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Waterford's school superintendent gets 4 percent raise, extension

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: The Day

Published June 28. 2013 4:00AM

Waterford - The Board of Education on Thursday approved a one-year contract extension for the superintendent of schools, complete with a 4 percent raise for the 2013-14 school year.

Superintendent Jerome Belair has a three-year contract with the school district that is reviewed and approved every year by the board. He received a 4 percent salary increase this time last year and currently makes $214,318 a year.

His three-year contract now runs through the 2016-17 school year.

The 4 percent increase is in line with increases to all other district administrators, board Chairwoman Kathleen McCarty said.

School board members met in executive session Thursday to discuss Belair's roles and responsibilities and the status of his employment before voting on the contract extension in open session.

Members thanked Belair for his work in providing the district with a significant savings on the health care contract for the school district's employees and the seamless opening of the new Waterford High School.

McCarty said Belair has excelled in all areas that were discussed during the executive session.

"He took that mandate (to reduce health care expenses) very seriously," McCarty said. "He's saved this district millions of dollars and at the same time allowed us to continue with the quality of programs that we provide."

By renegotiating its health insurance plan, the district was able to save $582,349 and will reduce health care expenses by $1.6 million over the next five years, according to the board.

Board member Jody Nazarchyk thanked Belair, saying, "You've done a very good job."

Belair became superintendent in Waterford in February 2011, when he left the same position in the Weston public schools system.

The school board on Thursday evening also approved two contract agreements: one between the Board of Education and Local 1303-209 of Council 4 AFSCME, which represents the district's approximately 60 paraprofessionals, and another between the board and the United Public Service Employees Union, Waterford BOE Food Service Employees Unit.

The contracts run from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2016.

Paraprofessionals will receive a gradual step wage increase year over year, starting with a 1.75 percent increase the first year, a 2 percent increase the second and third years, and a 2.25 percent increase the fourth year.

The food services employees will receive step increases of 1.75 percent in the first year, 2 percent in the second year and 2.25 percent in the third and fourth years.

Belair also said the paraprofessionals and food service employees are now aligned with the school district's health insurance and co-pays.

j.hanckel@theday.com

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