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Employees of the York County School Division will see larger paychecks for the 2015-16 school year.
The school board approved a new salary schedule for division employees at its meeting Monday night, including pay raises for most YCSD workers.
Under the salary schedule for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1, YCSD teachers receive a 1 percent pay increase and a 0.1 percent increase to cover higher required contributions to the Virginia Retirement System.
The approved pay plan also includes providing all eligible employees with a step increase – levels of compensation based on length of service in the division and level of education – and an additional step increase for eligible employees whose step levels have been frozen since fiscal year 2010 because of budget constraints.
The total salary increase for teachers is at least 1.7 percent over last year’s compensation and could be as high as 4.1 percent for both licensed and nonlicensed staff who are eligible for the two step increases.
The new schedule includes 31 steps. For the 2015-16 school year, the starting salary for YCSD teachers with a bachelor’s degree is $42,261. The highest step – for teachers with a Ph.D. and 30 years of experience – pays $75,645.
Statistics from the Virginia Department of Education show the average starting salary for teachers in Virginia for the 2014-15 school year was $38,433.
The teachers’ salary schedule is based on 200 work days at 7.5 hours per day.
Chief officers in YCSD administration receive a 4.1 percent pay increase under the approved plan.
Since coming on as head of the school division in November, Superintendent Victor Shandor has repeated his focus on boosting employee compensation, going so far as to name it one of his top three priorities for YCSD’s fiscal year 2016 budget process.
When he unveiled his budget proposal in February, Shandor called for more than $2.4 million in salary increases for division employees, with much of the funds coming from additional county dollars.
The budget adopted by the school board May 12 included $361,000 in new funding, but interim County Administrator Mark Carter said he believed there was sufficient funding to support salary increases.
Both Shandor and the school board identified compensation, and particularly compression – salaries of experienced employees remaining at the level of less-experienced employees – as issues that could affect the quality of YCSD’s faculty and staff and needed to be addressed.
School Board Chairman Mark Medford said the new pay plan was a step in the right direction for YCSD.
“This is a monumental movement,” Medford said. “This is significant, now we can really compete to keep and to retain and to find employees for YCSD. We should be really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”