County school employees to get bonuses

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

All full-time employees in the Covington County School System were awarded a one-time, 2 percent across-the-board incentive bonus Tuesday.

Superintendent Terry Holley said the monies were given for “going above and beyond the call of duty and to meet the challenges of the future.”

Holley said it’s been nearly five years since staff members received a raise, while they’ve experienced a 7.5 percent increase in retirement costs.

He said the board began exploring awarding the incentive pay in the fall.

“But we wanted to see what the proposed budget looked like before we made a decision,” Holley said. “Our staff does an excellent job and are very deserving,” he said. “They’ve gone beyond the needs of our children, and this is a way of saying thanks.”

The measure will cost the system $317,000, and means on average, approximately $1,000 for master’s level personnel; $800 for bachelor’s degree; $300 for school bus drivers; and $250 for support staff personnel.

“I have to give thanks to the board for being good stewards of the system’s money,” Holley said. “Our financial situation didn’t happen over night. This is also money that will be bumped back into our economy, and we’ll reap the benefits of that. So, it’s a plus for us and the economy.”

Board member Jeff Bailey said the bonus was the “right thing to do.”

“The fact that we’re in the position that we are and we’re able to help our teachers and it not hurt us, is amazing,” Bailey said. “It’s the right thing to do, and while we’ve been criticized in the past, the only way we can do it is because we’ve been so conservative.”

Before the measure passed, board member Jimmy Rogers amended the motion to include Holley as a recipient of the one-time bonus. It was seconded by Linda Powell and passed unanimously.

“It’s a small way to say thank you to all of our staff, but I hope it shows just how much we appreciate everything it is they do for us,” Bailey said.

The money, which will be paid to employees in a separate check, will be disbursed March 30

In other business, the board voted to:

• employ Ressie Gray as accounts payable clerk in the central office.

• award the bid for dishwasher and booster heater at Pleasant Home School.

• approve the 2012-2012 school calendar with a start date of Aug. 6 and an end date of May 23.

• to hold a special called meeting on March 26 at noon.