Friday, June 29, 2012

CMS market raises reach $17,000 a year

"Market adjustment"  raises for 254 salaried Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees will range from $180.95 to $17,201.60 a year,  according to a summary CMS sent Thursday evening.  About 5,800 hourly workers will get raises that range from $5.16 to $1,040 a year.

Those raises will be in addition to the 3 percent across-the-board raises that got so much attention during budget talks.  They're based on a 2007 study comparing CMS pay with what people were making in comparable jobs. The school board approved a plan to make wages more competitive,  but the recession stalled those adjustments shortly after the first round of pay bumps in 2008.

The obvious questions: How many people are getting a $17,000 raise, who are they, and why that amount?

I don't know yet.

After the school board approved a raise plan Tuesday night that included the market adjustments,  I requested a list of positions eligible for the market bumps and a range of those raises.

CMS is on a four-day summer schedule,  and spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte sent the summary 20 minutes before offices closed for the week.  She said she knew I'd ask about the upper range,  but couldn't get an answer before everyone dispersed.  A more detailed breakdown will take more time to compile, she said.
(Update 1:30 p.m.: Stalberte just called to say employees haven't been notified of their market adjustments, pending a final decision on the state budget and the county raise money, so CMS can't release specifics yet.  I guess someone has a nice surprise coming!)

Here's what I know:  Teachers and other certified staff,  executive staff and school board members are not getting market raises.  Human Resources Chief Daniel Habrat said at the meeting that most of the 254 salaried staff who will get those raises are assistant principals.  Other salaried job categories CMS lists as getting market raises are administrative assistant, administrator, analyst, assistant director, coordinator, director, engineer, executive director, manager, principal, After School Enrichment Program assistant, recruiter, specialist, supervisor and "other exempt staff" ("exempt" is HR-speak for non-hourly workers).

The length of time a salaried employee has been in the job determines how close CMS will get them to the "market value" of their job,  with the least experienced landing at 77 percent of market value and those with four years or more getting 98 percent of market value  (read the explanation CMS sent here).

Obviously this begs for more explanation,  and I'll try to get it next week.

During Tuesday's meeting,  Habrat said teacher assistants, bus drivers and cafeteria workers make up the largest group of hourly employees getting market adjustments.  The summary lists 46 positions getting the bumps, including custodians, grounds workers, school resource officers and secretaries.

Meanwhile,  the 3 percent across-the-board raises  --   the first most employees have gotten in four years  --  are scheduled to take effect July 1, with the money showing up in the August paycheck.  However, Gov. Bev Perdue's announcement today that she'll veto the budget approved by legislators throws everything back up in the air.  Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

More smoke and mirrors from the world renowned communications department.Does anyone in that department have a clue?

Anonymous said...

Yes Ann, we know some employees will make $17,000 more in market adjustment but we just dont know who they are...Have they found the principal they lost yet?

BolynMcClung said...


The CMS Privatization Committee will meet next July 10th at 8:00AM on the 5th floor office of the Board of Education at the Government center

Objective: reduce operating expenses for non-core business.

So far this is barely moving. A couple of pilots are being tested.

A few board members have faith it is going in the right direction. Others, and some staff, believe CMS is already a low cost provider. Both could be correct but nothing sustantial is being done that could result in long term budget management. Both are riding snails in a race that requires thoroughbreds.

This is CMS' best opportunity to shift money back to the classroom.

Why the foot dragging?

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

What is disconcerting is the belief that only "some" employees deserve market adjustments. As one who possesses multiple degrees and certifications, I decided to remain in the classroom b/c I believe that is where I can make the most difference. Some of my firends (some who do not have the same level of education) make between 2 to 5 times as much in the private sector and from our conversations, their careers are no more, or even less, demanding than that of an urban classroom teacher. Years and a few Superintendents ago, I was asked whether I would like to focus on an admin degree but I focused on content and pedagogical development. APs have a tough job and deserve a market adjustment but don't we all? Is this another way of dividing CMS between the admin and the teachers?

Anonymous said...

Whats new within CMS ? The top just got fatter and the teachers got a bone. Thats why they got in bed with LIFT its a top heavy organization same philosophy. Bolyn outsourcing does not save money for CMS. If a private vendor can do it for less its just being done wrong by CMS in the first place. This is a move by Morgan to get more Vendors from the CHamber work within CMS to boost Chamber revenue. To point ask CMS to provide a list of vendors then cross reference with Chamber list. Draw the lines and come up for air.

sanitizer said...

Where is the head of the communications department Latarja Henry and how much of a raise did she "deserve"?

Anonymous said...

Why do we need market adjustments?

