Auburn school administrator contract cuts costs


AUBURN — A new, three-year contract between the Auburn administrators’ union and the Auburn School Department will keep costs pretty much flat for three years and will save taxpayers money on health care costs in the future, Superintendent Tom Morrill said.

Administrators agreed not to take a cost-of-living raise, but those who qualified did receive step increases.

Administrators whose spouses stay on their health care plan will pay, collectively, about $40,000 more. In return, the School Department cut travel ($18,000 a year) and gave that to administrators to help them initially cover higher health costs.

Administrators who did not receive step raises will receive a share of the travel money, $1,500 per administrator during the first year of the contract; $1,200 the second year; and $1,125 the third year, Business Manager Jude Cyr said.

Tom Kendall, who negotiated the contract for the Auburn School Committee, called the agreement a good balance.

“We’ve addressed the needs of the administrators,” he said. “We’ve addressed the needs of the community. The school system is going to benefit from this contract. It’s equitable and fair, given the economic environment.”

Administrators’ negotiator Steven Galway, an assistant principal at Edward Little High School, agreed.

“Given the nature of the economy, it was a very fair contract,” Galway said. Administrators “agreed to help the School Committee and the city with their economic challenges and agreed to what they proposed.”

The contract will not increase costs for three years, said Edward Little Principal James Miller, who also negotiated the contract. School administrators will have the same setup for health care as teachers. In the old contract, teachers and administrators paid 10 percent of their health care premiums; taxpayers paid 90 percent.

In the new contract, taxpayers will pay 100 percent of the premium for teachers and administrators who have only themselves on the School Department’s health care plan; and 93 percent for educators with a child or children.

In an effort to move more spouses off the School Department’s coverage, spousal coverage will cost more. Educators with spouses who do not have access to other plans will pay 20 percent, with taxpayers paying 80 percent. Educators with spouses who have access to another plan through the other employer will pay 30 percent, with taxpayers paying 70 percent.

For Galway, it means he’ll be paying 20 percent of his health care costs instead of 10 percent. “I don’t know what the numbers are going to be,” he said.

“Anything we can do to position the system in the health care arena is going to help us in the long run,” Morrill said. “They were cooperative going down that path.”

More spouses of educators will come off the School Department’s plan, Morrill said. How many won’t be known until next year, after businesses hold their open enrollment in December and January. “Some have said when they’re able they’ll make the shift,” Cyr said.

One of three administrative positions at Auburn Middle School was eliminated this year. Auburn Middle School Principal Kathleen Cutler is retiring. One of the two deans, James Hand, will replace her. His dean position will not be filled.

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Current New Contract Salary Increase %
James Miller Edward Little principal $94,324 $95,824 $1,500 1.59%
Katy Grondin Assistant Superintendent $89,389 $89,389 $0 0.00%
David Eretzian Franklin and Merrill Hill alternative schools principal $85,280 $87,465 $2,185 2.56%
Catherine Folan Fairview principal $85,279 $86,779 $1,500 1.76%
Michelle McClellan Walton principal $85,279 $86,779 $1,500 1.76%
Nancy Lewis Director of Regional Education Treatment Center/Success of Students $85,279 $86,779 $1,500 1.76%
Laura Shaw Sherwood Heights principal $81,218 $85,279 $4,061 5.00%
Leslie Morrill Edward Little assistant principal $80,110 $81,610 $1,500 1.87%
Holly Couturier Washburn principal $77,351 $81,218 $3,867 5.00%
James Hand Auburn Middle School dean $71,425 $77,351 $5,926 8.30%
Kevin Shaw Auburn Middle School dean and athletic director $74,632 $76,131 $1,499 2.01%
Daniel Deshaies Edward Little athletic director $71,066 $74,631 $3,565 5.02%
Celeste Beaudet Fairview assistant principal $59,812 $62,802 $2,990 5.00%
Kathleen Cutler Auburn Middle School principal $85,279 *$0

Not covered in the Auburn Administrators union:
Administrator Current New Contract

Tom Morrill Superintendent $105,163 $105,163 0 0.00%
Vickie Gaylord Park Avenue principal $85,279 $86,779 $1,500 1.76%
Steven Galway Edward Little assistant principal $80,795 $82,295 $1,500 1.86%
Robert Bennett Edward Little assistant principal $80,110 $81,610 $1,500 1.87%
William Luce Adult Ed director $80,110 $81,610 $1,500 1.87%
Susan Dorris East Auburn assistant principal $62,802 $64,302 $1,500 2.39%
* No salary after next year as position is retiring.