An overwhelming sense of entitlement is the feeling that came through yesterday's O-D Story "Utica administrators' pay up - Total salaries increased 46 percent in 5 years."
"It is contractual and it's not like we're giving them the money. It's money they've earned by working for the district for so many years," School Board President Barbara Klein is quoted as saying.
So we have an elementary principal whose pay is now over $100,000 after increasing 30% in 5 years, and a "director of instructional media" whose pay is almost $110,000 after increasing 24% in 5 years. How many other people in the community have had such lavish pay raises? Most are happy if they can just keep their jobs.
While the Utica pay scales actually look a bit reasonable when compared with other school districts, the fact is that people all over New York are paying far too much for education. It is why school taxes have grown more than other taxes, why STAR was implemented, and why jobs and businesses are driven away.
The rate of pay increases noted above far exceeds the rate of inflation and is probably about double the rate of pay increases among other public employees: those working for the state and federal governments. There is simply no justification for these groups of public employees to be treated differently -- But there is an explanation: strong unions and a Public Employees Relations Board (that does NOT oversee the state or federal workers) that is apparently not interested in the taxpayers' ability to pay and routinely approves pay increases. The operations of PERB need to be examined. Additionally, while "competition" is cited as a justification, the "competition" has been limited by the requirement of an "administrators certificate" -- so it has all been contrived by insiders.
As alluded to in yesterday's post about Prestwick Glen, there is selfishness behind all of this.
And selfishness hurts us all.