School workers will get bonuses

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

All employees of the Marshall County School System will receive a bonus check Thursday, just in time for spring break.

Full-time teachers will get $500 each, and non-certified employees will get $300 each. Part-timers will get half as much, depending on whether they're certified or not.

This was made possible by favorable votes by the school board and county commission at special-called meetings Monday night.

School board members met at 5 p.m. and passed the resolution unanimously. County commissioners convened an hour later, and passed it with one dissenting vote from Don Ledford. Richard Hill expressed "strong reservations" but voted yes.

School board chairman Mike Keny said it was "hopefully the last time" they would have to meet to pass the bonus resolution.

"We've been through and through this," said director of schools Jackie Abernathy. "This is the resolution" she told school board members.

"We're sure this is correct?" asked Barbara Kennedy.

"We've checked everyone on the list," answered Abernathy, who added she'd asked former budget director Janet Wiles to go through it with her.

Kennedy also asked if there was enough money in the correct accounts to cover the bonus checks, and Abernathy assured her there was.

She also assured Keny that County Budget Director Freda Terry had seen and approved the figures.

"I think we've touched every base," Keny said, calling for a voice vote to approve the resolution.

Board members responded with a loud, enthusiastic "aye."

Then they moved on to the other item on the agenda: approval of the job description for the accounts payable position. There have already been 11-12 applicants, and Abernathy intended to start interviews today.

Abernathy explained she had taken out a few responsibilities no longer filled by the holder of that job, and had set the salary at $18.50 per hour, for seven hours a day, 12 months a year.

"Is this going to be the start of correcting the job descriptions?" asked Ann Tears.

"Yes, ma'am," Abernathy responded, also confirming she would be trying to rationalize the pay scale in the system, and have Central Office employees "go to seven hours across the board."

"That's five hours less pay per week," said Kristen Gold.

"Potentially," Abernathy agreed. "I didn't want to start another person at eight hours a day. We need to save money." She noted that with a basic 35-hour week, there are still five hours available for extra work before overtime has to be paid.

The director of schools stated she intended to present the job descriptions and salary scales when she submits the organizational chart for Central Office to board members for approval