Update On Phase 2 Salary Steps for All Staff

On Monday, the DeKalb Schools Board approved the Salary Steps for All Staff – Phase 2-2a. Most employees will get a competitive raise and everybody will start stepping again.

DeKalb Teachers

Even though the school district has been working on this since the June 26 board meeting, it looks like accounting will not be ready to fully implement the raises for the Jan 15 paychecks.

About half the employees will see raises next week. The other half will see their raise at the end of the month and will be back dated back to Jan 1.

The formatting of the documents has changed and they added more job titles. I noticed psychologists still aren’t in there. The administration will need to bring any missing job titles to the board before they can get a raise.

Supporting Documents

  FY 2019 Teacher Salary Comparisons
  Salary Schedule All Staff
  FY 2019 Counselor Salary Comparisons

This update was sent Wednesday night.

Michael BellBernice Gregory

From: Michael Bell, Chief Financial Officer & Bernice Gregory, Chief HCM Officer

This correspondence serves as notification of the implementation of the board approved January 2019 pay increase and the New Salary Step Structures.

Phase 2a- 2.5% raise across the board for groups listed in Phase 2a. Effective on the January 15, 2019 payroll

The 2.5 percent pay increase approved by the DeKalb County Board of Education for implementation in January 2019 for non-school based employees, will take effect on the January 15th paycheck, and be retroactively applied back to January 1, 2019. This pay increase (2.5%) applies to Chiefs, Deputy Superintendent, Regional Superintendents, Associate Superintendent, Executive Directors, Directors, Principals, Assistant Principals and all other District Office Staff – not school -based.

Phase 2- To be implemented on the January 31, 2019 payroll-Salary Step Structures

Procedurally, it has been determined that the Salary Step Structures for both classified and certified employees will be implemented on the January 31st paycheck and also applied retroactively back to January 1, 2019. The Salary Step Structures are for all certificated staff to include: Teachers, Counselors, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, Social Workers, and Library Specialists as well as all Classified Staff to include: Bus Drivers, Custodians, Food Service Workers, Nurses, Bus Monitors, Paraprofessionals/Teacher Aides, Bookkeepers in the school, Campus Supervisors, Secretaries in the school, Clerks in the school, Interpreters in the school, Information Technology Technicians in the school, Registrars, Receptionists in the school, Liaisons in the school, Administrative Assistants in the school, School Healthcare Workers as well as the Classified Staff in the District Office – not school-based.

This adjustment in procedure allows for additional time relative to data validation.

Dr. Bernice Gregory and Dr. Michael Bell

152 responses to “Update On Phase 2 Salary Steps for All Staff

  1. Increasing teacher salaries by $3,000 across the state will cost about $700 million. I have not seen where the state is actually going to pay for that. If they do, I’m guessing it’ll just be a sack of money with no strings attached and it’ll be up to the board to make sure it goes to teachers. If the state doesn’t pay for it, it will be challenging to follow through with the Governor’s recommendation.

  2. Not Surprised

    The part that concerns me is that it’s is “up to the board that we get it.” I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

  3. I wouldn’t say it’s up to the board. It’ll be up to the administration to bring the recommendation before the board. It’ll be up to the board to take it from there.

  4. @Anonymous, just one opinion, but shouldn’t educators value education? Shouldn’t someone seeing to continue their education be compensated for it? Students won’t ever value education if we don’t.

    Some positions start out needing high levels of education (counselors, psychologists, social workers, etc). If they want to improve their knowledge and skills they need advanced degrees and they have to pay for them.

  5. T5 Educator. Not all continuing education is created equal. Engineering is more valuable than anthropology or basket weaving. We also have diploma mills like Argosy. So continuing education is not necessarily valuable.

  6. T5 Educator,

    Educators should value education. People should be compensated for their education. I do not believe that the $5-%6k bump you get at each level is inappropriate. In reviewing my comments, I would just reiterate that its more important for DeKalb to be more competitive at T-4 and to a lesser extent T-5. T-4s are the base of your teacher staff and its very important for DCSD to be very competive in recruiting those professsionals. APS should be paying the most as your commute is on average the worst and the cost of living is the highest. Cobb hires the most experienced people. The implemented salary schedule seems very appropriate to me.

  7. Still Waiting

    Has anyone received any official word from HR about an adjustment in pay? I’m still waiting and fingers crossed that we will find out something by the 30th…

  8. Still Waiting, I called and received my salary info. It is $2000 less than what I thought I was going to get. The rep told me to not go by the salary posted in blogs.

