Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Letter to Employees from RCPS Administrator, Rita Bishop

June 4, 2009

Dear Employee:

You may have noticed the article in today’s Roanoke Times regarding the compensation of administrative staff.

Though I was disappointed with the article’s tone, I will never quibble with the press.  I would have preferred, however, that the article include the following information:

Ÿ      As a part of the budget cutting effort this year, we completely reorganized the central office administration.  That reorganization included 15 central office position eliminations and the restructuring of 7 existing positions.  When all of these changes are taken together, total savings from the central office reorganization will be about $925,000. 

       The Roanoke Times chose to focus only on the 7 restructured positions.  I think this provides a distorted view of what is really going on.  

Ÿ      The central office administrative positions that were eliminated will not be replaced in the future.  Instead, the amounts saved will be directed to salary adjustments for all employees in the future. 

Ÿ      The pay increases associated with the 7 restructured positions discussed in the Roanoke Times article reflect an expansion of responsibilities or the removal of the opportunity to earn overtime pay. 

RCPS employees work hard and I believe that hard work must be compensated.  To this end, at the first moment possible, we will continue what we started last year – improving the competitiveness of RCPS employee salaries with neighboring school divisions and other urban school districts. 

Mr. Baker will be sending information regarding the new compensation plan to every employee during the summer, and a series of follow-up workshops will be conducted in the fall. 

It is, and has always been, my aim to ensure that all employees are treated fairly, compensated appropriately, and recognized for the good work that they do.

We are well underway with the enormous task of preparing for next year.  As the summer progresses, questions will certainly arise.  I will give you dates and times for “open door” sessions.  We will hold these throughout the summer to address specific concerns. 

Please feel free to contact me about this or any other matter.  Thank you for all you have done to make 2008-09 successful. 



Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Education, Finance, Roanoke City Public Schools

Tags: , ,

Comments (2)


June 10th, 2009 at 5:01 PM    

It’s always very difficult to put a genie back in the bottle.

Dr. Bishop’s explanation is interesting; however, what she doesn’t do is apologize. Instead, she tries to justify an indefensible position.

The fact is that Roanoke school teachers had their salaries frozen and were threatened with losing their livelihood due to layoffs. Thanks to the reality of the day, they accepted this fate.

Getting rid of the bus drivers was an ill-conceived decision that will have negative ramifications that have yet to be realized.

Then the school board decided to meet in private session to discuss public central office staff salaries. While personnel matters are legally bound to be discussed in closed session, salary discussions are legally a matter of public record.

The REA had every right to upset and feel betrayed. If I were their president I’d be angry as well. Dr. Bishop and the school board no doubt lost the fragile credibility they have worked to rebuild with the school employees.

It’s almost as if the city school administration is working hard to handicap their efforts to revitalize city schools.


June 10th, 2009 at 6:21 PM    

Many unhappy teachers with extra workloads and frozen salary.

I see similarities to Roanoke City Manager thoughI don’t have first hand interaction with Bishop on a teacher level.

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

Leave a Reply