Belding school administrators save $129,000

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 12:02 pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BELDING — Nine Belding Area Schools (BAS) administrators voluntarily opened their employee contracts for renegotiation this past fall, resulting in new contracts that will save the district approximately $129,000 over two years.

Superintendent Leslie Mount said the new contracts will save about $45,000 during the 2011-2012 school year and $84,000 the following school year.

“I appreciate the willingness of the administrative team to voluntarily come to the table during a time when school funding is so bleak in the state of Michigan,” Superintendent Leslie Mount said. “The administrators are already in year three of a pay freeze and last year moved to a new health care plan to save district funds. Their latest actions cut salaries, benefits and conference funds.”

The agreements will also make the administrators subject to the new health care laws under Senate Bill 7, requiring schools to pay no more than $15,000 for family coverage and employees to pay at least 20 percent of their health care costs.

Belding administrators are on a health care plan that keeps them below the $15,000 cap, thus avoiding employee contributions.

Director of Instruction and Technology Mike Burde said he’s proud of his fellow school administrators for “their willingness to open a settled contract in an effort to help our district realize some much needed savings.”

“It goes without saying that we are in a unique time in education,” Burde said. “The demand for efficiency is at a level which many are calling unprecedented. It is an honor to be teammates with folks who are persistent in doing the right thing.”

Mount’s contact was locked in for a total of three years when she began her position in 2010, but a one-year extension was added last year.

Mount said no increases have, or will, occur during the contract. Mount said her total compensation is $40,000 less than her predecessor, Charles Barker, who would have remained under contract through the end of the previous school year.

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