  9. ConfusedTeacher

    Not a word……the silence is deafening

  10. If they don’t get this fiasco fixed, there may be a mass exodus of experienced teachers.

  11. Dear Mr. Jester,

    Today two para educators at my school got letters that stated that they had reached the top of their pay scale and would not get additional salary increases. I am just repeating what was shared with me. I am posting it, because I wonder if any one else got any information.
    Someone mentioned that HR said not to pay attention to what is posted on the blogs related to salary. Well, if the district would honestly share with each employee in writing their salary, then people would not have to try to make assumptions.

  12. I’m just posting the documents that were passed by the board. Please let me know how these documents don’t reflect what was implemented.

  13. Mr. Jester,

    If it were not for you , we would not have gotten the information that you have been so very kind to post. In one of the comments, someone mentioned that they had called HR to get information about their salary. The comment about the blog was mentioned to the person who called HR.
    I appreciate all the information that you and Nancy provide. I know that you do not have to take the time that you take to keep us informed.

  14. Still Waiting

    Wow!! They probably have been working on cutting the second proposed document in half, which would basically leave me with nothing as a T5 vet that falls in the middle of the chart ( 18 years)…It is time for me to start looking inti other options. I really hate that they didn’t deem of worthy of effective communication. This is beyond sad.

  15. Hi Stan
    Do you know if HCM plan to email new pay plans to employees? It is the usual custom for HCM to email new pay plans when their is a change in pay. Thank you for your service.

  16. Still Waiting

    I just called they told me they do not have a list of names for teachers that the step implementation will impact. Everyone is not getting increase and if you are you will not know until Jan 31st when you receive your pay. She wanted to be clear that it is not an increase or raise ( not sure what she meant??)…. She had no other info to give and could not tell me if it had any impact on my salary… Here we go. Good Ole DeKalb County

  17. ConfusedTeacher

    Thought about calling today, glad I didn’t. A conversation like that might have upset my day!

  18. I’m just sick of the confusion and lack of communication and clarification from Dekalb. We need emails and further explanation of what steps we’ll be placed on.

  19. @Stillwaiting:
    An increase and raise is basically the same, so no it’s not a rasie or increase.
    It would be a salary adjustment what they mean is that the current postings are being adjusted , so if your current salary is at market grade 80% or above( for that postion) your salary does not adjust. If it below market it will be adjusted to be at market grade. This is for postions that ARE NOT teachers. Look at the last Board meeting Executive Meeting, it explains it. The only thing the teachers will be doing is Stepping every year, the study will mostly impact non teachers. The scale has already been posted back in June for teachers,you just have to see what step you are on. Here is the question about how Teachers salaries are calculated for HCMQuestion: For teachers, is there any documentation on how to calculate years of experience?

    Question: For teachers, is there any documentation on how to calculate years of experience?

    Answer: An FAQ’s document has been created to staff with the Comp & Class roll-out, we will ensure that a question is added to this document on how to calculate years of experience for teachers to align with the steps on the salary scale. For example, if a teacher has 12 years of verified teaching experience, then the teacher will be emplaced on the scale on step 12. If a teacher has 14 years of verified teaching experience, then the teacher will be emplaced on the scale on step 14, and so on.

  20. I’m now even more confused.

  21. Greetings

    Question @Mr. Jester

    What was you interpretation of how we would placed on this new step structure. It seems like they are placing us on the state step scale versus actual years of experience which is actually lower than a 1 percent increase. So our rankings to other counties on your blog is not correct based on where they are saying they are placing us. (still nothing in writing)
    Is the board sure that all the money is going to salary structures or friends and family. If the purpose of the study was to retain teachers, I think it may not. However, I do see more central office jobs being created on PATS. More top heavy as always. I hope that improves test scores. Good luck.

  22. frustrated educator

    As disappointing as the previous scale is the actual one sent out is much WORSE!!! Something is fraudulent!

  23. So, this pay scale does not seem to match up with what is posted on the Dekalb website now as the new updated pay scale. The new pay scale is considerably lower than these numbers. What happened?

  24. I just LOST 2 Years of Service!!

    Just received the email from HCM outlining my new pay plan and was shocked.

    Instead of placing me within 18 Years of Credited Experience, which is how we’ve stepped all along, I’m now in the 18th year of State Experience which is really like moving me back 2 steps to 16 Years of Credited Experience!

    Would really appreciate clarification as to how this new classification was determined and why the new rate of pay was not based on my 18 years of actual service to the DeKalb County School District.

    Also find it a bit curious that the 2018-2019 salary scale can no longer be found on the district’s website for comparison.

