Hickey, staff get 3 percent raise

June 30, 1993|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer

Howard County Superintendent of Schools Michael E. Hickey and his staff are getting a 3 percent salary raise starting today.

The raise, approved last week by the Board of Education, brings the superintendent's annual income to nearly $112,400, an increase of about $3,300.

Salaries for associate superintendents will increase to $87,200 -- or about $2,500 more.

Dr. Hickey's raise comes a year after he received a 10 percent salary increase -- equivalent to about $10,000 more -- as part of his four-year contract renewal.

Teachers last year called Dr. Hickey's 10 percent raise "a slap in the face," complaining it was out of

line with what other school employees were receiving.

Dana Hanna, school board chairman, said the latest raise was part of the superintendent's annual review.

There was a feeling among board members "that he performed to our expectations," Mr. Hanna said.

"Times being what they are, there was no time for being outlandish," he said.

He cited the school system's improvement in human relations as a factor in giving Dr. Hickey a raise.

"We have gone quantum leaps, part of that because of bringing [Human Relations Coordinator] Jackie Brown on board," he said. "The fact that it's coalescing was part of Mike's doing."

To give the superintendent less "would send a message that he did less than asked for," Mr. Hanna said.

Susan Cook, board vice chairwoman, said the raise brings Dr. Hickey's salary in line with comparable school districts.

"It's a very small amount, but at the same time, it's well deserved," Ms. Cook said.

"I wish we could have given more to everybody. No one got what is technically a cost-of-living raise," she said.

By comparison, Baltimore County Superintendent Stuart Berger brings home $110,000 a year. Baltimore County enrolls about 93,000 students, compared with Howard's 33,000 students.

Carroll County Superintendent Edward Shilling will make $111,100 a year, about $6,500 more than last year. Carroll County enrolls about 23,000 students.

Howard County Executive

Charles I. Ecker makes $80,000 a year and cannot receive a raise during his four-year tenure.

Dr. Hickey called his raise a fair increase, saying others are getting the same.

"The 3 percent raise is essentially what everyone else gets," he said.

Teachers are getting an average 2.5 percent salary increase today as part of this past school year's contract, which expires today. They are getting an additional 3 percent tomorrow as part of their new one-year contract.

Ellen Rennel, last year's Howard County PTA Council president, said what the board gave Dr. Hickey and associate superintendents was reasonable, but added: "I think there's still going to be some rancor in the community about his 10 percent raise last year."

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