MILTON — A Santa Rosa County resident told the Press Gazette they heard that “the superintendent of schools and all school principals received sizable raises this year;” however, that is not the case, according to Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Connie Carnley.

“The administrative raise for this school year has not been enacted,” Carnley said. “In fact, we did not get raises last year, nor had they been enacted for this year either; that would be for the superintendent and all administrators.”

According to Carnley, school district policy states that administrative personnel cannot receive an increase in their salary until all of the contracts have been settled and salaries have been negotiated for all educational support and instructors.

“Those have to be done first before the administrators can receive any type of increase,” she said. “The only group of individuals that got a raise in the 2016-2017 school year was the Blue Collar Union folks, and because they settled their contract in a timely fashion. In fact, it was settled in the fall of 2016; they settled quickly.”

The Blue Collar Union is a workers’ union that oversees bus drivers, maintenance workers, food service staff and all other employees classified as blue-collar. This union is separate from the Santa Rosa Professional Educators Union, which represents educators and support personnel, and negotiates salaries separately.

“The blue collar folks started their negotiation last fall, much like the Santa Rosa Professional Educators did,” Carnley said. “However, the Blue Collar Union settled in the fall and they settled all language and salary matters… therefore, once it gets settled, ratified and approved, those increases were enacted for the Blue Collar Union.”

The SRPE and the school board disputed the contract for educational staff for nearly a year before the board voted in early August to adopt Wyrosdick’s proposal of a 1.65 percent raise for most teachers and 2.2 percent for teachers deemed highly effective. Those raises were retro-acted to July 1, costing approximately $2.1 million.

Santa Rosa County educators were not pleased with the results, as the SRPE asked for an average 2.68 percent raise back dated to July 1, 2016, costing roughly $3.3 million.

“We went to impasse with [SRPE] and then the board posed the salary increase for the ed support and instructional employees,” Carnley said. “Because that’s the way it worked for the instructional staff, that’s the same way it will work for the administrative staff once Superintendent [Wyrosdick] enacts that raise, which he has not yet done.

“So everyone has had an increase in salary agreed upon… and the administrators’ [raises] have not yet been imposed. I would anticipate, now that all of the other ones have taken place, [Wyrosdick] can now, by policy, enact the raise for administrators.”

According to Carnley, once Wyrosdick decides to enact a salary increase for administrators, the decision will be brought in front of the school board.