  25. So I was told by HCM that the document the Board voted on was not correct. I was told that money was not in the budget to implement those pay scale increases. How can that be possible?

    Stan, does HCM have full control over pay scales? It seems if the Board approved something, than HCM should abide by it. I do hope we get some clarification. With the “new” pay scale, my step places me ahead of only Clayton County. After 15 years service to Dekalb, I believe this will be my last.

    I was happy to see the Board and HCM take a bold step in letting teachers/staff see how valued we truly are, but this whole process has been an absolute slap in the face to show a proposed pay scale early in the year that looked very promising, then another pay scale that was voted on that was a little lower than the proposed, but still very reasonable, only to end up with a pay scale that increases average pay by less than $1k/year.

    I do hope administration will be open and honest in explaining what exactly happened in this whole matter. We deserve it. The only saving grace is that this information was released prior to contracts going out for signing.

  26. Exactly!!!! The pay is way lower….smh

  27. These numbers match up to the pdf that Stan provided except that there is now an additional step that is about another $500 higher. But the difference is that they seem to be going off the ‘State Exp’ column. But then what does actual experience mean? But regardless, the important question is are the comparables to the other counties correct?

  28. Anonymous (original),
    I don’t know how you see the numbers matching up. Let’s take a Step 17 T4 on the “new” scale on Dekalb’s website, today- $57,941. On the PDF $59,511 (State Step) or $60-61k (Actual Step). That’s a pretty sizable difference. Other steps on the scale are even more dramatic.
    Am I missing something?

  29. Enough is Enough

    There needs to be an internal investigation to ensure no fraudulent behaviors are impacting our means to comfortable lives. As stakeholders we deserve to see accurate details of every cent. Is there a hotline or government office we can contact for assistance ? We’ve let them push us around so long that they truly believe that we just “should be thankful” to get the bare minimum. Enough is a enough. We are the heart of the district and without us they have nothing. Time for our voices to be heard. We can’t continue to sweep things under the rug. I want answers.

  30. DeKalb Tax Payer


    Human Capital Management just posted the new teacher salary schedule on the DeKalb website today. Can you please explain to all your teachers and stake holders how you voted on the salary comparison salary schedules on the 7th of January and a completely different schedule was placed on the website that is far below the numbers you the Board of Education had voted on please? Where is the remainder of the money that was approved on those comparison charts that were posted on the Board eview agenda for that particular day? These are the sheets that human capital management brought before you and the board voted for approval. I know you voted “no” but it still passed without your approval. Even more teachers now have dropped further in comparison ranks to metro Atlanta. Is there a money management issue going on within the county? Because we have had to draw down the fund equity again for the second year in a row because our expenditures have exceed the original amount approved by the Board in June by millions in merely 6 months. This is not a simple mis-calculation, we are talking about literally Millions of tax payer dollars being mis-appropriated some where. Now the Board of Education can not appropriate the salaries for the teachers they voted on January 7th? There is a very large discrepancy between the salary comparison sheets you the Board of Education voted on and what the county posted today. We are talking Millions!!!!! Please do entertain these questions. Thank you for all that you do.

    Stakeholder and Tax Payer

  31. Well … that’s quite deceiving and disheartening. All the school districts are using the “actual experience” in the comparison … but DeKalb Schools is placing teachers using the state experience scale.

    DCSD Posted Salary Schedule
      DeKalb Schools 2018-2019 Teacher Salary Schedule

    Gwinnett Schools Posted Salary Schedule
      Gwinnett Schools 2018-2019 Teacher Salary Schedule

    Documents the board passed

      FY 2019 Teacher Salary Comparisons
      Salary Schedule All Staff
      FY 2019 Counselor Salary Comparisons

  32. Anonymous (Oftened imitated)

    I think they mislabeled the columns. Actual experience is the middle column, State experience is the left column. State Step is the right column. Otherwise Mrs. Gregory’s statement isn’t true. But I think they just mislabeled the columns.

    But the administration should definitely confirm that all these numbers are apple to apples.

  33. We are in Egypt, and we are the Hebrews making bricks without straw. That is the only way to explain DEKALB.

  34. ParentTeacher

    My “step increase” is $24 each pay period……T6, 12 years. This is a far cry from the researched/suggested step increase and not even close to what I thought the board had approved. This is beyond disappointing. I’m glad we have tomorrow off for the snow/ice/weather because this was a kick in the gut. Unbelievable, demoralizing….$24.

  35. Still Waiting

    I have yet to receive any type of notification. Do we all receive something in writing, even if we are getting nothing.

