School district explains salary increases
On behalf of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District board of trustees, I want to share information with our educators and our community regarding salary increases for our superintendent, Louann Carlomagno, our deputy superintendent, Justin Frese and our high school principal, Dino Battaglini.
At the June 2011 board meeting, Louann, Justin and Dino received 2.1 percent increases in their salaries during open session.
During the course of our recent budget talks, board members have heard questions about these raises and why they were given when the district is in the midst of massive budget cuts. As president of the board of trustees, I want all of you to have accurate information about those raises.
In the past, the superintendent and deputy superintendent have been the only two employees with contracts (as opposed to being on a salary schedule). All contracts are public documents available upon request, and are approved in open session. When Dino was hired, there was a mutual interest on the part of both Dino and the board to have a contract for this key position as well.
You may recall that many years ago the superintendent’s contract included:
1. Many “perks,” such as a monthly car allowance, an annuity and life insurance.
2. Salary increases equal to any percentage raise received by other district employees.
3. A “step” salary increase tied to that received by the certificated management employees.
These increases happened automatically every year.
The board decided several years ago to simplify all employment contracts to have a single compensation figure, without expensive fringe benefits that make it hard to determine exactly what the compensation package is for our highest paid employees.
In January 2010, when Louann was hired, the board was interested in going to a more flexible method of compensation, along with any other district employeesa hired on a contract. This allowed the board to compensate those on contracts with a 0 to 5 percent increase per year, based on outstanding service, substantial completion of goals, leadership, significant progress toward achievement of the district’s API goals, and any other criteria upon which the parties might agree.
In granting the June 2011 raises to Louann, Justin and Dino, the board did not base its decision solely on performance evaluations, as that might have resulted in higher raises which may have been objectionable under the circumstances. Rather, the board endeavored to provide the same raises (see 3 above) that they would have received under the old contract language, i.e., a percentage raise comparable to step and column increases which certificated employees currently receive.
For 2011-12, as noted above, Louann, Justin and Dino received increases of 2.1 percent. All employees in the district are on salary schedules that offer “steps” to increase salaries as their experience increases. These increases happen automatically (not in open session) depending on where a person is located on the salary schedule. For instance, on our certificated salary schedule, the average increase for all employees is approximately 2 percent a year, with some employees receiving more than this amount (mostly newer employees) and some employees not receiving any salary increase (mostly veteran employees).
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Nicole@SVChildrenfirst.org.