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Pay Bump for School District Administrators, Managers Offset by Benefit Contributions

School officials approved wage hikes Tuesday, but when coupled with increased benefit contributions actually decrease or result in a tiny increase in total compensation for department heads, principals and managers.

Shorewood school administrators and managers can look forward to wage increases this school year, as officials approved the hikes Tuesday.

However, with increased contributions to health care premiums and pensions, total compensation remains relatively flat.

The increases cover the 2011-12 school year and are retroactive to July 1. The School Board approved the increases at a regular meeting Tuesday.

The deal with district administrators — including school principals, the high school assistant principal, athletic director, Recreation Department director and the business manager — calls for an average salary increase of 2.3 percent. But their total compensation will decrease by 2.56 percent because department heads and principals are contributing 5.8 percent to their pensions and paying 12.6 percent of their health care premiums.

The increase came after Superintendent Blane McCann conducted performance reviews of the district administrators. The pay hikes are $5,778 below what officials budgeted for administrative salaries.

District Business Manager Mark Boehlke said administrators are subject to the provision outlined in new state law — ACT 10 or the budget repair bill — requiring public employees start contributing 5.8 percent to their pension plans, but not another provision requiring they pay 12.6 percent of their health care premiums, because Shorewood isn't under the state health plan. However, the School Board decided to make the change for employees.

School managers, including the district's Human Resources manager/superintendent assistant, public information officer and business office coordinator will receive an averaged 2 percent pay bump, with total compensation increase averaging at .56 percent.

The increases are $1,536 above what the district budgeted amounts for managerial salaries.

The group is also paying the increased contributions to benefits, similar to those outlined in ACT 10.

The district offers $5,000 to employees who opt out of the district's health care insurance plan.

In addition, retirees will receive eight years of health care benefits; a benefit that will decrease to five year next year, according to Boehlke.

School officials did not vote on a pay raise for McCann. Boehlke said McCann's contract is typically negotiated separately and he has already .

McCann's current contract runs through the 2012-13 school years in a deal approved last February, which included no raise or additional benefits. His current salary is $152,250.

Vicki Bennett January 14, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Does this mean that teachers will also get a raise to make up for the increase in their increase in benefits costs? I agree with "The Donny Show." The administrators are not the ones in the trenches doing the real work. If our taxes go up to pay for anyone's pay increase, it should be for the teachers who are in the trenches doing the real work. Most administrators could be eliminated down to a skeletal crew of decision makers. One principal for both elementary schools and one principal split between the high school and the middle school. If state law didn't dictate it, there would be no need for a superintendent at all. Perhaps we could do what Maple Dale/ Indian Hills has done and make the principal of the high school also the superintendent. Most school districts have a glut of administrators, even our small district.
N. Peske January 14, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Vicki, have you ever seen our principals in action? I cannot begin to imagine how they would handle their current duties and those at another school without cloning themselves. Fortunately, many are very high energy people--I get tired just looking at them multitasking. Seriously, take some time to watch them in the schools before you make suggestions like this.
Sarah La Follette January 14, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I have to agree with N. Peske. Shorewood principals are amazing; they work hard; they seem to be everywhere at once and they genuinely care about the kids. They deserve a raise. Instead of wishing they got less wouldn't it be nice if our great teachers could also get a raise?
CowDung January 16, 2012 at 03:37 PM
According to the article linked below, the teacher contract that was approved last February gave teachers an average increase of around 3%. The article above states that administration was given an average raise of 2.3%. http://shorewood.patch.com/articles/after-20-months-of-talks-shorewood-teacher-have-new-contract While I can't speak about Lake Bluff's principal, but Tim Kenney at Atwater is an extremely hard working individual, and does a fine job. I am in agreement with the comments of N. Peske and Sarah below--I cannot imagine how a single principal responsible for both Atwater and Lake Bluff could continue to maintain such a high level of performance.
Margaret Schmidt January 19, 2012 at 03:56 AM
I agree! Our principals are fantastic, tireless professionals and they deserve whatever increase the district can afford. For the record, in spite of the teacher contract approved last year, we all took a massive pay cut (net pay).

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