ROSA JEFFREY, JADA HUNTER, AND
v. DOCKET NO. 95-29-105
MINGO COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
D E C I S I O N
This grievance was filed by Jada Hunter, Rosa Jeffrey, and Deborah Harris
(See footnote 1)
("Grievants") against the Mingo County Board of Education ("MBOE") on September 20,
1994. All three Grievants are employed by MBOE in the position of Dean of Students.
They grieve that they are not being paid an "'Assistant Principal stipend' as per §18A-4-5a",
and seek as relief payment of the stipend retroactive to the beginning of the 1994-95
(See footnote 2)
This matter became mature for decision on September 25, 1995.
(See footnote 3)
The following findings of fact have been properly made from the Level II and Level
Findings of Fact
1. Grievants are employed by MBOE as Deans of Students. Each holds a valid
2. Grievants are performing essentially all the duties listed in the Job Descriptions
for Assistant Principal and for Dean of Students.
3. Grievants are receiving the salary supplement set by MBOE for Dean of Students.
(See footnote 4)
Their contracts are for 210 days, 10 days more than a classroom teacher.
4. MBOE has been phasing out the job title Assistant Principal, and has only one
employee with that title, Phyllis White. She has a 215 day contract, and receives a salary
supplement for performing the duties of Assistant Principal. The amount of the supplement
is based upon the number of days in her contract and the size of the school for which she
is Assistant Principal.
(See footnote 5)
5. Ms. White is paid more than any of the Grievants.
It has already been determined by this Grievance Board that the Mingo County Dean
of Students position is "in essence an assistant principal post . . .". Ward/Cantees v. Mingo
County Bd. of Educ.
, Docket No. 94-29-1134 (Apr. 26, 1995); See also Talbert v. Mingo
County Bd. of Educ.
, Docket No. 93-29-166 (Jan. 20, 1993); Muncy v. Mingo County Bd.
, Docket No. 95-29-278 (Nov. 30, 1995).
(See footnote 6)
In this case, Grievants themselves testified
that they perform nearly all the duties listed in the job description for Assistant Principal.
However, in order to be credited with administrative seniority, the individual holding the
title "Dean of Students" must also hold a valid administrative certificate and be performing
the duties enumerated in the job description for Dean of Students. Ward/Cantees
In addition to the Code
provision cited by Grievants in their grievance statement,
Grievants cited W. Va. Code
§ 18A-4-3 for the proposition that they should be paid an
Assistant Principal stipend. That Code
Section provides in pertinent part:
In addition to any salary increments for principals and assistant principals, in effect
on the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred eighty-six and paid from
local funds, and in addition to the county schedule in effect for teachers, the
county board shall pay each principal a principal's salary increment and each
assistant principal an assistant principal's salary increment as prescribed by this
section commencing on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-six,
from state funds appropriated therefor.
State funds for this purpose shall be paid within the West Virginia public school
support plan in accordance with article nine-a [§ 18-9A-1 et seq.], chapter eighteen
of this code.
The salary increment herein for each principal shall be determined by multiplying
the basic salary for teachers in accordance with the classification of certification
and of training of said principal as prescribed in this article, by the appropriate
percentage rate prescribed herein according to the number of teachers supervised.
STATE MINIMUM SALARY INCREMENT RATES FOR PRINCIPALS
No. of Teachers Supervised Rates
58 and up 7.5%
The salary increment herein for each assistant principal shall be determined in the
same manner as that for principals, utilizing the number of teachers supervised by
the principal under whose direction the assistant principal works, except that the
percentage rate shall be fifty percent of the rate prescribed for said principal.
MBOE's argument in support of not paying Grievants the Assistant Principal salary
supplement, while paying it to Phyllis White, was that it was required by (Worker's
Compensation) law, specifically W. Va. Code
§ 23-5A-3, to return Phyllis White to the
position of Assistant Principal.
(See footnote 7)
While this explains why Ms. White holds the only Assistant
Principal title in the county, it sheds no light on the issue of why Grievants are not being
paid the Assistant Principal salary supplement.
Regardless of the title held by Grievants, Grievants are Assistant Principals for
purposes of applying the provisions of the West Virginia Code
. See Talbert
Accordingly, Grievants must be paid in accordance with the above-cited Code
provision. See Spears v. Admin. Council of The James Rumsey Tech. Institute
Docket No. 93-MCVTC-461 (June 1, 1994). As noted in Talbert
those Deans of Students who hold a valid administrative certificate and are performing the
duties of Dean of Students can receive the benefits statutorily conferred upon an Assistant
Principal. Grievants meet these two requirements.
provision cited by Grievants in their grievance statement was § 18A-4-5a.
Section provides in pertinent part:
County boards of education in fixing the salaries of teachers
(See footnote 8)
shall use at least the
state minimum salaries established under the provisions of this article. The board
may establish salary schedules which shall be in excess of the state minimums fixed
by this article, such county schedules to be uniform throughout the county as to
the classification of training, experience, responsibility and other requirements.
Counties may fix higher salaries for teachers placed in special instructional
assignments, for those assigned to or employed for duties other than regular
instructional duties, and for teachers of one-teacher schools, and they may provide
additional compensation for any teacher assigned duties in addition to the
teacher's regular instructional duties wherein such noninstructional duties are not
a part of the scheduled hours of the regular school day. Uniformity also shall
apply to such additional salary increments or compensation for all persons
performing like assignments and duties within the county. . . (Emphasis added.)
While MBOE must pay Grievants in accordance with W. Va. Code
§ 18A-4-3, the
uniformity provisions in Code
§ 18A-4-5a do not require MBOE to pay Grievants exactly
the same salary as Ms. White. In addition to differences in pay due to years of service,
degree level and certification (W. Va. Code
§§ 18A-4-1, 18A-4-2), Grievants' contracts
require them to work five days less than Ms. White, which would also justify some pay
differential. See Keesecker v. Lewis County Bd. of Educ.
, Docket No. 21-86-020-2 (Nov.26, 1986); Wright v. Mason County Bd. of Educ.
, Docket No. 26-86-029 (Oct. 7, 1986).
Grievants presented no evidence to suggest that the additional five days in Ms. White's
contract should be disregarded.
Conclusions of Law
1. The burden of proof is upon Grievants to establish their allegations by a
preponderance of the evidence. Canterbury v. Putnam County Bd. of Educ.
, Docket No.
40-86-325-1 (Jan. 28, 1987).
2. Grievants are Assistant Principals within the meaning of the West Virginia Code
and must be paid the salary increment for an Assistant Principal in accordance with the
provisions of W. Va. Code
3. Grievants did not establish a violation of the uniformity provisions of W. Va. Code
Accordingly, this grievance is GRANTED. To the extent Mingo County Board of
Education has not paid and is not paying Grievants the salary increment for an Assistant
Principal in accordance with the provisions of W. Va. Code § 18A-4-3, it is ORDERED to
do so from the beginning of the 1994-1995 academic year.
Any party may appeal this decision to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County or to the
Circuit Court of Mingo County and such appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days of
receipt of this decision. W. Va. Code § 18-29-7. Neither the West Virginia Education and
State Employees Grievance Board nor any of its Administrative Law Judges is a party tosuch appeal and should not be so named. Any appealing party must advise this office of the
intent to appeal and provide the civil action number so that the record can be prepared and
transmitted to the appropriate court.
BRENDA L. GOULD
Administrative Law Judge
Dated: January 11, 1996