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Friday, February 24, 2012

Another Big Giveaway To The Greedy Rockwood Teacher's Union

Rockwood to give superintendent, teachers raises
BY ELIZABETHE HOLLAND • > 314-340-8259 | Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012 12:10 am
The Rockwood School Board voted Thursday night to give the cash-strapped district's teachers and superintendent raises and extended Superintendent Bruce Borchers' contract for another year.
Borchers was given a 2 percent salary increase to $234,600, in addition to the annual $8,000 car allowance he's had since his hiring in 2010. His contract was extended to June 30, 2015.
The board and the Rockwood National Education Association agreed to a two-year salary package that gives teachers a 2.75 percent raise in 2012-13 and another 2.75 increase in 2013-14. The agreement has a clause for the latter year that says salary negotiations will be reopened in the event of an increase or decrease in excess of 5 percent of Rockwood's total operating revenue from local and state sources.
The starting salary for a Rockwood teacher with a bachelor's degree is $39,097 this year.
Rockwood NEA president Suzanne Dotta in a news release called the agreement fair given the district's financial limitations.
Board president Janet Strate said in a statement the board recognized Borchers' dedication to the district.
Last year, the board decided against putting a tax levy on the November ballot because of reported budget woes but stressed that a tax increase would be needed soon. The district has a $43.2 million bond issue on the April 3 ballot.
The board also discussed Thursday a planned state audit of the district the board learned about Wednesday night.
Shirley Broz, the district's chief financial officer, told the board she verified the state auditor's plans Thursday morning and told the state its audit would be welcomed.
The auditor's office said Wednesday it was adding Rockwood to its list of planned audits for the second half of this year. The audit will not be a result of a petition by district residents, but rather one the state opts to do, meaning among other things the district will not have to pay for it.
Borchers was criticized last year for hiring two associates from his previous district as $1,800-a-day consultants. The two were later hired by Rockwood with six-figure salaries.
The district has also been criticized for its longtime cozy relationship with Glenn Construction Co., which has managed the district's bond-related projects for years. Board member Steve Smith works for Glenn as a liaison between the company and the district.

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