The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

August 15, 2013

Danville school directors postpone raises for officials

DANVILLE — Members of the Danville school board voted unanimously to indefinitely postpone salary increases for 13 district principals and administrators during their meeting Tuesday night.

Twelve of the staff members are covered under the state’s Act 93 law while the 13th is the district business manager, Janis Venna. The other 12 employees include district principals, assistant principals and directors of programs, such as maintenance and student services.

The postponement is not due to poor performance, board president Allan Schappert said.

“It has nothing to do with dissatisfaction. … It rests on conditions of (financial) uncertainty and outlook,” he said.

In particular, he cited the ongoing negotiations with the district’s teacher’s union. Teacher salaries and benefits make up about 67 to 68 percent of the school’s budget. “That’s a big concern,” Schappert said.

A negotiating session between the district and the teacher’s union is scheduled to take place Sept. 3.

The 13 administrators will get an increase at some point in the future, said Schappert, “I just don’t have an exact date or exact amount.”

The board could not reveal the exact amount of the proposed pay raise, Schappert said. He did say salary increases for administrators can be between zero and three percent each year.

“Compared to other districts, our people are very well compensated for,” Schappert said.

In April, the board rejected a state-appointed fact finder’s report on a resolution with the union. The board said that report’s proposed salary increases were unaffordable in current economic conditions.

Dave Fortunato, president and head negotiator for the teacher’s union, said the state would not have suggested the salary increases if the district could not afford it.

Email questions or comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.

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