Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Darienne Driver is responding hours after an angry Milwaukee School Board meeting, where teachers protested raises for central MPS staff members that, in the highest cases, were more than 100 percent higher than the lowest-level raises for some classroom educators.
"It doesn't fall on deaf ears that we need to do more for our teachers and for our staff. This in no way is a reflection or a statement to say that what teachers do is not important. It is my job to make sure all our staff is compensated appropriately and fairly," Driver told WTMJ's John Mercure on Wisconsin's Afternoon News Wednesday.
"Clearly we have to look at our practices for all our staff to make sure people are compensated fairly."
Driver said the raises, placed into the budget and approved in May of 2017, had to do with restructured central office roles that led to more responsibility for specific employees.
"There were staff members who went from having very few people that they supervise to quite a few, which launched job studies. We had to reanalyze jobs and look at the new responsibilities and jobs they were taking on which led to salary increases. That is a process that is done by our Human Resources department. Once those job studies and analyses were done, they were put into the budget," said Driver.
"Where these discrepancies have come is we have a compensation report that is issued out quarterly. Instead of doing it seperately, we put it in the budget because that's the way we've done it in the past and it's been a consistent practice, as I understand, since 2005. We felt we were within our rights to be able to do that. Also as superintendent, we are able to authorize salary increases based on increases in responsibilities or changes in job duties at the rates of four, eight or 10 percent."