GREENFIELD — The head of technology operations for Greenfield-Central schools says the corporation is losing talented, tech-savvy employees because it doesn’t offer a competitive salary.
It’s an ongoing problem that prompted Greg Thompson, who oversees the corporation’s IT department, to address the school board about a possible solution. The board is expected to discuss the issue at its meeting Monday.
In a recent memo provided to the superintendent and school board, Thompson said G-C schools have employed talented IT personnel in the past and trained them, only to watch them later leave the corporation to take higher-paying jobs.
The corporation lost three employees within a span of about four months, Thompson said.
“We actually lost two pretty close together, within probably two months,” Thompson said. “These two positions were really good people who had great all-around knowledge. You spend a lot of time and investment in those people as far as training. It always hurts when you lose someone like that because they are so valuable. “
Keeping the IT department robust is especially important as the corporation moves toward one-to-one computing, which involves providing an electronic device for every student in the district to use.
Having qualified technology assistants in the school buildings is also important during standardized testing, much of which takes place online, board President Retta Livengood said.
Thompson said he learned the corporation’s IT salary scale wasn’t competitive when did exit interviews with the employees who were leaving.
Their concerns led him to do some research into the pay scale of similarly sized districts. In his memo to the board, Thompson pointed out the average total salary for employees overseen by the technology director is $186,750, compared to G-C’s $158,541.
Livengood said she is supportive of bumping the corporation’s pay to be more competitive.
“We need to keep good folks here,” she said. “When it was brought to our attention that there is that dip, we realized we need to do something.”
Thompson proposed about $32,000 worth of raises for six employees: two technology support technicians; two technology support specialists; one help-desk attendant and one data systems specialist.
The raises will bring the total salary for the staff to $190,689, a figure Thompson says puts G-C back in the running to attract quality candidates.
The technology team is paid out of the district’s capital projects fund. It is not the same fund used to pay teacher salaries, Thompson said.
“Our dollars cannot be used to help teachers and class sizes,” he said.
Board member Ray Kerkhof said the move has his support. It’s not a huge bump, financially, but it will make the difference as the corporation comes closer to one-to-one computing, he said.
“It’s not going break the bank, what we’re doing, no,” he said. “I think it’s important that we get qualified people there can answer the questions and take care of the problems. You just got to have those people in today’s world.”
Superintendent Harold Olin said restructuring the pay scale will help to better compensate the technology team as well as allow for mobility in the department.
“We’re not paying that group rates that would be competitive in corporate America but making sure we’re at least competitive in the school setting,” he said.
Thompson said he will ask for board approval at Monday’s meeting.