Ann Arbor schools' administrators contract calls for wage freeze during 3-year contract
The Ann Arbor Administrators Association will have a wage freeze for the duration of the three-year contract approved by the Ann Arbor school board last week.
Interim Superintendent Robert Allen said the new contract includes some new contributions to health care from district administrators. Allen said he was waiting on clarification from state of Michigan officials on whether the new contract met the “best practices” set by Gov. Rick Snyder and state lawmakers.
“The options when we went into negotiations were to get savings from health care, wages or a combination of the two,” Allen said. “Through the negotiation process it was determined those savings could be achieved (through both).”
Administrators will not get 2-percent step increases that were part of the last contract, officials said.
District spokesperson Liz Margolis said the contract also changes the timing of administrator evaluations to comply with Race To The Top legislation. Administrators will now be evaluated every year instead of every three years.
Margolis said there is no finalized dollar amount on how much the district will save from the new contract. She said the district is working with its insurance agent to determine the actual savings.
She said it could be about a month until the district can budget the exact savings.
In the previous contract, the salary scale ranged from $85,085 per year for a first-year assistant principal to $125,335 per year for a high school principal serving his or her eighth year.
There are 53 members of the administrators union, which is made up of principals, assistant principals and other building leaders in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Mike Madison, the principal at Dicken Elementary School who regularly reports to the school board on behalf of the AAAA, could not be reached for this story.
School board trustees unanimously passed the new contract, which will last until the end of the 2012-13 school year, but a few expressed their desire to see AAAA members take on a larger share of the district’s financial struggles.
Trustee Susan Baskett said she was concerned that there was no reduction in base salary among AAAA members.
“Every unit has given something up toward their pay and everyone should share the pain, and that includes AAAA members,” she said. “I appreciate the hard work they do, however, everyone else is sacrificing.”
Trustee Andy Thomas agreed with Baskett, but he said ending up with a new contract between the district and union and still getting the savings the district was looking for overruled his concerns.
“Given the length of the negotiations that have gone on and the fact that we are getting the financial returns that we originally asked for and that this will contribute toward meeting the threshold set by the state, these factors outweigh my reservations about lack of actual pay decrease,” Thomas said.