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337WVN #295: School budget shows 93 union-covered salaries above $90,000

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  • waylandvoters1
    Apr 3, 2009
      Dear Wayland Voter,

      The proposed Wayland school budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 shows 93 union-covered employees making more than $90,000 annually.

      That's about 50 percent of the full-time teaching, IT, guidance, specialist and library personnel (185 full-time positions currently filled). The budget also shows 3 percent raises for top administrators, many of whom make more than $100,000.

      Citizens and some candidates have called for strong measures to control costs during the current recession. This newsletter presents an overview of a line item budget that recently became available and is far more detailed than the brief mailing to residents.

      For details, see links below.


      Fiscal 2010 is the third year of the current teacher contract, and many salaries are scheduled for a 3 percent raise, effective July 1. Even though salaries for non-union personnel won't be negotiated until June, the budget assumes that they, too, will get raises in keeping with contracted teacher increases.

      For example, Superintendent Gary Burton's current salary of $180,080 will increase to $185,482. In addition to the superintendent, assistant principals, principals, and four Central Office personnel will make more than $100,000.

      Sixty-seven union personnel will make from $90,000-$100,000. They include 60 teachers (20 high school, 15 middle school, 25 elementary), three guidance personnel, three specialists (health, reading, IT), and one librarian.

      This group includes 27 at $97,776 each: one classical studies teacher, two English teachers, two math teachers, one science teacher, one social studies teacher, one world languages teacher, one art teacher, two physical education teachers, three special education teachers, seven elementary teachers, three guidance personnel, one health specialist, one IT specialist, and one librarian.


      Another 26 union personnel will make more than $100,000. Of these, there are 18 teachers (6 high school, 7 middle school, 5 elementary), five guidance personnel, two librarians, and one athletic director. This group includes eight at $101,267 each: two science teachers, one art teacher, two special education teachers, one elementary teacher, and two librarians. It also includes six at $107,554 each: three science teachers, one music teacher, and two elementary teachers.

      (In addition, 11 non-union employees are scheduled to earn at least $100,000 .)

      All of the positions referenced above are 1.00 FTE (full-time equivalent). In addition, there are 17 part-time positions (.50-.90 FTE) with a base salary of more than $90,000, including two kindergarten teachers at .65 FTE of $92,061 and one kindergarten teacher at .65 FTE of $97,776.

      Stipends for advising, coaching and heading a department are in addition to the base salary and vary according to the time involved. Stipends range from $1,473 for Fifth Grade Play to $7,416 for Department Head K-12 to $8,226 for High School Football coach and yearbook advisor. The total budgeted for Fiscal 2010 for teacher stipends is $847,910. Of that amount, 59 stipends for coaches for High School athletics comprise the largest single line item in the personnel budget at $362,872.

      According to the summary of the budget in the Warrant for the April 13 Town Meeting, the negotiated wage and step increases for all departments total $1 million. Increases for school personnel account for most of this. Salaries make up 85 percent of the school budget.

      The Wayland Town Crier reported in 2008 that six Wayland teachers would reach the $100,000 level on last July 1. Superintendent Burton supplied a table showing just 16 six-figure salaries, including non-teaching positions, as of May 2008.

      "A teacher's salary increases by 10 percent over the last three years if they are retiring and have worked in Wayland for more than seven years," Burton told the Crier.

      Burton's table for the previous year showed 10 six-figure salaries including non-teaching positions.

      At the School Committee budget hearing on March 23, a resident said that teachers should be asked to accept a wage freeze as a matter of civic responsibility and out of empathy for struggling citizens in the private sector, the highest paid administrators should lead the way.

      Chairman Louis Jurist responded that the current teacher contract is a "very responsible 6.5 percent over three years."

      "Have you ever discussed wage freezes?" the same resident asked. Member Jeff Dieffenbach answered that the Committee couldn't directly answer the question because it involves labor negotiations.

      WVN asked Dieffenbach, who's running for re-election, and the other candidates for School Committee their position on reopening contracts for negotiation. Dieffenbach's position is stated above. Here in alphabetical order, is how other candidates responded:

      MALCOLM ASTLEY:Since reopening contracts involves negotiations, I would not want to discuss the topic publicly. I will say that we are all in this problem together, including most of the towns in Massachusetts, and that is the spirit with which I would try to take part in any such discussions. We need to organize in these hard times to try to look after as many groups as possible and prevent any one group from bearing the brunt of the economic hardships. We need to continue to entertain and create a variety of options to support folks in need. We also need to plan with other towns and the state for more reliable economic tools and steadier revenue streams for towns in the long run."

      JEFF BARON: "I'm willing to look at anything as it relates to our budget. Don't know how successful we'd be, but certainly willing to try and explore this avenue as it represents the biggest part of the budget...We don't have to re-open any contracts to immediately freeze all non-union wages, a step we should take and something the current SC did not do (in fact, they budgeted for a 3.5 percent raise)."

      STEVEN GLOVSKY: "It is not right to exact a toll for these economic times on the employees of the Town of Wayland. As a town we need to honor contracts entered into in good faith by our employees. Money is never the sole factor in any contract negotiation. Honoring our contracts now, in these times, will hopefully engender consideration in future negotiations of Wayland as an employer that can be trusted and counted on; a consideration that should reflect value in the next contract's bottom line."

      PAUL GRASSO: "Yes, I'm in favor of "re-opening" the teachers' labor contracts -- and those of the administration -- as the subject relates to budget pressures. That said, I don't think this needs to be an antagonistic stance. Teaching positions are being eliminated in the FY 10 budget (three Elementary and the reduction from three clusters to two at the Middle School) and although the justification of these reductions is based on enrollment, they will have an adverse impact on class size and will present other classroom challenges. I believe the question should be posed as to whether some of these positions could or should be retained if contracted salary increases were deferred."

      Candidates for the Board of Selectmen were asked about a wage freeze at the League of Women Voters Candidates Night on March 25.

      Tom Fay said he respected the decision of the Finance Committee on contracts.

      Sue Pope said she wouldn't attempt to reopen union negotiations because the contracts are in the last year and negotiations on new agreements could begin by next summer.
      Alan Reiss, who was out of town and submitted a written statement, applauded a decision in Sudbury that overrides wouldn't be placed on the ballot until "contracts are reopened and concessions are achieved."

      The Town Meeting Warrant booklet mailed to residents contains some information on salaries on the town side of the budget. The schools represent an estimated 70 percent of town spending because some major personnel costs, like medical benefits, are carried on the town side of the budget.

      There are few six-figure salaries outside the school system.

      The entire contract between the School Committee and the Wayland Teachers' Association can be found here:


      A citizen website, www.waylandtransparency.com, first obtained and posted the detailed budget information.

      --WVN Staff


      WVN Newsletter #294 said that Article 7 at Town Meeting (high school design funding) could pass with a simple majority. In fact it requires a two-thirds vote because it involves borrowing.

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      Wayland Voters Network
      Michael Short, Editor