At a Spring 2016 gathering of school administrators, attorneys from BRCSM had the opportunity to speak with a lively and dynamic group of administrators from across the state about administrators’ contractual and statutory rights.
Our top ten take-aways included:
1. Be mindful that administrators have no statuary right to collective bargaining.
2. Don’t forget that the standard for non-renewal of an administrator is a much lower than a tenured teacher’s standard.
3. When negotiating salary, be sure to consider including specific increases each year of the agreement and connecting salary raises to measurable performance goals. Never start too low; don’t be afraid to ask for a fair starting salary. Turn down a job if the salary and benefits are not adequate.
4. The prospect of post-employment benefits which carry long-term liability for districts is diminishing rapidly. You may wish to focus on front-paid annuities as an alternative. Discuss with an insurance consultant.
5. Never rely on vague promise for post-retirement benefits. Both side to the agreement should understand their obligations.
6. When you negotiate your contract, consider your exit strategy. This gives you an opportunity to leave on your own terms.
7. It is virtually impossible to work with a school committee that does not want to work with you. Don’t waste time and treasure fighting a losing battle.
8. Consulting with a skilled attorney early in the hiring process can be an invaluable help.
9. Gain access to comparative data to help you determine a fair salary and benefits.
10. Don’t jump in to a bad situation – unless you are confident you can turn it around.