bo and brad

Livingston Parish School Board members Bo Graham, left, and Brad Sharp wait for the start of the Athletic/Staff Committee meeting on Wednesday. Graham is the chairman of the committee, while Sharp was attending the meeting as an observer.

LIVINGSTON – The Livingston Parish School Board Athletic/Staff Committee is recommending the board index rather than annualize the $1,000 pay raise for principals and administrators.

The proposal will affect 198 employees, Business Manager Terry Hughes said. By shifting back to index pay scale for raises, from annualization, the system will return to their salary pay rates that is affected by items such as extra work duties, and level of education.

The board voted, in 2008, to annualize all raises which meant that pay increases were not affected by the pay scale index.

All of those 198 employees are certified employees – principals and administrators – and are not classified employees such as teachers, Superintendent Joe Murphy said.

“It will cost us $30,000 and it is the right thing to do,” said Buddy Mincey Jr., a committee member, who made a motion to index the $1,000 pay raise approved by the Legislature and “all future raises.”

The recommendation passed 4-0 with Mincey and fellow committee members Kellee Hennessy Dickerson, Bo Graham, and Bradley Harris supporting it.

The full board will consider the recommendation at its meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“In 2008, the board took the action and annualized raises. I was against it then and now,” Mincey said.

He called it a “difference in philosophy” among board members at that time, but board member Jeff Cox, who attended the meeting, recalled budget problem also faced the school district. 

Superintendent Joe Murphy spoke hesitantly on the topic.

“I have tried not to get involved in this discussion because it directly impacts me,” Murphy said.

The only reason he chose to speak up, Murphy said was, “I represent the other people it impacts, and I feel strongly about this and the recommendation.

“We’re promoting people to levels of responsibility in this parish … and I support the decision to index salaries. We promote individuals and agreed to compensate them at a certain amount,” he said.

“It’s not in the best interest of the district not to do that.

“There are people in this room who represent the district to the best of their abilities,” Murphy said.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Parrill said he works closely with principals and welcomed the recommendation.

“My job is to support the principals,” Parrill said. “We’ve got to support these people.

“They are our best people. We put them on the front line every day,” he said. “We put so much on our people. They are principals 24/7/365.”

Parrill said he talks to principals many nights about issues at their schools, offering advice and hearing what they encounter.

Parrill offered a comparison: The $1,000 pay raise indexed would be $7 a day, while if it were annualized, it would be $4 a day.

 “We have to compensate these people correctly,” he said.

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