The Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education reappointed staff personnel at the Monday, July 25 meeting; all assistant superintendents did not receive raises, while all other administrative and other non-unit staff received 2 percent salary increases for the 2011-2012 school year.
Assistant Superintendants Sean Boyce, Donna Evangelista, Nicole Hazel and Suzanne Koegler will maintain the same salary they have had since the 2009-2010 school year. The staff that received a 2 percent raise had their salaries frozen after the 2009-2010 school year and this is their first pay increase since that time. For a full list of the personnel and their future salaries for next year please look at page 8 of the agenda from the July 25 meeting.
The issue of potential administrative raises has been a hot topic for several months. In May of this year, the board had discussed a possibility of , a conversation that was quickly dropped and personnel was reappointed for the 2011-2012 school year at the same salary they held at the time.
Last month, the agenda called for a 2 percent raise for all non-unit employees, including the assistant superintendents, but before the regular meeting began . Sampson said that the 2 percent raise issue may be revisited, however, and it was last night.
Despite the compromise, some residents felt that no personnel should be receiving pay increases in such financially restrictive times.
“You are talking about giving raises to employees who are already working and bring home a check on a regular basis,” Leon Sirulnick, a resident of Manalapan, said. “There are many hundreds, if not thousands of people in the district who are either out of work, in foreclosure, or have had to take pay cuts in order to keep whatever jobs they already have.”
When the board voted on the reappointments, two board members spoke out against the raises, board member Michael Messenger, the representative of Marlboro, and board member Carl Accettola, the representative of Colts Neck.
“The structural unemployment rate is almost 20 percent in the country, and therefore if we look at somebody who has job security, has a good job, has really good benefits, and your salary stays the same — that’s like getting a raise these days, compared to a lot of people in the private sector,” Messenger said. “Therefore, I feel that the people on page 8 to be reappointed at this point in time should have the same salary.”
Accettola said he echoed Messenger’s statement. “The reason that I support no raises at this point for anyone is the fact that I don’t want to see anyone affected by a reduction force,” Accettola said. “Money is saved, as far as raises go, if it could save the level of the teaching staff.”
Board President and Freehold Borough representative Heshy Moses disagreed with Messenger and Accettola. Moses said that he does not begrudge teachers or administrators getting raises, and said that 2 percent is not a lot of money. “I don’t remember people feeling bad for me when I was on food stamps and I taught in 1970 for $6,800,” Moses said.
The reappointments, including the 2 percent raises, were passed. Messenger and Accettola voted against the salary increases.