Admin compensation – CUSD 200 (part 2)

For part 1, see:

I was wondering just how much more generous the administrators’ contracts are than the Teachers’ contract. This posting will look at Holidays,  vacation days, sick days and their affect on the pension/end-of-career payouts.  The Sick Day Bank can be quite large at the end of a career.  It can be used to increase the pension payout or to take a lump sum at retirement.

 While looking at these detail, I noticed a couple perks in the latest teacher contract that  were not in their previous contract, and I had not seen when the contract was approved.  Note: the contract was not available until  weeks after it was approved. 

The latest WWEA contract increased the sick days allocate as well as the post-employment-compensation.  Neither  were in the highlights that were posted for board approval.   Although the increase in post employment compensation was mentioned by board members as they voted for it.


The current teacher contract is for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018.

The WWEA (teacher union) contract is negotiated with union reps on one side, and school administration on the other.  For the current contract, no school board member was on the negotiation team.  In fact, I was told they didn’t have anyone even watching.

The negotiating team from the WWEA contract:

wwea negotiating team


Generally, the administrators will get what the teachers get and then some (like pension pick-up).  Who is representing the taxpayers?

Leave of Absence

See the contract for the full set of rules and details for all types of leaves (seick leave, Bereavement leave, personal leave, Religious holidays, Parental leave, family medical leae act, general leave of absence, military leave, & Professional leave)

Number of days worked

For Teachers, based on the school calendar  teachers are scheduled to work 186 days a year – 5 of those days are teacher institute/work days with no students in class.  They receive two months off in the summer and all the school Holidays.

Administrators who work 12 months, have 260 working days
(364 days a year, 52 weekends is 104 days, 364-104 = 260)
They each receive 12 holidays, 23 vacation days, and 15 sick days.
Each can carry up to 36 vacation days to the next year
Up to 59 vacation days can be cashed in at the per diem rate at termination (retirement).

Vacation and Holidays

From Biscan’s contract (sample admin)

days off

Note: the maximum number of vacations days that an administrator may have is 59.  According to their current contracts days in excess of the 36 if not used are lost.  This wasn’t always the case.  For instance, Bill Farley cashed in 5 vacation days in 2013 for $3,606.19.  I do not see this listed in Farley’s current contract, but we have a FOIA that lists this dollar amount.    And it is in Dr. Schuler’s current contract

schuler cashout vac


Bossier’s contract (the one grandfathered in with the 6% end of career salary spikes) allows excess vacation days to morph into unlimited sick days:

vac holidy bossier



From Biscan’s Contract:



What is this sick leave worth?

admin sick leave bank


The maximum number of sick days to count towards pension service with TRS is 340, where 170 days = 1 year.   Up to 15 sick days can be cashed in at the per diem rate at retirement (days count for one or the other, not both)

WWEA (teacher) contract is more generous

weea sick leave

Why are they increasing the number of sicks days per year as the size of the sick bank grows?  Could it have anything to do with TRS accepting up to 340  sick days as credit towards pension?    I do not see a line about cashing in unused sick days at the per diem rate in this contract.  pdf

From the WWEA contract for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015 (no longer posted on the district web site) we know that this perk was new in 2015.

wwea12to15 sick

Was the school board aware of this increase in sick days for  teachers as they approach retirement?  The extra sick days were NOT in the contract highlights posted for the board to approve.

Contract approval

The contract was approved at a special board meeting on June 4, 2015.  The contract was approved based on  contract highlights .pdf which was made available approximately 48 hours prior to the meeting.  At the time I  questioned why they could not wait until the next week at the regularly scheduled board meeting.  I also questioned the wisdom of passing it without actually seeing the contract.

The BOARD has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers.  Part of that is to be part of contract negotiations, not just a bystander who votes on what is brought to them.  The boards failure to be a part of these negotiations is a failure of the board and another example of what is wrong with so many public officials.  Disregard for the public is no longer being tolerated!  CUSD 200 Board actions were no different than those of COD with their golden parachute votes.

Prior to the meeting I was advised that “They MUST recite key elements of the contract with enough information as to inform the voter of the actions being taken.”

