All Horry County Schools’ employees to receive possible pay raise

All Horry County Schools’ employees to receive possible pay raise

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - All Horry County Schools’ employees could get some extra money in their paycheck, but next fiscal year’s budget must be approved first.

This comes after many employees were waiting to receive a 2% increase from the previous school year.

School workers were eligible to receive their 2% pay raises for the 2020-21 school year. But the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the state putting the STEP increase on hold.

On Monday, district leaders took a visible step to show employees they’re working hard to ensure those extra dollars reach their pockets.

In 2019, the Board of Education approved funding for a comprehensive employee compensation study to look into how salaries in Horry County Schools compare to other districts in the state.

“On September 23, 2019, the Board of Education approved funding to conduct a comprehensive employee compensation study. On June 1, 2020, the results from the study were presented to the Board of Education. The study reviewed approximately 6,235 positions and 203 job titles within the District. The classification of positions was evaluated with regard to the level of complexity, responsibility, and knowledge to determine proper placement within the new salary structure. In addition, a comparison to relevant markets/competitors was conducted and recommendations were developed for a competitive classification and compensation structure with several corresponding implementation options.” HCS’ proposed budget plan stated.

The study helped the district to see where salary adjustments needed to be made.

School leaders wanted to move forward with implementing the study in last year’s fiscal budget. But the state didn’t pass the budget for 2020-21 because of concerns surrounding the pandemic. So the study had to wait.

But Monday night, Horry County leaders picked right up where they left off.

District leaders incorporated the study in the 2021-22 proposed budget plan. That means employees will receive a pay raise.

“Either through the impact of the study, the application of the STEP increase and/or the $1,000 increase in teacher salaries as mandated by the State,” said John Gardner, chief officer of finance for HCS.

Gardner stated nurses are also eligible for the $1,000 pay from the state.

Here’s the additional break down of the proposed funds for the salary increases and additional budgetary plans:

  • From the general fund, $9,408,363 has been allocated towards the implementation of a comprehensive employee compensation study.

Operational Expectation OE-5 Financial Planning

  • 2020-21 teacher STEP reinstatement, $4,586,046
  • STEP increase, 6,108,197
  • $1000 increase to teacher salary schedule (includes nurses)5,806,740
  • Increase in employer retirement rate, 3,477,473
  • Decrease in group health insurance, (1,166,229)
  • Increase substitute salaries, 1,262,257
  • Salary/benefit adjustments from prior year, (6,178,529)

The Board of Education is scheduled to hold a public hearing about the budget on June 7. During that time, they’re expected to make a final decision on how to approve the how the funds are allocated

The district’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year is $766,626,991, which is up about $54.8 million compared to the previous year’s budget.

CLICK HERE to view the budget presentation from Monday’s meeting.

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