Skilling takes pay cut, while administrators take freeze
June 30, 2010 - Due to the current financial hardship that Oxford Community Schools is facing, Superintendent Dr. William Skilling has decided to forgo his raise for the 2010-11 school year and instead take a voluntary pay reduction.
As part of his contract, Skilling was due a $5,000 raise, but instead, he chose to take a $5,000 concession, lowering his salary from $150,500 to $145,500 for the next school year.
"So in January, knowing that we (the school district) would need to ask employee groups to give back and give concessions, I decided to make the first concession so that when I went out and talked with the different employee groups and advocated for the need for concession, I had already done so," Skilling said.
Skilling indicated that he would take an additional pay cut in the future if further cuts are needed.
Next year, Skilling's base salary is $136,500, with an annuity of $13,650, or 10 percent of his salary.
"He chooses, which he has done for the last few years with the board's approval, to have some of that annuity paid as part of his salary, rather than go into annuity," said Loock. "So $9,000 of that annuity is paid as salary."
The rest of the annuity, $4,650, will go into a tax-sheltered annuity.
Skilling will also receive a $2,400 mileage allowance and a $6,000 car allowance.
In addition to taking a 3.3 percent pay reduction, Skilling has also taken the same concession to his health care that the district employees have taken.
"We are going to a larger deductible in our health care plan, so I am also going to a higher deductible," he said.
The district will pay, on behalf of Skilling, the cost of the premiums for health insurance, dental, vision, term life insurance and long term disability coverages. The district will pay $19,772 for health insurance, $255 for vision, $1,254 for dental, $540 for term life insurance and $1,009 for long-term disability.
According to Loock, the district will also contribute into the state employee retirement system based on the assigned percentages.
Starting Oct. 1, the percentage will be 19.41 percent.
"For 12-month employees, when our new fiscal year starts in two days, we are still paying at the current state fiscal year retirement rate, which is 16.94 percent," Loock said.
Based on the salary that is being reported to the state for Skilling, the district will contribute $27,343 into the state's employee retirement fund. The district will also pay $8,785 for Social Security and Medicare tax (FICA).
According to Loock, the rest of the assistant superintendents took a pay freeze for the third consecutive year.
Skilling noted that other building administrators took a pay freeze as well.
Deputy Superintendent Nancy Kammer is scheduled to make $118,382 this upcoming year and receive a $3,600 mileage allowance.
The district will contribute $22,247 into the retirement fund for her and will pay premiums of $18,867 for health insurance, $215 for vision, $759 for dental, $432 for term life insurance and $876 for long-term disability.
The district will pay $8,392 in FICA taxes.
Assistant Superintendent James Schwarz will make $116,433 this upcoming year. He will also receive a $2,100 mileage allowance.
The district will contribute $21,881 into the state's retirement fund for him and pay premiums of $22,959 for health insurance, $215 for vision, $1,254 for dental, $428 for term life insurance and $862 for long-term disability.
The district will pay $8,363 in FICA taxes.
Associate Superintendent Denise Sweat will receive a salary of $115,000 and receive a $2,100 mileage allowance.
The district will contribute $21,611 into the state's retirement fund for her and pay premiums of $22,959 towards her health insurance, $215 for vision, $1,254 for dental, $423 for term life insurance and $851 for long-term disability.
The district will pay $8,343 in FICA taxes.
Assistant Superintendent Tim Loock will receive a salary of $116,433. However, Loock will not receive any benefits from the school district because he is a contracted service.
Skilling said that he began thinking about his concession back in January when the district was facing a budget deficit of $4.7 million.
Since then, he has been advocating that the state, school districts and employees work together to ease the financial burden.
"Since a year ago, I have been advocating that in order to get through these difficult financial times that it is going to take three entities working together."
He said that the state needs to work on a structural fix so continued cuts will not have to be made to the student foundation allowance. He also said the state needs to freeze the funding based on the 2008-09 level.
School districts need to work on reducing their budgets and employees need to be able to give back, he noted.
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.