From a 6/3/2015 email from Jan Shaw to a few friends regarding my thoughts for public comment:

  • 3 year agreement covers the 2015-16; 2016-17; and 2017-18 school years
  • OK
  • and provides for a balanced budget based on current revenue projections.
  • OK
  • It also contains a limited re-opener memorandum to address any drastic changes in funding or revenue enacted by the legislature.
  • Sounds Good – want to see it
  • This agreement addresses staff professional development time,
  • OK
  • eliminates staff access to the State’s Early Retirement Option,
  • Good – does this affect the amount that is paid into the pension?
  • eliminates the salary step increment,
  • Define please?  Doing away with steps?  Or same chart for 3 years?
  • and includes increased staff contributions for health benefits.
  • Does it include a “Good for the Goose, Good for the gander” clause so that all administrators will need to pay into the pension and for health care like teachers do? 
  • Not here, but section 12 of the existing contract gives a lump sum to retirees based on years of service (unless they opted for the old 6% for 4 year option) $500 per year-of-service
  • 20 year = $10,000.  ALL end of career goodies need to GO!

Missing minutes for 6/4/2016

The June 10, 2015 agenda include “Approval of Minutes – March 25, 2015 Open and Closed, May 13, 2015 Open and Closed, May 18, 2015 Special Closed, May 27, 2015 Open and Closed, and Approval to Destroy Recordings of Closed Sessions Prior to January 2014 as Allowable by Law”

The July 10, 2016 agenda has “Approval of Minutes – June 10, 2015 Open and Closed, and Approval to Destroy Recordings of Closed Sessions Prior to February 2014 As Allowable by Law”

Where are the 6/4/2015 minutes?

The podcast of the meeting

is available on youtube: CUSD200 6/4/2015

11:05 Dr. Schuler
15:55 Dr Rammer – what is in the contract.
16:20 board discussion – Brad Paulsen,
18:15 Dr. Schuler – overview of salary schedule.
20:40 Intihar
22:30 Swanson
24:30 Coghill
27:40 roll call vote with comments
30:00 Gambiani’s comments as to why he voted “NO” (worth listening) “…Total salary increase approaching $6 million.  Total salary percentage increases that could reach 8.5%.  Total stipend increases of 6% and 50% increase in post employment payment. In the 2016-2017 school year, this district will enjoy a $4 million windfall, given the fact that 60 retiring teachers will be replaced with teachers at lower salaries. This situation presents the district with a unique opportunity to have access to funds that could be used for building maintenance… It is important to acknowledge that the district has numerous current and future financial challenges that can no longer be ignored. Unfortunately these available funds are being used to support the teachers’ contract…”

33:10 Vroman covers more (include $250 more per year for post-employment compensation)

Based on the comments, the board was aware of at least one change that was not in the posted highlights.

What was in the sick bank for those who negotiated this?

negotiator sick bank

Overly Generous in the Past

The district was once far more generous with this for at least a couple administrators.  Dr. Catalani was the Superintendent from 2000 to 2007.

catalani pay and pension

And there were two other top administrators who made out like bandits,  Sorrick and Belha.  For details, see:

Marfo Sorrick retired in 2011,

  • Sorrick had 33.026 years of service credit plus 1.974 year for unused sick-leave credit (total 35)
  • Her service included 1.026 years purchased credit for private school service.
  • From TRS she received a $23,001.62 refund ($18,592.62 for “2.2 refund” and $4,409.00 for not using the early retirement option)
  • From CUSD 200, she received lump sum payments of $ $21,085.22 ($6,487.76 for 53.2 vacation days and $14,597.46 for 18 sick leave days)

 Sorrick’s end of career raises were 6.26%, 20%, 0%, 6% and 6%.  Her contract ended in 2009 and was extended to 2010 and 2011.  Her 20% raise came 2008 – three years earlier than contracted  – the contract called for 20% for the LAST year worked.  It appears to have been effective the day after Superintendent Catalani retired and on the day Dr. Drury began.  We never found anything to show that it or the 6% raises for her last two years were approved by the board.  We are still paying for this as it increased her pension for life. 

Lori Belha retired in 2011

  • Belha had 37 years of service credit plus 1.97 year for unused sick-leave credit
  • Her service included 10 years purchased credit for out of system service.
  • From TRS, she received a $28,105 refund ($23,784.95 for “2.2 refund” and $4,320.21 for not using the early retirement option)
  • From CUSD 200, she received lump sum payments of $32,889.26 ($25,200 for 59 vacation days and $7688 for 18 sick leave days)


Belha’s end of career raises were 6.95%, 18.47%, 0%, 6% and 6%.  Same comment as above, although I wonder if her 20% was put into effect a month or 2 earlier.

Note Dr. Belha was the Assistant superintendent for Human Resources.




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