Hudson School District says administrative salaries too lowDespite an almost 5 percent increase in salary for the upcoming school year, the wages of the Hudson School District’s top administrators are only at or below the average of comparable districts in the area according to District Deputy Director Nancy Sweet.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
Despite an almost 5 percent increase in salary for the upcoming school year, the wages of the Hudson School District’s top administrators are only at or below the average of comparable districts in the area according to District Deputy Director Nancy Sweet.
The administrators will get the 4.8 percent increase following a voice vote by five school board members at a special meeting on April 21. Those administrators include the directors of financial and instructional services, student services and personnel as well as the building principals and associate principals. The board also voted to extend a 5.4 percent increase for Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten for both 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Then board president Dan Tjornehoj said that Bowen-Eggebraaten’s raises were warranted because she was underpaid in comparison with superintendents in comparable districts in the area. Sweet said in an interview on Monday that the same was true of the administrators’ salaries in Hudson. She said that in a closed session with the board prior to their salary vote, they were given information that showed that current administrators in Hudson were all being paid “well below” their counterparts in other districts. Sweet added that even with their raises, some would still be making less than the average in other districts.
She went on to say that if there was not a move to increase administrative salaries, the district could find itself unable to retain or recruit qualified candidates. She pointed to the recent hiring of a new principal for Hudson High School. Laura Love will be paid $113,500. Principal Ed Lucas who is retiring next month after nine years, was paid $103,155 in 2009-10 plus benefits. Sweet said that in comparable size Wisconsin schools, the salary of a high school principal ranges from a low of $105,998 to $140,312, and the average is $115,261.
Sweet said although there were numerous candidates for the job (57), very few were qualified for the position. She said that the position of Financial Services Director was opened twice before securing a qualified candidate and that the Student Services Director position was open for a year with an interim part-time director until a qualified candidate could be secured. She also noted that two elementary principals have left for higher paying positions.
The district has added administrative positions to the staff in recent years including managers of human resources and financial services, as well as a communications specialist. Sweet said that the human resources position was opened twice before a qualified candidate took the job.
In April 2008 the school board approved a raise of 4.55 percent for district administrators including principals, associate principals, coordinators, supervisors, directors and associate directors.
As for the rest of the administrative staff which includes secretaries and other non-teaching, non-union employees, Sweet said they were notified as follows: “We want you to know we are presently working on up-dating our research on comparable wages for your respective positions in anticipation of making a recommendation to the (school) board. It is our administrative goal to have the results of our efforts effective July 1, 2010. We thank you for your dedicated work this past year in the face of challenging economic times.” Sweet said that the administrative recommendation on those salaries will be considered by the Personnel Committee and the full school board in June.
The administrative raises were approved at that special meeting by board members Dan Tjornehoi, Mark Kaisersatt, Cindy Crimmins, Barb VanLoenen, and Lynn Robson. They were approved by a voice vote and no dissenting vote was noted.
A tentative agreement with the teachers was approved by the union board in Menomonie on May 12. Teachers’ union representative Scott Ellingson said that Hudson teachers would vote on the agreement on May 25. If the teachers support the new contract, the school board would consider ratification at its June meeting.
For more information on this issue contact the school district at (715) 377-3700 or go to www.hudson.k12.wi.