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BCSD board approves pay increase for all employees

Published Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Berkeley County School board approved a retroactive two percent pay increase for all school district employees Tuesday during its regular meeting.

The increase will be on the first paycheck of January 2019, and it will be retroactive to July 1, 2018.

Board Chair Sally Wofford described the move as “just the beginning where we continue to put our money where our mouth is.”

The vote on the increase was supported by all board members, and a few visibly displayed emotion over the decision.

District nine representative Ann Conder admitted she was “a little choked up” as she looked at employees present at the meeting and thanked them for their work.

“It’s no thanks to us, it’s thanks to the faculty, the staff, the cabinet,” Mrs. Conder said.

Conder said she hopes the two percent increase is just the tip of the iceberg as the board looks to continue to recognize the dedication of employees, especially teachers, for their work to care for the children of Berkeley County.

Wofford said the increase would not have been possible without the work of employees to watch spending and comply with procedures in place to keep expenditures at a minimum.

“We have made a lot of rules. We have done a lot of work financially, and our employees have beared the brunt of doing that work, which is going to increase our fund balance. But, we don’t want to put that money in the bank. We want to put that money in our employees’ pockets,” Mrs. Wofford said. “…You are the ones who put the money in the bank.”

BCSD Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram spoke to the rarity of an increase in the middle of the year. For it also to be retroactive, he said, is unusual.

“I want to humbly thank the board on behalf of all of the employees. It is no small feat of this board of education to show the fortitude and the resolve to make difficult decisions,” he said.

Ingram also thanked all employees and asked those in attendance at the meeting not to underestimate the “gargantuan task” the board has faced in the wake of embezzlement by former district CFO Brantley Thomas.

“They (the board) promised from day one that if we could start to right our financial ship, they would reward the employees in turn,” Dr. Ingram said. “That is no small task. I personally want to thank the board.”

Brian Troutman