The board on Monday approved 2.5 percent pay raises for 164 district administrators and non-union support staff retroactive to July 1, 2011.
Board Vice President Michelle Smith and board member Greg Nichols voted against all of the raises, which will affect assistant superintendents, directors, building principals, assistant principals, non-certified administrators and non-union support staff assigned at the central office or at district level.
Administrators’ salaries have been frozen since February 2010, meaning the last raise they received was in July 2009. Administrators also paid an additional 10 percent of their health insurance costs in the 2011 school year.
Board President Roger Bonuchi and Secretary Eric Gallt both abstained from voting on raises that affect their spouses, who are employed by the district.
The raises are anticipated to cost the district about $322,600, which is included in the amended budget put on display last month and approved Monday, district spokesman Tom Hernandez said. The budget includes a $557,000 operating fund surplus for the 2012 fiscal year.
After the meeting, Smith said the district cannot afford to give raises to the administrators, noting that the district’s financial advisors have anticipated budget deficits in each of the next five years.
PMA Financial Network projected in January a for fiscal year 2013 and have said that costs, such as health and dental insurance, will continue to rise while state aid continues to drop.
Nichols said the district has been broadcasting that its administration has had its pay frozen to help out in tough financial times. He said he didn’t feel the board should change this position.
Bonuchi said administrators' pay has been frozen for two years, their health costs have increased and the board wants the district to stay equivalent of other school districts to attract a quality level of talent for the students.
In November, the school board approved a new . Their pay was frozen for this school year, and most teachers will receive raises of up to 2.55 percent for the 2012-13 school year and up to 1.5 percent for the 2013-14 school year.
In October, the board approved a . In that deal, the non-certified staff’s pay was frozen for this school year, and members will receive a 2.5 percent raise in 2012-13 and cost-of-living raises of no more than 3 percent in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
The board on Monday also approved adding four new positions in the technology department to implement the new student database system at a cost of $125,543 for the remainder of this year.
In other news, the district will continue to explore a county sales tax proposal that would benefit Will County school districts.
The board heard on Monday a presentation on a possibility to create an up to 1 percent county-wide sales tax to pay for schools’ capital development projects, building renovations, additions, land acquisitions or ongoing maintenance in Will County’s 38 school districts.
If approved by voters through a referendum proposal, the new sales tax revenue could also be used to abate property taxes, said Susan Krautstrunk, director of finance for the district.
District 202 is the largest school district in Will County.
Krautstrunk said 12 counties in Illinois have passed similar sales tax initiatives to help local schools, and voters could see a referendum as early as the November election if the majority of the county’s districts want to see it on the ballot.
While the tax burden would be spread to a larger population, cars, trucks, boats, prescriptions, unprepared food and farm equipment would be among the items not subjected to the new tax if approved.
School board members said they would like more information about the sales tax initiative before taking a position for or against the plan.