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posted: 5/30/2012 12:01 AM

District 211 approves raises for nonunion personnel in 4-2 vote

For administrators and nonunion workers only

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After a closed session at a meeting last Thursday, the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board of education voted to increase salaries for administrators and other nonunion employees.

Two board members voted against the measure, including Bill Robertson, who said, as he did last year, that raises aren't a good idea in the current economy. Board member Mucia Burke also voted no.

"I personally made a commitment to the community that I would not support salary increases, and I have not done so," Robertson said.

Nonunion cafeteria, technology, transportation and clerical employees -- 244 people who make up 12 percent of the district's workforce -- will receive 3 percent salary increases effective July 1.

"It's comparable to what people are giving in other local districts," Superintendent Nancy Robb said. She said the total cost of those raises comes to about $280,000.

As for the district's 60 administrators and managers, including principals and assistant principals, raises will be determined by a performance-based system that was put in place last year.

Robb said more information on those raises will be available next month after their performance reviews.

"Our management, related to other high school districts, we are much lower (with salaries)," she said, declining to say what the range for raises would be for them.

She said reductions in personnel and other cost efficiencies have resulted in about $1 million in savings that allow the district to give raises to nonunion employees.

"We've worked very hard to manage our overall salary costs," she said, adding that when people retire, there are decisions about "whether we need to hire a replacement."

Board President Robert LeFevre represented one of the four "yes" votes at last week's meeting.

"I think our superintendent has a good understanding of all the different groups that work for the district and a good understanding of what's happening economically and legislatively in the state of Illinois," LeFevre said. He added that the district hopes to continue "attracting, developing and retaining leadership" and that the raises help with that.

But Robertson said that even as a school administrator himself, he cannot agree to the raises.

"People are very concerned about their tax dollars in the community, and I think we need to be very strategic about how we spend taxpayer dollars," he said.

"There are some pretty generous increases there."

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