  36. AMAZINGLY DISAPPOINTED! I am very disappointed that the step increase was less than $30.00. This is not what was approved or revised. Less than $30.00 after 17 years of experience in DCSD. Not sure how they came up with those figures and no communication to staff that the proposed and revised budget was being revised and cut down AGAIN. I am just wondering where the vote was from the Board. Does the Board know that what was voted on, proposed and revised was changed. There has a be a system of checks and balances and accountability from administration and the Board. I see trouble in Paradise. What does not come out in the wash will eventually come out in the rinse. The amount that I am receiving is not even on the proposed amounts. SHAMEFUL!

  37. The documents do not reflect what was implemented!

  38. From what I can tell, they implemented the “state scale”

  39. Using the state scale makes the comparison charts that were presented to the board absolutely useless. The number I got today puts me at 5th according to the “Big 6.” A whopping $1300 a year.

  40. Still waiting

    So what was all the talk about being proud to announce we can now compete with the big 6 and beat other counties out in the area of pay due to the newly implemented steps? I don’t know if it’s the IRS needs to be involved to complete an audit or who can help us, , but a investigation needs to be done immediately ..

    BTW, I’ve still heard nothing from HR

  41. Stan,
    From what you can tell they implemented the “state scale?” Is that not something the Board Members should have known in advance before voting? A budget is implemented without Board approval or a clear understanding! UNBELIEVEABLE! The Board is there to represent their regions, students and employees. Somewhere and somehow the Board is not doing their JOBS! We the employees of DCSD are holding the Board and Administration accountable. TRANSPARENCY and DUE DILLIGENCE IS LACKING! To go with the state scale was a way to save $$$ that was promised to the employees. This needs to be on the table at the Executive Session Board Meeting. This whole process was MESSY and DECEIVING!

  42. The is UNBELIEVABLY DISAPPOINTING!!! I have 15 years experience at level T-4. The salary sent via email from Human Capital matches with 10years of experience on the comparison chart. This comparison chart is COMPLETELY FALSE!! Legal action needs to be taken. How can all of these documents be put out there that are false and misleading? Here I thought I might actually get a $5000 raise. Instead I’ll get $26 more per paycheck. $26, are you kidding me?

  43. This should be reported to the AJC at the very least!

  44. Still Waiting

    Wow Just Wow, I would love for Clark Howard to get a whiff of this. Then maybe we could get some transparency .

  45. Highly Disappointed

    I think Dekalb will be losing many teachers due to this fiasco.

  46. Let’s move this discussion to the latest thread …

    Questions – New Teacher Salary Schedule
    January 29, 2019 – There has, no doubt, been a lack of communication from the administration on how the new teacher salary schedules will work. The minimal communication in tandem with misleading charts and a complicated system to begin with has lead us to where we are now.

  47. Advocate4Education

    I’m upset and just totally disgusted! I received mine today in an email. Totally misleading and disheartening. And yet the bragging as if they, meaning the Superintendent had truly done something great for the teachers of DeKalb.

  48. School Nutrition

    Can you explain the steps for classified employees? According to the steps I’m being paid at a step 13. I should be at a step 18.

  49. Karen Eubanks

    Did any one else receive a letter from Human resources last Wednesday informing them that they were being paid to much and would have to pay it back over 14 pay periods? Well I did but no new compensation rate! Just notification that I would have to pay it back over 14 pay periods! No amount listed!. Today I was asked to have patience with Dekalb because of technical issues. Why the smoke and mirrors act? Is this an additional scam to steal our money? Why were only a certain number of people effected! if this was done in error IT IS NOT MY ERROR, why should I pay the price for incompetence at t he county level!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I cannot lit my name for fear of reprisals and yes reprisals have been done to whistle blowers in the past!

  50. Stan Jester

    @KarenEubanks, My understanding is that roughly 100ish employees were accidentally paid too much.

  51. Stan Jester

    Teacher contract update – Contracts for certified employees in DeKalb Schools are going out tomorrow (Tuesday). They will have your new salary on it.

  52. angry teacher

    Mr. Jesters. It is smoke and mirrors again. I was informed that I was paid to much because of the vote on February the 13th the board voted to do the pay increase. I have tried to look for the term retroactive but did not see it. I was told that the board could vote today if they wanted to and it would effect what they say it would . Why are the 100ish having to foot the bill for some other person mistake mistake?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been through the non increases the non cost of living increases and have been patient. When is it time for the voice of the teachers to be heard! why are the 100 being punished by the board? I could understand if we had received the letter stating there had been a mistake and we would not be penalized and from this time forward the mistake would be corrected. But where is the official documentation stating the exact amount we were over paid! Where is the apology? It is no where