School board approves bonuses

Act 93 employees to get $1,000

The Altoona Area School Board approved $1,000 retention bonuses for all employees covered by Act 93 in a 7-2 vote Monday night.

This was for all three compensation plan group members including professional middle management, such as principals, administrative support staff and central office administration who were employees of the district on May 2 and are still employed. Superintendents and assistant superintendents are not covered by Act 93.

The funds for the bonuses will come from the district’s federal ESSERs money, and will cost a total of $87,000.

Eric Haugh and David Francis both voted no for the retention bonus.

“I don’t think this money should be spent on salaries, I know it is OK to spend ESSERs money on salaries,” Francis said. “There’s other ways we could use it. I just don’t see it as a retention bonus.”

Frank Meloy responded by saying how much of a challenge it is for school districts to find staff from teachers, administrative staff, school bus drivers and custodians.

“It is very difficult to operate a school without personnel; I know this was put in the ESSERs grant that you could use money from that to recruit and retain personnel,” he said.

Meloy said Act 93 was there all through COVID-19.

“Everyone has gone through an awful lot and got us through it,” he said. “Our success is due to our personnel, that is our most valuable resource. I think this is a small way of saying thank you.”

The administration compensation plan increase was approved with a 7-1 vote by the board.

Members of the three compensation plan group of the Act 93, which include professional middle management, administrative support staff and central office administration staff will receive an increase in their salary above the current set rate of 2.5% up to the maximum of 3% per year for the remaining three years of their agreement providing they receive a satisfactory rating.

Board member Haugh voted against it, with Stephanie McGinnis abstaining due to personal reasons.

Haugh thought the salaries should be adjusted as needed.

“Some people make more or less than they should. We should just give everyone half a cent across the board and look for ways the money could be better spent elsewhere.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today