SOUTHINGTON – The Board of Education approved annual raises for non-union employees as it works on building a budget for the upcoming school year.
The board approved raises that ranged from two to six percent. Nearly all raises will be two or 2.25 percent.
Non-union employees include supervisors and top administrators, such as School Superintendent Tim Connellan, substitutes, part-time custodians and crossing guards.
The largest increase, six percent, was for technology analysts. The district’s technology department was restructured after the departure of IT director Jamie Olander in September.
Terri Carmody, board chairwoman, said the district shifted responsibilities and created a technology leadership team in place of one director.
“The other positions end up being a savings, so that was really good,” she said.
Wages for technology analysts will range from $57,000 to $77,000 in the upcoming school year.
Experts in technology are in high demand with businesses as well as school districts forced to rely more on remote learning. Joseph Baczewski, board vice chairman, said the raises will help retain skilled employees.
“We don’t want to be overpaying but we don’t want to be underpaying either. Part of that is keeping talent in district,” he said. “You just don’t see people (with these skills) out in the marketplace.”
Board members supported the new unaffiliated employees wage increases during a meeting last week.
“They’re fair increases. For the amount of extra work everybody’s been doing, it’s certainly warranted,” Baczewski said. “Our administrative team has gone above and beyond.”
Baczewski praised Connellan and others in the central office for being “even-keeled” and managing the district’s wants and needs.
“We have a great administrative team,” he said.
Connellan’s salary will increase next year to $209,000, a 2.25 percent increase. Other top administrators got similar raises.
Connellan unveiled a budget last week that includes $3.3 million in additional spending to cover contractual wage increases, new positions and projects. The current budget approved by the Town Council last year includes more than $100 million for the school district.
The school board will vote on a recommended budget next week. The council determines how much money is spent on education each year but not how it is spent.