Saratoga County

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake district leaders approve 3-year pact

Administrators at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District approved a new three-year co

Administrators at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District approved a new three-year contract that gives them a 1 percent raise this year and phases out step increases for new employees.

Current administrators will continue to get step increases in addition to regular pay increases for their first 10 years of administrative experience, but any administrators hired from now on will get only the regular pay increases of 1 percent the first year and 1.25 percent the second and third years.

That’s the biggest concession the union made in its negotiations, said district spokeswoman Christy Multer.

“That’s pretty unusual,” she said of the change.

Only about half the 17 members of the bargaining unit are on the step scale, since after they complete 10 years as administrators they max out of the schedule. The union covers principals, assistant principals and academic department heads.

They voted to ratify the agreement before the July 10 board meeting, when the board did the same. The contract took effect July 1 and continues through June 30, 2015.

“The district values the leadership that our administrative team provided in this contract,” said Superintendent Patrick McGrath, who started his new job as district chief this month, taking over for longtime superintendent Jim Schultz, who retired June 30. “Members of the bargaining unit recognized the difficult budget climate facing schools today, and we are grateful that their actions will help BH-BL be better prepared to face the fiscal challenges that the future will bring.”

The district’s overall cost for salaries and retirement benefits will increase 1.8 percent each year of the contract, about $35,000 a year, district officials said.

There was no change in the portion of health insurance premiums that administrators pay. It remains the same for all staff: 10 percent of the premium for individual coverage and 20 percent of the premium for two-person or family coverage.

A representative from the administrators union could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Also at its meeting July 10, the board appointed Christopher Abdoo to be the district’s next assistant superintendent for support services, replacing Jacqueline St. Onge, who has worked for the district for 25 years and is retiring.

Abdoo is the director of business and finance for Rome City Schools, and will take the new job Sept. 10.

At Burnt Hills, he will oversee the district’s $56.9 million budget, capital improvement planning, debt service, audit functions and noninstructional services.

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