Sag Harbor School District Settles Long-Expired Administrators’ Contract

Jeff Nichols, Pierson Middle-High School principal, is among the administrators whose contract was formally settled on Monday. Christine Sampson photo

Top administrators in the Sag Harbor School District will receive pay raises of at least 1.9 percent in each of four years covered in a new contract that was approved by the Sag Harbor School Board in a 5-0 vote on Monday.

Like the salary increases included in the recently approved Teachers Association of Sag Harbor (TASH) contract, the administrators’ pay raises are tied to the state-mandated cap on tax levy increases that apply to the overall school budget. The administrators’ contract says they will receive 1.9-percent increases plus an additional percentage of the tax levy increase, a minimum of .4 percent and a maximum of .9 percent, based on that particular year’s tax cap figure.

“I hope that we continue to use that practice moving forward,” superintendent Katy Graves said, referring to the idea that salary increases are based on tax cap limitations.

“I think the board and myself really value our administrators,” Ms. Graves added. “Their day starts very early and often ends very late.”

The Administrators Association of Sag Harbor had been working without a new contract for two years. The new four-year contract is retroactive to the 2016-17 school year and extends through the 2019-2020 school year. The pay increases were the primary change in the contract, which covers the school principals and assistant principals, pupil personnel services director, director of technology and other senior department leaders.

While the TASH contract was approved two weeks ago after a lengthy executive session, after which two board members publicly said “some misinformation” and “concerns” over the contract had come up at the last minute, the Administrators Association contract was approved without public discussion.

Two weeks ago, TASH President Jim Kinnier, a Pierson Middle-High School math teacher, urged the school board to settle its administrators’ contract as soon as possible.

“I want to say that the teachers need the administrators,” Mr. Kinnier said. “It’s important for teachers and administrators to work together. I would ask the board to settle the contract with the administrators as quickly as possible. I don’t know anything about that, but they have handled themselves extraordinarily professionally.”

In a joint statement Wednesday, Matt Malone, Sag Harbor Elementary School principal, and Jeff Nichols, Pierson principal, said, “The Sag Harbor Administrators appreciate the efforts of the Board of Education and Superintendent Graves in arriving at an agreement. We believe this is a fair settlement.”

Organizational Meetings Set in Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton

The first school board meeting of the year in Sag Harbor will be Monday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pierson Middle-High School library, and for the Bridgehampton School, it’s planned for Wednesday, July 11, at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

While the Sag Harbor School Board voted in May to move its regular meetings to Wednesdays for the 2018-2019 school year, it has since moved the meetings back to Mondays.