Well, lets see, someone doing my current job of Communications Systems Administration (Telephony and Network), in the private sector, would generally bring in $63,000-$90,000 per year in income. I currently bring in less than $48,000 per year. We were all hired at 73% of market rate for our positions with the understanding that after year 1, we would be bumped to 78%, and after year 3 another bump to 83%. This is outside of the normal yearly raises typically seen when the economy is doing good. While I understand that yearly raises are necessarily placed on hold during a tough recession, the bump to bring us in-line with our peers in the industry should not have been frozen. Yes, I could have moved on to another company offering more money, but just like teachers, I feel that my services help the district as a whole, prepare the next generation. While i do not sit in the ivory tower of CMGC or have Director in my name, I do know this district, teachers included, cannot survive without the workers in the background who keep their phones and network up and running. The grounds crews keeping buildings and property safe and clean, or the cafe workers feeding children, or maintenance crews ensuring you have light bulbs to work by. Teachers are the first line of defense in education, but please do not scapegoat the hard working team behind them that supports and facilitates their instructional time.


Anonymous said...

to Anonymous at 8:45am.

You are correct, outsourcing does not save money for CMS. Not when contractors administering our network infrastructure currently bill CMS just over 100 dollars an hour (thats why they said 800+ dollars for your email request) to do the same job as some of our in-house folks who get paid less than 24 dollars an hour. Yes i know the figure above does not include all those wonderful "perks" the public seems to think we have, but factoring in the match of our MANDATORY retirement of 6% of our pay, and the paltry health benefits you only bring that total to around 32 dollars an hour. All they do in that situation is HIDE how much it actually costs to do things by listing it as a line item instead of a wage on the budget reports...

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 8:45

Tell us how using an outside vendor within CMS puts money in the Chamber's coffers?

Anonymous said...

Very true 8:57. There are many support staff that are needed to make things run smoothly and teachers sometimes forget that. Let their computers crash or the AP/counselor/etc. not be available when that kid in their class gets out of control, and they remember. CMS does have too many highly paid "executive this and thats" however.

Ann Doss Helms said...

6:13, yes, the principal in question, who was temporarily floating between assignments, was named Tuesday to a principalship at a new elementary school.

In defense of the communications department, they could keep at least one person busy just chasing down my requests, and I'm not the only one they're dealing with. And Tahira was able to deliver exactly what I asked for -- albeit not one bit more, nor with any time for follow-up questions this week.

Ultimately, I would hope that CMS would see something like this -- a raise plan that's been in the works for months, with lots of public money at stake and lots of questions floating -- and anticipate a need to explain it throughly, clearly and quickly. But that may need to come from higher than communications. Those folks have to go to a lot of other departments to get their info.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Oh, and the reason teachers and other certified staff were never part of this market study is because their wages are driven by the state pay scale (although, as the current plan is illustrating, it is possible to go beyond that).

Bill Stevens said...

If the state budget goes through as planned, the BOCC will not need to release as much money as first proposed. The original figures were 1% from found money by CMS, and 2% from the BOCC. Now if the state is kicking in 1.2%, then the BOCC is down to 0.8% to kick in. Seems the BOCC needs to adjust the tax rate down to give that back to the property tax payers.

As to Chamber vendors, they have their network they would love to work into feeding more from the taxpayers trough.

Anonymous said...

The departments that the staff and public need most, HR and Communications, seem to make a habit of responding to issues after 5, to ensure difficulty in reaching them.

Anonymous said...


Unless something has changed in the legislature recently, administrative salaries are also driven by the state. NCAE made sure of that years ago. So why are they getting a market adjustment?

Ann Doss Helms said...

10:29, that's something I need to follow up on. As I told my editor yesterday, even after 10 years I haven't totally gotten my head around HR policy. I think the answer is that there's more flexibility in the local supplement for admins than for teachers, but until I can check that don't take it to the bank.

Wiley Coyote said...


Services have to be provided within CMS, whether they do it themselves or not.

If an outside vendor can provide those same services at or above the level CMS can do it themselves and save tax money, then why not?

People need to get off of the Morgan connection.

If you don't like Tim Morgan, vote him out of office.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, When the Morgan's dole out contracts to Chamber Members for work within CMS they make more profits. They pay the Chamber for getting them the contract and for membership with in a worthless group (Charlotte Chamber). They then are asked pal since we got you the food service contract we need a few tickets to Seattle,London you name it for some peeps at CMS. You see that train do yah? It happens and has happened as we know it. Do you think if CMS never paid Chamber for Darth Vaders ticket to London that they ever would have forced a collection?

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 10:42,

Provide us with verifiable examples of Tim Morgan "giving" contracts to CMS vendors and those vendors in turn giving money under the table to the Chamber.

