The Warwick School Committee will consider pay raises for administrators and top level personnel at tonight’s meeting, although the details of the raises could not be learned yesterday.
“I don’t know if it’s in the budget or whether it will be an additional cost,” committee member Eugene Nadeau said yesterday. Nadeau was the only member of the committee who could be reached for comment.
The committee agenda lists the approval of administrative step increases and approval of pay increases for administrators, middle managers, confidential secretaries and acting superintendent as new business. Also listed under new business is approval of pay scales for bus monitors, lunch aides and non-teaching substitutes and a paralegal compliance specialist position.
While Nadeau said personnel may deserve raises, and he could not say how long administrators have gone without increases, he said, “We can’t shortchange the budget and go into a deficit in the middle of the year.”
He did not know who advanced the proposal for pay and step increases, or why they are coming up at this time.
“We’ll be getting the answers we need tomorrow,” he said.
Nadeau is not posing the question for the first time.
In response to an email, he raised the issue with Rosemary Healey, the department’s legal counsel and director of human resources, last week. However, in addressing Healey, he inadvertently responded to all recipients listed on her email, thereby sending his questions to principals and administrators throughout the system.
Nadeau said he hasn’t received a response to his email, although he said he hadn’t checked his email since last week.
Nadeau said he knows that administrative raises haven’t kept pace with those for teachers. As a practice, administrative increases have followed those won by the Warwick Teachers Union. Administrators went to a 20 percent co-payment for health care at least a year before the teachers.
Shortly after schools opened in late August, the Warwick Teachers Union approved a two-year contract that reaffirmed an increase in health care premium co-payment from $11 a week to 20 percent that was implemented in 2011 (for a $1.9 million savings to the department) and a 1 percent raise for the current school year and a 1.5 percent increase for 2013-14.
Nadeau was the only member of the committee to vote against the teacher contract.
Mayor Scott Avedisian said he had been forwarded a copy of Nadeau’s email and had a conversation with Bethany Furtado, chair of the School Committee, in which he told her he does not believe raises are appropriate at this time, since all three municipal unions agreed to no salary increases for three years.
Avedisian also took issue with the hiring of another staff person for the paralegal position since the city has a position in its legal team vacant.