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School District Payroll Increases Despite Pay Cuts for Some

West Bloomfield district’s overall gross salaries up 1.4 percent in 2011-2012

Despite highly publicized reports of 10 percent pay cuts within the West Bloomfield School District last year, a review of gross salaries of all employees who were on the payroll in 2011 and 2012 shows that there was a 1.4 percent overall salary increase.

About three of every four teachers took an overall pay cut from 2011 to 2012, which averaged to be 1 percent, according to salary information of all employees for 2011 and 2012 that was requested by Capitol Confidential. However, some top administrators saw hefty increases. The top 13 people on the payroll in 2011 and 2012 saw increases or a salary freeze.

For instance, the director of technology had a 19 percent salary increase from 2011 to 2012. The two assistant superintendents saw their gross salaries increase by 3.3 percent and 12 percent. A supervisor had her salary increase 6.6 percent. Two principals saw salary increases of 2.4 percent each, and two others saw salary increases of 7.2 percent and 16.3 percent. The superintendent, who has since left, had her salary frozen.

In fact, overall gross salaries of all 689 employees on the payroll in 2011 and 2012 increased from $27.7 million to $28.1 million.

But the story district officials were telling a year ago was of severe paycuts.

In 2011, The Detroit News reported: “The cut is retroactive to Dec. 1, and teachers will see a 6.9 percent reduction this year and 10 percent next year, said Rick Arnett, assistant superintendent of human resources and labor relations. The freeze in step payments took effect March 31.” The News story contined: “Pam Zajac, district spokeswoman, said five of its six bargaining units, including administrators, have already agreed to a 10 percent wage cut, 5 percent last year, 5 percent this year.”

Superintendent Gerald Hill, who was hired in May, didn’t return an email seeking comment. Zajac didn’t return a phone message.

There are some ways salaries could go up despite cuts in contracts and step increase freezes. Teachers could take on additional responsibilities, such as a coaching job, or administrators could get a promotion.

But of the 256 people identified as teachers on the spreadsheet provided by the district and who were on payroll both years, overall compensation of the teachers dropped only 1 percent.

The West Bloomfield district’s payroll dropped $2.3 million when considering 86 employees on the payroll in 2011 who dropped off in 2012.

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See also:

The Salary History of a Michigan Public School Teacher

Paid to Leave: Generous Teacher Buyouts at East Lansing Public Schools

Michigan Teacher Pay 16.5 Percent Higher Than Indiana

School District With Continual Deficits Still Handing Out Raises

District's Union Contract Ensures Bonus Money For Teachers

Teacher Union Poverty Claims Fail Fact Test

Coverage of School District Claiming Cuts

Michigan Capitol Confidential Education Coverage

St. Lawrence University economist Steven Horwitz discusses how the minimum wage was used to block immigrants from taking scarce jobs during the depression era. See more at "Raising the Minimum Wage, Lowering Opportunity."


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