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MPS recommending Remote Work Director’s salary is 20% higher than suggestion

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 11:15:17-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Superintendent is recommending a new hire be paid more than $27,000 than the initially listed pay range the district approved.

The position is Director I, Remote Work. According to the district's job listing, the Director “builds, develops and executes the district’s remote work strategy. Ensures operational agility to meet the needs of the workforce, while optimizing performance. Manages remote work operations and supports leaders in supervising hybrid teams.”

Remote work was eliminated as of April 11, 2021.

On May 26, Posley recommended the job posting. The Committee on Accountability, Finance and Personnel unanimously approved it.

“We’re requesting your approval for the job description before you,” Posley said at the meeting. “Director I, Remote Work position is critical if we’re going to keep pace with the virtual direction that is upon us.”

MPS employees began working from home on March 18, 2020 at the direction of Governor Tony Evers. Over a year later, MPS eliminated remote work options for employees on April 11, 2021, according to a note from Superintendent Keith Posley.

“All current approved remote work plans will sunset on April 11, 2021,” the note from Posley said.

The note continues, saying those who were unable to return to in-person work due to medical reasons could make requests for remote work accommodations. MPS did not respond to the I-Team by deadline about how many current remote workers the school has.

In the May 26 meeting with the Committee on Accountability, Finance and Personnel, Chief Human Resources Officer, Adria Maddaleni, said the Director I, Remote Work is necessary towards recruiting new employees.

“We’ve seen ourselves losing employees and candidates based on the fact we don’t have a remote work policy and we don’t have flexibility in that area,” Maddaleni said. “In order to remain competitive, we need to have this person in place where they can develop them and steer us as an organization as we move into this new frontier.”

Requests for remote work went through the Employee Rights Administration Division as of March 25, 2021, according to Posley’s note on the MPS website.

Marla Bronaugh is the person Posley is recommending for the job. She most recently served as Chief Communications and School Performance Officer.

Director I, Remote Work suggested pay range vs expected pay
MPS Superintendent Keith Posley is recommending Marla Bronaugh be paid over $161,000 for the position of Director I, Remote Work, despite the max pay range being $27,000 less.

The pay range for the position, according to the MPS job listing, is $93,386 to $134,865. Bronaugh’s suggested base salary is $161,873 with a caveat it will be adjusted, effective July 1, 2023. That is $27,008, or 20 percent, higher than the top end of the suggested pay range in the initial application.

According to the Journal Sentinel’s salary database, Bronaugh had the third highest salary of any Milwaukee Public Schools employee in 2019-2020, behind only Assistant District Administrator Christopher Hauser ($158,597) and Posley ($258,148).

The School Board will vote Thursday evening on accepting Posley’s recommendation of Bronaugh as the Director I, Remote Work. There are dozens of other positions chosen by Posley up for vote as well.

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