Central Unified administrator pay raise sparks protest

FRESNO, Calif.

The teachers, parents, and community members who attended the meeting said in these economic times, teachers across the board are already doing more with less. Grandparent Kathleen Hooker said the raises come as teachers deal with less money for classroom supplies. "If a pencil sharpener breaks, they're out a pencil sharpener. A pencil sharpener is half of their annual budget. It's two bucks per kid. But somehow the district can afford pay raises for the big wigs?" said grandparent Kathleen Hooker.

Inside the meeting, the board members who voted for those raises stood by their decision. The members who voted against it did the same and received applause from the audience.

The raises approved last month affect the salary of four assistant superintendents and Superintendent Mike Berg. The superintendent's salary starts at $160,000 the first year. In its final year, Berg could make $193,999.

After the meeting, Berg told Action News the action taken last month puts top administrators on salary schedules which are already in place for staff district wide. "There was a comment out there about automatic raises. There are no automatic raises. In fact there is a merit based system where there is a schedule available to them -- but if they don't perform based on an annual evaluation, there's no movement on the schedule," said Berg.

Teachers and some community members disagree with the superintendent, saying the money should be spent on the classroom instead. They want the pay schedule revoked. That would require board action, which at this point, hasn't been considered.

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