aware that OT/PTs are certified and not classified. I believe they will get the same communications that the other certified employees will get.

  45. Stan, can you explain why OT/PTs do not get offered employment contracts? We are certified/licensed employees similar to SLPd

  46. Teachers, by state law, have contracts. I’m not aware of any rhyme or reason for contracts for any other employees (except the superintendent). I’m not a fan of contracts. Like everyone else in the world, you work for an employer or not … I don’t see the need to reaffirm that employment annually with a contract.

  47. Curious teacher

    Has anything been mentioned about back pay since the new salary schedule will be retroactive to Jan 1st?

  48. Everything is retroactive to Jan 1. The adjustments will be spread evenly over the rest of the fiscal year.

  49. Curious teacher

    Thank you!

  50. Stan,
    At this juncture, some teachers may have over 30 years and or may be out of the salary schedule range for teachers, but during the fiscal shortfall years were neither out of the teacher salary schedule range nor at the 30 year mark…They should not be penalized but rewarded financially. Will teachers who may be out of the schedule salary range due to cost of living increases but who remained loyal to DeKalb and its students during the years of no step and or no cost of living increases be afforded an opportunity to receive a step?

  51. On the most recent salary statements dated 1/28/19, when comparing statements, several employees with identical titles have noticed some obvious differences on the 2018-2019 Pay Plan from the Division of Human Capital Management. The primary difference is that some employees were not moved from H to Z and are at salary levels much higher than the Z schedule indicates for that step. I have 21 years (Step 22) and am placed on the new Z “Slot”, whereas these other employees on steps 26 and 27 remained on the H “Slot” and their salaries EXCEED the final salary at Step 29. How is this possible? Why haven’t all of the designated personnel been moved to Z schedule? Are there exceptions?

  52. The school district is revisiting classified staff salary schedules. Let’s revisit this when the communication from the district goes out to the employees … expected March 5

  53. When do contracts come out ?

  54. Salary Schedule and Contracts Update
    1. Teachers will see their new salaries in their March 29 checks.
    2. March 5 – teacher contracts will go out with communication about what schedule and step the certified employee is on.

  55. escapee from Dekalb

    It looks like this will only benefit teachers– anything for the poor workers of the BOE that have been waiting way too long for scraps? I really wish that the BOE really cared about the workers they have– but once again they have proven they do not. I do not trust them AT ALL.

  56. Stan Jester – QUESTION:
    In looking at the salary scale that the district is using, you mean to tell me as a teacher for 31 year looking at the salary scale from back in September 2018 after the 2.5% raise was added, I am at $80,232.58 (31 years of experience and at STEP 32) but if they use the scale from 1 January 2019 I am off the scale, so were would they put me? This scale only goes to 29 years of experience and STEP 30.

  57. @VetTeacher. Anybody off the scale would stay where they are. Nobody gets a salary reduction.

  58. There appears to be some “secret” salary scales for some employees who appear to be getting special treatment for some reason. If a salary scale is for a designated group of employees with the same title, then there should be no way that employees with the same degrees and same years of experience should be receiving very different salaries. It is happening and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Last year, when questioning another coworker (different job title) who continued to brag about her $95,000+ salary (and less than 25 years of experience) which was nowhere to be found on the salary chart at that time, she said that a group of her peers, with advocate in tow, met with HR and they were given a special salary plan. I think we may all be surprised at how many unpublished salary scales Dekalb has!
    I want some assurance that the final DCSD salary plan will make it easy for everyone to know what they and others with the same degrees and same years of experience are making and will make in the future years. It is so unfair (and probably illegal!) that people doing the exact job with the exact experience and degrees have significantly different salaries.

  59. @Weary, that should be easy to see. Open Georgia Gov website has earned income for all employees over the last few years.

  60. Stan, we just got a news flash that DCSD is reviewing classified staff. Who are classified staff? Can you give examples of positions that are classified? Thanks!

  61. Classified staff salaries

  62. News flash just said June 2019 for Letting us know about compensation. Why are the dates being changed?

  63. There are classified employee like most central office and certified employees. Teachers are certified … have a certification. DeKalb Schools has enlisted the help of Gwinnett Schools staff to help review the problems with classified staff salaries. It could be a few months before the classified salary schedule issues are fixed.

  64. What is this News Flash about the date for adjustments June 2019???!!!!

  65. News Flash … hmmm … this is causing quite a bit of confusion. I better write a post … might take an hour … uno momento

  66. Hi Stan
    I’m a certified therapist. Not classified employee. Are they relooking at certified therapist salaries ?

  67. Licensed/Certified therapist

  68. My understanding is it is not certified employees … just classified

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