From CMS' Vendor Guide, PAGE 1:


North Carolina General Statute 133-32 addresses the legal
implications of State employees accepting gifts or favors from
vendors. Briefly summarized, this statute states that it is
unlawful for any vendor who has a current contract with a
governmental agency, has performed under such a contract
within the past year, or anticipates bidding on such a contract in
the future to give gifts or favors to any employee of a
governmental agency who is charged with preparing plans,
specifications, or estimates for public contract, awarding or
administering such contracts, or inspecting or supervising
construction. It is also unlawful for a State employee to
willfully receive or accept such gifts or favors.

If you have evidence of any impropriety, I suggest you present them to CMS.

Otherwise, I would be careful throwing around unsubstantiated accusations.

Also, take some time to read what vendors have to go through in order to do business with CMS....

Anonymous said...

Wiley , Who is pushing for the outsourcing? (Morgan) Its not one , but 2 Bob/Tim on both sides of deals. They can get a woman on a plane with no idea how or who paid for her ticket. Do you think they could get a vendor a cafeteria or transportation contract? PLEEZE (project LIFT)

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 11:09...

I don't speculate as you do.

Sorry, I think you are WAY off base here.

And no, I do not believe either Morgan has the ability to "fix contracts" within CMS.

Perhaps you should go back and read the timelines and stories of EE-S trying to get the funds to go to London.

Here's a snippet from Morgan related to the matter, so again, I'd be careful with accusations:

On May 16, there was a brief exchange of emails between Davis, Tim Morgan and Rhonda Lennon.
"I declined Ericka's request to transfer travel $s," Davis told the other two.
"I have not been asked," Morgan replied.
"nor have I," added Lennon.

Read more here:

Anonymous said...

Wiley , you getting the Morgans mixed up. Bobby paid for the ticket , because Vader could not get the others to cover her back. Thats been the story since she took the chair. Even Mary has distanced herself from Vader. You show me 1 outsourced vendor today or down the road and I guarantee they belong to big brothers group. You pay to join that and you dont get the "look" or contract unless you do. Common Core Business Practice.

Wiley Coyote said...


You obviously have no clue about how the Chamber works or how CMS bids contracts, which is the same for all other city and county governments.

This is your quote:

They can get a woman on a plane with no idea how or who paid for her ticket.

You made that referring to "the brothers".

Everyone knows the Chamber made the reservations Einstein.

Again, you're oblivious to the facts and have none to offer to support your conspiracy theories....

Anonymous said...

Wiley, Could it be that you dont know how the Chamber works? Since I have 3 insiders and 2 that have left big brother at chamber I am pretty familiar with how the Chamber affect CMS for say the last 20 plus years. I figured you knew about this since your a "education guru". With your qoute above answer this my friend who bought the ticket? Let me help you Charlotte Chamber ! I cant help you any further common sense has to kick in for you.

Wiley Coyote said...

...yet you produce no evidence of any impropriety.

Like I said Einstein, we all know who bought the ticket. That isn't an issue. CMS cut a check to pay for it.

The issue itself related to EE-S and CMS is still unresolved.

I was a member of the Chamber when I worked for another company for three years so I do know how the Chamber works.

So far, you have produced nothing but hollow accusations.

Anonymous said...

What company was that you used to work for. I will give you the work chamber provided. Would CMS have cut the check if it was never brought out in public eye? Answer NOPE. Chamber would have never been paid for it. Einstein

And the issue with Vader (ees) and CMS will go in the Kojo file under the rug.

Anonymous said...

These folks deserve a raise. Unfortunately, there is a prevailing notion that school employees and teachers should work for peanuts and that is just sad.

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, wait, they're giving market adjustments to administrative and hourly positions and NOTHING to the teachers who haven't had any adjustment (raise, market or otherwise) in, what, four years? That's absolutely unbelievable. And we wonder why we can't find good teachers. To improve education: get rid of all useless administrative crap, take that savings and double teachers' salaries, then actually let them teach. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Wiley I a mean Bolyn I have not heard back from you on the company? cat got that tongue?

Wiley Coyote said...

There is no point in further discussion.

You have produced no facts to support any allegations you have made - NONE.

My former company is immaterial. We worked closely with the Chamber and we never gave them a dime other than the dues we paid.

In the business I was in, the Chamber was neutral due to other companies in the same business, but being part of the Chamber gave us a selling point, much like having a good recommendation from the Better Business Bureau about your goods and services provided.

The Chamber's ultimate goal was to get businesses here and it was up to us to bid on any contract work available. At no time did we ever feel there was cronyism directed toward any of our competitors.

So this steak is done. I've stuck a fork in it.

