HC trustees to consider faculty, staff raises

After having to ask employees to do more for less the past few years, Howard College trustees are looking to reverse that trend.When trustees hold their annual budget workshop at 10 a.m. Tuesday, they will take a long, hard look at giving faculty and staff a raise for the first time in three years.Since the state began slashing its appropriation to the college three years ago, personnel salaries have remained static. In addition, several vacancies were left unfilled and several staffing positions were merged, meaning personnel were given additional obligations while making do with their old salaries.“Our total workforce has decreased 9.5 percent in the past three years and we haven't given any kind of pay raises in that time,” College President Dr. Cheryl Sparks said. “Our faculty and staff have done a fantastic job during some difficult times. I can't say enough about how everyone has pulled together.”Now, the college is looking at payback for its employees. Not only will trustees consider across-the-board raises during Tuesday's workshop, they will also investigate whether to restore three teaching positions which were eliminated during the recent drawdown, as well as increasing the college's contribution to employees' health insurance.