The newly implemented salary increases at the Public School System has Sen. Paul Mangloña (Ind-Rota) questioning an alleged disparity in the increases between teachers and administrative staff.
Manglona, who has been nudging other senators to require the CNMI government to meet its obligation to allocate 25 percent of general revenues to PSS, has a question this time about the salary increases given to PSS staff.
In a letter dated Jan. 12, 2018, addressed to Board of Education chair Marylou S. Ada, Manglona said: “…It has been brought to my attention that the salary adjustment recently approved and implemented by the board indicates a substantial salary adjustment between administrative staff in comparison to the teachers and counselors.”
Ada earlier told Saipan Tribune that the salary compensation plan, as approved by the Board of Education, is based on three factors: years of service at PSS, certifications, and professional development of the individual.
“Nothing more, nothing less,” Ada had said.
Insisting that he is not against the raise given to PSS administrative staff, Mangloña said the “minimal increases” given to teachers and counselors should be re-addressed.
“…My concern is for the highly qualified teachers and counselors who work directly with the students that went from a starting salary of $30,976 with zero to four years of experience to $33,289.35, as opposed to the lowest average starting salary of $42,025 in the United States that I advocated for in previous meetings held in the Senate,” said Mangloña.
In her earlier statement, Ada said that not all teachers that were highly qualified were treated in the same category because some of them have not been certified.
“After one receives a basic certification, the need to get certified on other teaching programs never stop and we give credence to that,” she had added.
According to Manglona, teachers and counselors in the CNMI remain devoted to students despite having to use their own money to buy items and educational materials for their students.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of increasing the salaries of teachers and counselors to address the need and obstacle of maintaining a stable student-to-teacher ratio in our school system,” he said, adding that he looks forward to working with the BOE to resolve the matter.
“At the end of the day, our actions will lead to enhancing the learning environment of our students,” he added.
Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan) had reached out to Ada in a letter dated Jan. 4, 2018, after several constituents reportedly communicated with their representatives at the Legislature about the differences in increases.
Demapan had asked PSS to furnish his office with a copy of the implemented salary plan for further study.