Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 26, 2009

Chariho labor costs

Filed under: contract negotiations — Editor @ 4:25 pm

Tom Frost recently had a piece in the Westerly Sun about the costs of teacher contracts – if someone has it, please send and I will post it.  But Dorthy did post this letter from Thurman Silks that’s a good read on the same (relatively) subject.


Reporter Victoria Goff should be congratulated for her April 22 Sun front-page story about raises for Char¬iho administrators. It’s a wonder that she was able to keep track of all the stuff that goes into making sure our school administrators get enough money for food and shelter and perhaps a little more.

Or, more precisely, to be sure that administrators get a salary “comprised of the salary of a top tier teacher [$70,892 in 08/09] plus stipends given to de¬partment heads and teach¬ers with advanced degrees.” That sum is then multi¬plied by an “index” con¬nected to the regional av¬erage salary of comparable positions, according to Su¬perintendent Ricci. And, if you’ve been at Charihoa while, there’s another $500 for five years or $1,200 for ten.

The point to all this was explained at a previous school committee meeting. When the question was raised, the answer, as I un¬derstood it, was that they wanted to ensure that the administrators’ salaries were not exceeded by teach¬ers’ salaries. With all due respect, it is not obvious to me, and perhaps others, that administrators are worth more than teachers. There’s plenty more; there’s an intriguing unan¬swered question about the actual amount of money involved. That’s because the administrators’ salaries are tied to the salary of teachers in the top pay tier, and what that will be for 2009-10 won’t be known until settled by the current negotiations between the teachers’ union and the school committee.

Which may lead one to think that this is a strange way to set a budget. It’s been agreed that the raise will be 2.8 percent of some number, according to the headline, but nobody knows what that number is. Or if they do, they aren’t talking. And to those skeptics who question the accuracy of stories from Chariho, I would point out that they contain within them the ir¬refutable evidence of truth. Nobody, not even the most skilled fiction writer, could make up what goes on at Chariho.

Maybe that’s why the ad¬ministrators are so numer¬ous and well rewarded. It’s not easy work fending off reality.

Thurman Silks Hopkinton



  1. I not sure if that comment regarding Victoria Goff is regarding the top ten $ Money Makers which has become at some level at least a biannual article and well done as Mr. Silks has mentioned. I concur with Mr. Silks in his facts. He still has his fast ball and his A game. Hats off to you Mr. Silks.
    Glad to have you being part of the fabric. Your a amazing man.

    Comment by james hirst — April 26, 2009 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  2. Interesting that NK just de-coupled their admninistrators’ pay from the teachers’ contract, and stopped providing multi year administrator contracts, and implemented a pay freeze for administration for the upcoming year. Conversely, I believe Chariho just put in place a policy to link the administrators to the teachers contract. What are they thinking — why would you want to give away control of a significant cost item like that?

    According to the Northeast Independent (not sure if the article’s online; I have a copy of the paper), the school committee in NK has cut their budget by nearly $3 million since its initial draft came out. The Chariho committee is crowing about a quarter million.

    Comment by david — April 26, 2009 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

  3. Tuesday, May 12th is the second Chariho budget vote. If it does not pass on May 12th, there is still one more attempt possible before July 1st. After this third attempt to pass a budget, and if it fails, then we revert to last year’s school budget.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — April 28, 2009 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

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