Until you provide evidence of your allegations, your continued rants come across as someone very disgruntled with your past association with the Chamber.

BolynMcClung said...

To: ANON 1:05PM

I don't understand the question "I have not heard back from you on the company."

Please be clearer. What company under what circumstances?

Also, while it won't affect my answer. it would be nice to have something other than "anon" to reply to. Too many anons.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Yes Chamber does great job for Charlotte I point to Bobby Morgan and $26 mill he spent on Chiquita. Other than renting some empty space no other company would take provides not real value to the region. Their employees live in SC terrible shameless deal done by Bobby ! I provided you with Darth Vaders ticket paid for by chamber until public so choke on it. I ask LIFT yourself up please.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Bolyn, folks are calling each other Einstein and the board chair Darth Vader, so this isn't one of the more highbrow debates. I think one of the anonymi called Wiley "Bolyn" to make, um, some kind of point. I'm not sure which of you is supposed to be insulted (or flattered?).

Anonymous said...

Einsteins, Vaders and Pandering Dunderheads.

Just another day at the office...

Anonymous said...

Ann , Thank you for helping the poor boy from Pineville. The heat must have gotten too him. Just a bit slower today.

BolynMcClung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wiley Coyote said...


Since I constantly get hit by anvils, cliffs break away from under my feet, dynamite blows up in my face and the fact I have never caught the Roadrunner, neither my looks or brains are attributes to be had.

BolynMcClung said...


Thanks for clearing my heat addled brain.

As for who is flattered, it reminds me of the speculation on a marriage between Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe: His brains and her looks. The immediate response was ......but what if it were her brains and his looks.


Wiley Coyote said...

Regarding my Einstein comment to a certain poster, I was trying to be kind.

Anonymous said...

Hedy Lamarr was probably the closest thing we ever had to a cross between Einstein's brains and Monroe's looks.

Without some of Hedy Lamarr's pioneering work in communications during WWII, we probably wouldn't have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cell phones.

Anonymous said...

Typical CMS BS keep the money downtown/tyvola rd and forget the teachers. If CMS does not think that folks at the state level dont see this they are dumber than I thought. Minor league thinking equals minor league budgets. Hopefully Mr. Reno brings a few cards with him he can play at the state level. Tell me Hugh how far did grades fall again this year??

Anonymous said...

The whole thing with market adjustment started in '07. I remember, I didn't get one and my co- worker did. But I understand why. There are many technical (read networks and computers) and blue collar jobs (read HVAC and plumbing) jobs in CMS that no one wants to acknowledge. The "market value" adjustments are an attempt to keep good workers (and in some cases ANY worker) in the job when there are more high paying jobs in the private sector. There are more openings now for school secretaries than ever before. Why? They can get a less stressful job for more money now in the private sector.
Everyone who rants and raves about central office costs needs to spend a day with a director in CMS to see how much manpower it takes to get the data the Feds want to the Feds! It is no small task and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Central office has been trimmed to the better but it is time to stop abusing them and let them do the work along with the teachers.

BolynMcClung said...

In reply to Anon 8:52a

.I’ve never heard or read a better, clearer statement on CMS.

It had heart.

It reads like the mother of three looking at $6.10 that has to last until Friday and it’s Monday morning.

I’m looking at this other story about the new superintendent. He’s going to improve the image….and the grades. BUT, can he do it before Friday with $6.10? The mother can. They always have!

Bolyn McClung

Wiley Coyote said...


It seems with Morrison it's all about "flywheels" and waiting for some point in time when that wheel makes one revolution.

The only revolution we need is for people to wake up and realize that public education isn't cutting it and start over again from the ground up.

Bill Stevens said...

8:52, just the reason to get out from under the feds. It can be done. CMS would free up so many resources and money that they could cover the FRL needs DSS identifies every year and keep up Title 1 type funding for those schools.

Anonymous said...

Why do the raises always have to be all about the "Teachers"? Yes some of them care about the education our children get and some yeah it more about the paycheck. And it shows in the EOG's... Without the Transportation department or as some people call us BUS DRIVERS the Teachers would not have any chilred to teach. We are the ones who bring the chilren to the schools to everyday.... Why isn't our job just as important? And why should'nt our raise be just as important? This should not be just about the teachers it should be about the whole CMS family we are all in this together for the same reason..... THE CHILDREN!!! It not enough that CMS takes out 6% mandatory retirment, BENEFITS ARE TO HIGH... THOSE ARE JUST MORE ISSUES CMS NEEDS TO TACKLE AFTER THESE RAISES AND AS A CMS FAMILY WE NEED TO FIGHT TOGETHER FOR MORE AFFORADLE INSURANCE. THIS IS A STATE PLAN AND REALLY I CANT TELL..