Raises for Portage school administrators raise questions
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent April 25, 2013 12:42PM
Updated: May 29, 2013 6:54AM
Portage Township school superintendent Ric Frataccia fought tooth and nail to preserve about $18,000 in raises he wants to distribute to newly assigned or hired administrators.
“Since 1996 the practice is newly-assigned administrators receive up to $1,000 additional to their base salary if performance is satisfactory,” said Frataccia.
Board chair Cheryl Oprisko gave credit to Frataccia for at least making the past practice public knowledge but expressed concern that neither she nor the board had ever heard of the practice.
Oprisko questioned whether the $1,000 raises were built into employee contracts or were a formal board policy.
Conceding the raises are not explicitly stated in their contract, “it is part of the hiring conversation,” said Frataccia. “If performance is satisfactory the superintendent can raise base pay for up to three years,” he added.
The $1,000 becomes part of the base pay and is not a one-time payment Frataccia said after the meeting.
“My question is it it’s not part of their contract or board policy, is it legal,” asked Oprisko.
Trustee Debra Ekdahl likened the increase to teacher merit raises and appeared willing to grant the raises.
Trustees Sharon Nelson and William Fekete both expressed no problem with the increases.
“The issue is how this has happened without our being aware of it,” said Oprisko, asking for additional information from Frataccia before the April 29 board meeting when the board is expected to act.