School administrators drop 5 days from agreement

By Maureen Robertson

In a special meeting, Ramona school trustees approved a revised compensation agreement for the district’s 28 administrative leadership team (ALT) members.

The meeting came after questions at the trustees’ August meeting about a previous proposal, which called for five days off with no cut in pay in exchange for a larger contribution to health premiums than other employees.

The revised agreement, approved 4-1, with Trustee John Rajcic voting no, eliminates the five days off but retains the portion that those administrators accepting district health benefits will pay 27 percent of the premiums. That percentage will change to 24 percent or 22.5 percent if, because of improved budget conditions, two or three furlough days are returned to teachers.

This year’s agreement with the Ramona Teachers Association calls for 5.5 furlough days, a 15 percent contribution to health premiums from those teachers using district health benefits, and elimination of the district depositing 1 percent of salary into the RTA SAFE account, a post retirement fund.

The trustees commended the administrators for the revised proposal.

"This is actually over and above, because of the way this is put together, what the teachers would be receiving as far as a cut, and that needs to be noted, and this was done very voluntarily," said Bob Stoody, board president.

Trustee Rodger Dohm called the ALT agreement a creative and smart move, since ALT members retain their salaries, which will affect their pensions.

Rajcic, who was out of town, cast his dissenting vote remotely by telephone. “I think the administrative salaries should be independent of the teachers’ salaries,” he said. "Historically, when it comes to the compensation of all certificated personnel, the teachers have done the heavy lifting to increase all certificated salaries, including the superintendent's. When teachers negotiate a percentage increase, that percentage increase was generally passed on to the administrators. ... I do not believe the board should have a lock-step salary schedule for administrators. Merit should be a determining factor."

   
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