Board OKs raises for principals as teachers start bargaining

Administrative salary hikes to cost district $234,000

Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2001

The Juneau School Board has authorized raises for principals and several other administrators. The action comes at a time when teachers are starting to negotiate a new contract.

The three-year contract with the Juneau School Administrative Association, approved at Tuesday's school board meeting, applies to 15 principals and assistant principals and four central office administrators. It runs from July 2000 through June 2003.

The contract will cost an estimated additional $234,000 over its term, said Marysia Ochej, the school district's director of administrative services. A similar three-year contract for teachers would cost an additional $2.4 million, she said.

The school board at first turned down the proposed contract Tuesday. Some members cited concerns about not knowing about a personal-leave provision. But after a closed-door session that explained the contract, "we were very willing to accept the contract as presented," board President Mary Becker said.

Members will get a 3 percent bonus in the first year. In the second year, longevity steps on the salary schedule will increase from 2 percent increments to 3 percent. Members will advance one step on the schedule in the second and third years.

Wages on that new schedule will run from $42,802 to $94,217. The average pay of union members, before this year's bonus, was $72,138.

"We certainly felt it was a fair contract," said Dave Newton, principal at Auke Bay Elementary and one of the association's negotiators.

The administrators' agreement also increases personal leave days from two to four a year. Leave days can't accrue to more than four, and unused days can't be cashed out. In the third year, the agreement increases the school district's health insurance contribution from $465 to $500 a month per employee.

The school district also recently granted one-year 3 percent bonuses for five non-union central office administrators and for 10-12 classified employees, such as central office administrative aides, who aren't in the support staff union. The additional cost is about $17,600 for the classified employees and $13,850 for the administrators, Ochej said.

Eric Fry can be reached at

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