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BOE, PSS explain salary increase

THE Board of Education has adopted a salary schedule that will make the salaries of teachers, principals, school leaders and support staff competitive and closer to those of their counterparts across the nation, according to BOE Chairwoman MaryLou S. Ada and acting Education Commissioner Glenn Muna.

In a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Angel Demapan, the two education officials explained the recent salary adjustment for teachers, principals and school leaders and management.

In an email to Variety, Demapan said he had received a letter from “Saipanwikileaks” stating that the salary increase for PSS principals, vice principals and central office staff was “hefty” — from over 40 percent to over 55 percent.

But according to Ada and Muna, the “report being circulated under the fictitious name of Saipanwikileaks has many errors and is written by someone with a hidden agenda.”

They said it took the board and the PSS leadership over three years of research to develop the salary schedule.

In the past, the starting salaries for teachers ranged from $30,986 to $47,001, they said.

Under the new schedule, thesalaries of teachers, counsel ors and librarians start at $33,289 and can be as high as $94,248.

The board also increased the salaries of vice principals from $40,000 to $50,000; to $57,000 to $66,000. The salaries of school principals ranged previously from $50,000 to $60,000. It is now $69,503 to $97,910.

Ada and Muna also provided information about the history of PSS salaries.

Public Law 7-31, signed on June 18, 1991 by Gov. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero, provided a 14 percent across-the-board increase for all staff.

P.L.10-35, signed by acting Gov. Jesus C. Borja on Oct. 21, 1996, provided teachers with a $700 per month or $8,400 per year salary increase.

P.L. 10-85 signed by Gov. Froilan C. Tenorio on Jan. 9, 1998 increased the salaries of principals up to $60,000, vice principals up to $56,000 and counselors up to $50,000.

“The Board of Education has increased the salaries of our lowest paid staff from $12,264 to $16,651 over the past four years,” Ada and Muna stated in their letter. “The one group that went for 13 to 18 years without a salary increase was the central office staff.”

The salaries for key central office staff have been frozen for 13 years and more, they added.

“We recognized that it had to be addressed. The board did that through a salary compensation plan that addresses all staff and pays competitive salaries needed to retain key staffers,” Ada and Muna said.

“Please note that the average salary for our 452 teachers rose from $36,000 in 2016 to $46,000 in 2017 after the salary increase. This constitutes 75 percent of the total PSS salary adjustment,” the education officials added.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/101309-boe-pss-explain-salary-increase

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