Three administrators to receive payment of graduate credit stipends

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Payment of graduate credit stipends to two Rome school district principals and a retired assistant principal, totaling $4,800 among the three, are part of a district agreement with the Rome Administrators Association (RAA) to resolve a grievance.

Included is $2,400 for the 2017-18 year to Sandra Williams, who retired as Denti Elementary assistant principal last August, plus $1,800 to Strough Middle School Principal Tracy O’Rourke and $600 to Joy Elementary Principal Andria Lacey for 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The Board of Education at its Feb. 14 meeting approved a “memorandum of agreement between the Rome City School District and the Rome Administrators Association,” with no further detail or public discussion at the meeting. The Daily Sentinel obtained a copy of the agreement after filing a Freedom of Information Law request with the school district.

The district’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the RAA provides for stipends based on completion of graduate credit hours, according to the separate memorandum of agreement document that was approved. It said “issues have arisen with regard to implementation of the graduate credit hour stipends and have been the subject of grievance by the RAA.”

In addition, the agreement said “the parties have determined that it is in their mutual interest to resolve the grievance and clarify the graduate credit hour provisions going forward.”

The agreement said the CBA provides that any administrator at or above the 60 graduate hour level shall receive $300 for each six-hour block of approved graduate study, to a maximum of 120 hours.

It also said the parties agree that annual payments for graduate credit hours provided under the CBA “is not added to base but rather paid as a stipend annualized over the course of the year and paid out in roughly equal distributions added to the bimonthly paychecks.”

The parties agree the payment to Williams, O’Rourke and Lacey “satisfies all claims, past and current, for all employees covered by the association’s CBAs regarding payment of graduate credit stipends.”

The memorandum of agreement “represents the full, final and complete agreement of the parties superseding any oral agreement or understandings....,” it said.

The agreement lists school district Superintendent Peter C. Blake and RAA President Kathy Bragan in the section for the parties’ consent.

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