Manatee schools superintendent’s raise cut, at his request

BRADENTON -- Manatee County Schools Superintendent Tim McGonegal recommended for board members to prevent him from getting an already agreed-upon salary increase.

It’s a move he made after other school employees have had to face making financial sacrifices.

“We’re asking our employees to make some sacrifices. So I’d better make some, too,” McGonegal told board members Monday night.

Board members unanimously agreed to eliminate the annual pay increase McGonegal would have received. His annual current salary is about $171,000, McGonegal said.

They also approved another financial decrease for McGonegal. In 2008, the board OK’d for the superintendent to be given 12 sick days. For the days he does not take, he receives an 80 percent payout for them at the end of the year.

Monday night, the board changed that clause from an 80 percent to a 50 percent payout. The combined cuts equal just more than $6,000.

In June, the board will vote on raises for district administrators, who typically receive the same raise as the superintendent.

Board members commended the superintendent’s request.

“Mr. McGonegal, thank you for that leadership,” board chairman Robert Gause said.

Jim Drake, assistant superintendent of finance, said school employees received pay increases in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years. In the 2008-2009 school year, however, district officials reduced the pay calendar by two days allowing employees to make way for a pay cut.

McGonegal said the school district has reached an impasse with salary talks for teachers through the Manatee Education Association.

Salary talks are continuing with the second union representing school employees -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.