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Superintendent will take pay freeze

Published December 12. 2013 05:00PM

The Weatherly Area School District has a number of potentially costly expenses coming up, but a salary increase for the superintendent isn't one of them.

District Superintendent Thomas McLaughlin asked the board of education on Wednesday to consider freezing his salary for the remainder of the current school term.

McLaughlin said requesting the freeze was his own idea and it's completely voluntary.

"I think it's best with what the district has to address in the near future," McLaughlin said of his request.

"We have the teachers' contract coming up; we have the support staff contract coming up; we have the bus contract coming up; we have the Act 93 agreement coming up and we have PSERS to think about," he said.

PSERS the Public School Employees Retirement System is the state's mandatory, defined benefit pension plan for active, retired, vested and inactive public school employees. It's funded from three sources: employees, their employers (which, the school district's case is funded by taxpayer dollars), and investment earnings.

Weatherly Area's state-mandated PSERS payment is scheduled to increase by an additional $214,636.55 next year.

The Act 93 compensation agreement covers principals and other administrators but excludes the superintendent and the business manager.

The board first learned of McLaughlin's intent to request a salary freeze at last week's reorganization meeting, at which time several directors spoke highly of the superintendent.

"Tom's doing a great job. He is an exceptional leader," director Brandon Pugh said.

"I have to say, he has only had one salary increase since he's been here," said Gerard Fewins, the board's new president.

McLaughlin was promoted from high school principal to district superintendent in the fall of 2011.

Renewal of his employment contract is scheduled to come before the board in May 2014.

His salary freeze request was unanimously approved by the six directors present at Wednesday's meeting, including Fewins, Pugh, Amy Potsko, Georgeann Herling, Gerard Grega and Edward "Skip" Snyder.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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