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Guilford's superintendent outlines how state budget will affect employee pay
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Guilford's superintendent outlines how state budget will affect employee pay

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GREENSBORO — Guilford County school employees are learning how the recently approved two-year state budget will affect their paychecks.

In an email sent to employees late Monday afternoon, Superintendent Sharon Contreras applauded a budget that makes education “a focal point,” but acknowledged the state “still has a long way to go to fairly compensate educators for all that they do.”

The bonus pay outlined in the email is unrelated to the recent request by the Guilford County Board of Education to discuss employee bonuses at its Dec. 14 meeting, district spokesman Janson Silvers said by email Tuesday.

With news of employees in other school districts getting bonuses, workers in Guilford County Schools wanted to know why federal pandemic relief money isn’t being used to give them one, too. The school board heard their pleas, voting 5-4 earlier this month to instruct the superintendent to come up with a plan to provide bonuses to district staff.

Pay increases

According to Monday’s email to employees, the district explained the impact of the state budget on compensation by first addressing pay increases.

The following pay raises will be effective from July 1, 2021. Retroactive pay increases from July 1 to Dec. 31 will be provided in the form of a bonus that the district expects to be paid out no sooner than January (which is when the funds are expected). Employees must be employed on Jan. 1 to receive the increase.

Teachers will receive an average raise of 5% over the next two years. The new budget increases the base teacher salary schedule by 1.3% at each step, for an average 2.5% increase each year including step increases. Assistant principals will receive corresponding increases.

Principals will receive a 2.5% increase at all levels of the principal salary schedule this year and next.

Non-certified personnel will receive either a 2.5% increase or $13-an-hour minimum wage in 2021-22 and 2.5% increase or $15-an-hour minimum wage in 2022-23.

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Central office staff will receive a 2.5% increase in 2021-22 and an additional increase of 2.5% in 2022-23.

School psychologists, speech pathologists and audiologists will receive a $3,500 annual supplement; school counselors will receive a $1,000 annual supplement.

The final budget does not restore master’s degree pay, the email said.

Bonus pay

According to the email, the following bonuses will also be distributed no sooner than January:

All full-time employees will receive a $1,000 one-time bonus. Employees earning less than $75,000 will receive an additional $500.

Teachers will receive one-time bonuses of $300 in lieu of performance bonuses. Performance bonuses will return in 2022-23.

Teachers who have received training specific to COVID-19 will receive an additional $1,000 from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund.

Principals will receive one-time bonuses of $1,800 in lieu of performance bonuses. Performance bonuses will be restored in the 2022-23 school year.

According to the email, Chief Financial Officer Angie Henry and the payroll department will be working hard to get the raises implemented.

“We will share more information as soon as we can,” Contreras said.

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