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Superintendent Denies Salary Bumps



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Superintendent Denies Salary Bumps

By John Voket

School Superintendent Janet Robinson said she has cancelled raises that were recommended for two district data clerks. Information about the impending salary bumps, which came after the two positions were reclassified with added duties, was provided to The Bee via a letter from Joanne Didonato who is president of the Newtown Federation of Educational Personnel representing secretaries, clerical, and technical staff.

When contacted about the rumored increases May 30, Dr Robinson said she had only learned of the recommendations recently when the salary requests hit her desk.

“They haven’t been [authorized] so I stopped them,” Dr Robinson said, adding that it was highly inappropriate for such personnel information to be brought to the public’s attention.

In her letter, Ms Didonato states that as an employee of the district for nearly a quarter century, and a town taxpayer for 35 years, she felt the promised increases should be brought to the attention of taxpayers, because “our union agreed to no wage increase in the 2011-2012 school year.”

“Although I objected that one of the salary increases was double digit, the administration went ahead and awarded the reclassification and a substantial salary increase,” Ms Didonato wrote.

Dr Robinson said that the increases were negotiated by the employees’ supervisor. Another district source said that supervisor was Michael Regan, who has tendered his resignation as the director of pupil services and personnel effective June 30.

Dr Robinson said the administrative supervisor requested the increases because the two employees under the new classifications would have expanded duties, including increased reporting of student information to the state and federal governments.

But since the superintendent holds the ultimate authority to approve or deny pay raises, it is her prerogative to deny them.

“I am not going to authorize the increases,” Dr Robinson said, adding that as she enters into negotiations for the next round of teacher contracts, “I don’t foresee any increases.”

The superintendent said teacher contract negotiations will begin in June.

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