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No raises for top West officials

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By Don Pace

West Las Vegas district is playing it conservative with its money this year, officials said. And that means top administrative staff won’t be getting any raises, they said.

Last week, the West school board discussed the already-approved budget, and members, as they have in previous meetings, asked about raises for employees.

Member Caroline Lopez referred to talk in the community that some on the administrative staff would be getting raises, She also questioned discrepancies between last year’s and this year’s base salaries.

Superintendent Jim Abreu said the discrepancies are based on different factors, including the time teachers have been in the classrooms.

“But for this next year, there will be no raises. In our administrative staff, among the certified staff, all agreed to a $1 raise,” Abreu said.

“Certified staff will receive a $1 annual raise, and that is strictly to preserve the step function, which gives them credit for their experience, when they move from, say, 13 years to 14 years experience,” West’s business manager, Doug Hendrickson, said.

Abreu, who had earlier talked about a cut in salary for the top administrative staff of between 3 and 4 percent, backed off, amending his earlier statement to say that no one in the administrative office would be getting a raise.

“We’ve talked about taking a cut, but I’ve put a hold on that, but we’re still talking about it. No one will get a raise, not in the administrative offices or anywhere else in the district,” Abreu said.

Hendrickson pointed out to the board that the district is required, by law, to produce two worksheets that list prior and returning employees reflecting past and current salaries.

“You will notice that there is only a dollar raise for everyone. There are no increases for classified or certified staff,” Hendrickson said.

Member Gary Gold didn’t seem to buy the explanation.

“So you’re telling me what? Dr. Abreu just said that the administrative staff is not getting a raise. Is it a typo? Because this (salary schedule) says everyone’s getting a dollar raise,” Gold said.

Hendrickson said that it was his initial understanding that everyone had to get the dollar raise.

“But I have since been educated. That has to be done only for the certified teachers who need to get that step function. Anyone else who is classified will not receive even that dollar,” Hendrickson said.

At West’s meeting last week, the board went into closed session shortly after the beginning. Behind the closed doors was the district’s attorney, Ramon Vigil.

Afterward, West officials were asked if the attorney was present to discuss the former Robertson High School football player convicted of assault who had reportedly been practicing with the West football team. The officials declined to comment, as the board returned to its seats after the lengthy closed session.