Bay Ridge

Education panel demands raises for assistants

Says DOE doesn’t allow cost of living increases

December 8, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Members of the Community Education Council of School District 20 say administrative assistants deserve more money. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
Share this:

Members of the Community Education Council of School District 20 are demanding a raise – not for themselves but for their administrative assistant, Randi Lazarus, and for others like her who work diligently behind the scenes for councils across the city.

At its Dec. 5 meeting, the Community Education Council (CEC) voted unanimously to support an effort started by CECs in other parts of the city to seek a change in the salary structure for administrative assistants.

Under the state’s education law, all CECs must have administrative assistants. The salaries of the assistants are set by the New York City Department of Education (DOE). Under DOE rules, administrative assistants work within a set salary range, with the top salary being less than $50,000 a year, according to CEC 20 President Laurie Windsor.

Subscribe to our newsletters

“Once you reach the max, you can’t get a raise. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve worked for 20 years,” Windsor told the Brooklyn Eagle.

CEC 20 First Vice President Mark Bramante said the salary cap “was set years and years ago” and doesn’t even allow for a cost of living adjustment. “How do you maintain good folks?” he asked at the meeting, which took place at P.S. 264 in Bay Ridge.

CEC 20 covers public schools in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Sunset Park and Kensington.

Bramante also cited “the amazing amount of work” administrative assistants do for CECs and for parents of school children as another reason they deserve a raise.

In its resolution, the CEC called administrative assistants “versatile jacks-of-all-trades” who perform tasks that include office support requiring computer proficiency, conducting research, contending with the different personalities and needs of CEC members and the public, coordinating CEC workflow, keeping projects on schedule and looking after the council’s budget.

The assistants also prepare agendas for the CEC’s public meetings and act as official record keepers at the meetings.

In other news, District 20 Superintendent Karina Costantino said she recently completed the process of standardizing the admissions process for students entering the Superintendent’s Program, an honors program in the district’s intermediate schools. The process needed to be more uniform so that the same admissions standards were used in all schools, she told the CEC.

The next step, Costantino said, is to standardize student test scores. The superintendent is currently in the process of visiting schools to see how each school grades tests. Her goal is to set the same grading standards in all schools so that if a child transfers from one school to another within the district, the test scores will be easily transferable.

“By the end of the year, we will all be on the same page,” she said.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment