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Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 12am







    Wednesday, September 18, 2019-4:10:49A.M.






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BOE chair: Don’t cut teachers’ pay

BOARD of Education Chairwoman Janice Tenorio, a member of BOE’s Fiscal, Personnel and Administrative Committee, is “strongly opposed” to the Public School System’s recommendation to cut the salaries of teachers.

According to PSS Finance Director Chris Ching, the proposed pay cut will be presented to the board during its May 30 meeting.

Education Commissioner Glenn Muna explained the proposed pay cut formula. “If a principal is making $93,000, we will take a look at what she had been receiving prior to the new compensation plan — for example, $60,000. We will get the difference between $60,000 and $93,000 which is $33,000. Then we will divide that by two. So they will take that cut but it won’t bring them back to their old compensation plan. I think that formula will be a lot more manageable for us.”

Muna said the proposed salary reductions would only affect employees receiving an annual salary of $23,787 and above.

During the BOE’s Fiscal, Personnel and Administrative Committee meeting on Tuesday, PSS presented the employees’ salary spreadsheet:

  • • 170 employees are receiving $16,100 to $23,335 a year. Their job classifications are building maintenance, school aide I-III, bus driver I-III, administrative assistant, custodial worker I, bus conductor I and II, truant officer, teacher aide I and II, and general helper.
  • • 341 employees in the $23,787 to $40,683 salary range. They are instructors II Chamorro-Carolinian Language and Heritage Studies, non-highly qualified instructors, Head Start instructors, secretaries I-II, school registrars, family partnership advocates, custodial workers II, administrative officers I and III, truant officers and electricians.
  • • 237 employees are in the $41,745 - $62,986 salary range. They are school counselors, classroom teachers, vice principals I and II, legal counsel, librarians, program coordinators, education specialists, program managers and comptrollers.
  • • 63 employees are in the $63,114 - $82,085 salary range. They are principals I and II, Army instructors, directors, JROTC Military Property specialists, Senior Army instructors, managers, coordinators, directors and classroom teachers.
  • • 27 employees are in the $84,578 - $125,000 salary range. They are the commissioner, associate commissioners, directors, principals I-III, federal programs officer, occupation therapists IV, classroom teachers, Army instructor.

Ching said if the BOE approves the proposed salary cuts, PSS may save more than $1 million for the entire year.

“I think if we go in that route, it would soften the blow. It will still impact our employees, but the impact is not going to be a hard blow for the teachers,” Muna said.

BOE member MaryLou Ada who chairs the Fiscal, Personnel and Administrative Committee, said salary cuts will be the last resort. “If the governor gives another figure and he tells us to downsize more, then that [pay cut] will be the alternative.”

But she agreed with PSS management’s new pay cut formula, saying it would be fair for everybody.

For Tenorio, the “frontliners,” especially teachers, should be protected. “Management should sacrifice 10 percent of their salary. It is a temporary solution. It is not going back to your old salary.”

However, Muna noted that a 10 percent pay cut imposed on management for eight pay-periods would not be enough.

According to the commissioner, they need to include teachers and certified staff in the austerity measure.

“Majority of our funding is at the school level and that’s our certified staff and that is where the bulk of the money is. If you want to see savings so that we don’t end up in the red, then we need to start shifting our conversation and include them. As much as I don’t want to cut the pay of our certified staff, eventually we will have to. We are all in it together,” Muna said.