MPS pay raises to be considered through study

Montgomery Public Schools is considering pay raises for all employees through a compensation study. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 9:39 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2022 at 10:31 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In an effort to be more competitive with surrounding school districts, Montgomery Public Schools is considering pay raises for all employees through a new compensation study.

The Montgomery Board of Education has plans to work with a company to conduct a compensation study that would help them come up with pay increase recommendations for every employee in the school system.

“We are actually going to look at compensation for all of the people in the district,” said Superintendent Ann Roy Moore. “All of the teachers, anybody in the district that might be considered for a different kind of salary.”

Kim Gillis, associate superintendent of human resources for MPS, said that the school system is experiencing, like the rest of the state, a teacher shortage, and that in order to be competitive MPS has to have salaries that match surrounding districts.

The Montgomery Board of Education discusses teacher shortages and possible pay raises for...
The Montgomery Board of Education discusses teacher shortages and possible pay raises for employees at their regularly scheduled board meeting.(Source: WSFA)

“We want to embark upon having a company to come in and look at all of our salary schedules to see that they’re fair and that they’re equitable to all of the other districts around us,” Gillis said.

“When we talk about retirement, adding a supplement doesn’t necessarily impact their retirement, but if we change their salary it does,” Gillis said.

Moore agreed that MPS employees do deserve a raise in pay. She also agreed that MPS is probably losing some teachers to other districts because of pay.

“We probably are to some degree, but there’s a teacher shortage across the U.S,” Moore said. “We are like everyone else. Teachers are seeking other kinds of professions.”

She said through this study they can determine if financially increases are possible. Moore pointed to the fact that despite being a larger city, MPS employees receive the basic “salary matrix” that the state provides.

“Some of your other systems, maybe five or six in the state, maybe more, have their own local salary package, which is in addition to what the state department provides. So it’s always good when you’re in a system this size, we’re urban, it’s good to be able to offer a package that’s a little bit more than what you would say is a basic salary kind of a schedule,” Moore said.

Moore added that during her nearly four years with MPS there have not been any local raises, only raises provided by the state.

Moore said the compensation study could take anywhere from a couple months to a year to complete. Gillis said they have found two possible companies to conduct the study and that those companies would be announced at the next school board meeting.

Gillis also said pay increases are needed for school nurses and additional school nurse leads are needed for the school system.

“For one person to lead a district this size is a lot of work,” Gillis said.

MPS’ current nursing coordinator has retired. There are now discussions being made about replacing the current nursing coordinator with two “nurse leads.” Gillis suggested dividing the system up into two zones and having one in each zone.

“It would be two people. The salary would not be comparable to what the coordinator salary schedule would be, it would be less than that, but it would be more than what a traditional nurse would make,” Gillis said.

“This would split the work between two people and we hope that this pandemic is over but if it is not we need to be able to service our kids.”

Gillis said that they are struggling to find any applicants for the current “classified specialist-nursing coordinator” position.

“We think part of it is the salary schedule and we think part of it is that we are in a pandemic situation. Although it is getting better, it’s a lot of work on nurses,” Gillis said.

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