Friday, June 1, 2012

Hattabaugh: CMS raises aren't certain

Mecklenburg County commissioners said Wednesday that their preliminary agreement to restrict $18.5 million of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools budget was designed to ensure that employees get 3 percent raises. But interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh has sent a mass email warning that CMS leaders are studying "possible consequences of accepting restricted money" and celebration would be premature.

Here's his email:

Dear CMS employees,

On Wednesday, May 30, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners held a straw vote on CMS funding, saying our requested raise would be partially funded by a restricted contingency. This means that the commissioners will withhold $18.5 million of our total county funding until we have shown the commissioners proof that the raises have been given.

The county manager’s proposal would give CMS a total of $335 million plus about $2 million in fines-and-forfeiture money. The total of $337 million is significantly less than the $356 million we requested and the county would hold on to $18.5 million of it until proof is provided that employees will get a three percent raise. The total cost of this raise is more than $26 million.

Forcing us to use county money in this way, coupled with giving us less than we requested, means that we will have to cut more from our operating budget, unless the state funding exceeds our estimate. This is unprecedented. To have our operating budget restricted by a governing body other than the Board of Education is not desirable. For that reason, our Board members are concerned and are reviewing the possible consequences of accepting restricted money in this way.

The good news for employees is that the county commission appears to be aware of your value to our community. However, the final budget votes have yet to be taken. We also do not yet know the final amount of our state allocation, which accounts for about two-thirds of our funding.

For that reason, I’d hold off on celebrating your raise just yet. We will keep you informed as our Board and the county take action on the budget.

Best Regards,

Hugh E. Hattabaugh

Interim Superintendent
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Government Center
600 East 4th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202


Anonymous said...

After 4 years of job cuts and frozen salaries, I don't know that anyone working for CMS would feel like celebrating a 3% pay increase when helathcare costs have gone up constantly. I believe they are just anxiously waiting to see how they will make ends meet...

Anonymous said...

You would think that CMS might have sent someone to the Straw Vote session, considering that over $300 million in funding for CMS was at stake.

When the Commissioners asked if there were any representatives of the Schools present to answer questions about their budget request, not a soul answered!

Anonymous said...

Hugh and the Board, Can you read between the lines folks. They don't trust you. You prior boss lied over and over to them. They are trying to throw you a bone. I will be more clear. Meet with them. Start telling the truth. I kind of wish they would have said no one outside of a school building should get this offering. It it leaderships fault that there is not trust. Davis, Morgan, and Gorman were the contributors to this lack of trust. Quit playing ego games and give this raise to you hard working teachers. I hope Morrison comes in and cleans this up.

Anonymous said...

How does CMS know what they will be getting from the state? The BOCC is trying to escape accountability. They have a paid lobbyist in Raleigh to keep them informed of the $$ they and CMS will be receiving from the state. CMS does not. Maybe the BOCC needs a new lobbyist.

Anonymous said...

How about giving teachers back the vision and dental benefits plus the bonus money that was never paid?

Anonymous said...

CMS BOE has been taken over by a bunch of self absorbed psychotics.

Anonymous said...