Study: More than $1M needed to close gap in Bibb school salaries

jmink@macon.comApril 26, 2014 

Bibb County school officials plan to recommend some salary increases based on a recent survey, which showed that the district slightly lags similar school systems in some areas.

Bibb is slightly behind similar school districts when it comes to mid-level and maximum salary ranges paid to classified, noninstructional employees, according to a recent study performed by the Management Advisory Group.

To make up for the shortfall, officials would need to increase salaries by a minimum total of $1.1 million. That number also includes internal salary adjustments when comparing job duties within the Bibb school system.

“We’re going to make some adjustment in those salaries over a period of time more than likely,” interim Superintendent Steve Smith said. “But we do realize we’re lagging behind, and we need to begin to make efforts” to catch up.

Still, that would not only mean an additional $1.1 million in next year’s budget, but in every budget after that, which is a significant adjustment.

Smith said he probably will recommend that officials make that adjustment within the next one to three years.

The study measured Bibb County schools against three similar school districts: Muscogee, Richmond and Savannah-Chatham County schools. It separated salaries based on the minimum salaries that employees make, the mid-level and the maximum salaries. According to the raw data, Bibb County lagged the mid-level salary averages by 1.08 percent, and it lagged the maximum salary levels by 2.97 percent.

Still, it trumped the other districts by about 1.6 percent in terms of its minimum salaries.

While it recommends some salaries increase to close the gaps, the Management Advisory Group did not suggest that employers whose salaries exceed the average take a pay cut, said Kelley Castlin-Gacutan, deputy superintendent of operations.

“They don’t see that as being best practices,” she said, “because you have already committed people to certain salaries.”

The study did not include specific salaries -- or the number of salaries -- that exceed the average amounts, but officials have requested that information, Castlin-Gacutan said.

Besides recommending some salary increases, the study also recommended some job description changes, based largely on duties that employees described in a survey.

The study, which cost $35,000, began with a human resources audit in spring 2013. Officials were looking to shore up the department’s policies and procedures, and the audit recommended the salary study.

In addition to job and salary reviews, the services will include an update of all noninstructional job descriptions; an update of payment plan structures and payment plan recommendations; and training for the human resources staff and technical support for one year.

The study and the adjustments are important, Castlin-Gacutan said, to retain employees and encourage potential employees to come to the district.

“I’m really happy that, as a district, we were able to move forward and do this for the employees,” Castlin-Gacutan said. “It shows real commitment by our board to look at what we’re doing” in terms of job classifications and payment.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service