CMS finds way to raise minimum wage, avoid layoffs despite battle with county commissioners

CMS Board Vice Chair Thelma Byer-Bailey said during Tuesday’s meeting CMS did not fire a single individual, but the district had to eliminate 177 jobs.

CMS finds way to raise minimum wage, avoid layoffs despite battle with county commissioners
CMS Vice Chair Thelma Byers-Bailey said CMS did not have to make any layoffs despite being put in a tough position by Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners. (Source: WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - During Tuesday night’s Charlotte Mecklenburg School board meeting, Vice Chair Thelma Byers-Bailey said CMS did not have to make any layoffs despite being put in a tough position by Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners.

After crunching the numbers, that meant district would have to make cuts. But the CMS board agreed to make the raise happen.

“Last Tuesday, more than two months after this board did as the county demanded, the commissioners released the funds,” said Byers-Bailey. "Our valued employees will finally receive the raise that had been put on hold.

Byers-Bailey went on to say the CMS superintendent attended the county commission meeting last week to address any outstanding issues and ensure that his staff could receive their scheduled pay increases.

After a question from Commissioner Trevor Fuller about the need for layoffs, the commissioners seemed both confused and surprised when they were told by the county manager that CMS did not lay off any employees; but the district did eliminate positions.

“I don’t know why the commissioners were surprised by this,” said Byers-Bailey.

“In last week’s commission meeting, the county manager explained that while CMS did not lay off any employees, we did eliminate positions,” said Byers-Bailey. “Some of these vacant positions included badly needed social and emotional supports, especially important during this pandemic.”

Byers-Bailey said it’s important the district share the facts with the public to avoid confusion.

“These are the facts: While it is absolutely true that CMS did not fire a single individual because of these decisions by the county commission, it is also absolutely true that we had to eliminate 177 jobs,” said Byers-Bailey. “That’s 177 people who could be working at CMS, helping our students and making a difference. But because of the county commission’s actions, we did not have the funding necessary to hire those people.”

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