President Spilde’s contract: 2012-2013

April 23, 2013
LCC Faculty,

Attached find a copy of the LCC President’s 2012-2013 contract, along with an Excel file that attempts to summarize the President’s Compensation from 2007 to 2013. We have been requesting copies of the President’s contract since July, but had been told for many months that “it was done but the Board hadn’t signed it yet.” (We’d asked President Spilde to simply tell us whether she had received any raises so that we could compare them with what the faculty and classified employees received, but the President reported that she had received a raise this year, but didn’t remember what it was.) Having now received a copy of the document, we are providing it to the faculty so that you may compare the President’s contract with those of the faculty and staff, especially important in light of what the Administration is proposing for faculty and staff for the next two years.

As you’ll see, the LCC President receives the highest salary in the college, not surprisingly (though we are told it is also the highest community college president’s salary in the state, including PCC, a much larger institution), and also receives a number of other “salary-like” payments that no other employees receive, as well as a long list of benefits and leave days.

Such “salary-like” provisions include tax sheltered annuities worth an additional 7.6% of salary, “longevity bonuses” of $25,000 per year, and  $1500 per month ($18,000 per year) for “for cell, computer, peripherals, online services.” (The President receives this amount whether or not she spends such money on these items; it is taxable income, not a “budget line,” and thus legally “salary.”)

Note that while President Spilde has reported “not receiving any raises for the last three years,” the first of those three years she received a 1.6% salary raise but had it added to her “tax  sheltered annuity” instead of direct pay (since the annuity is referred to in the President’s contract separately from “salary,” this makes it appear that her official salary remained below “$200,000”). Also, last year and this, the President took a full additional month’s pay (1/12 =8.33%) “cashing in her unused vacation days,” thus effectively receiving 13 months pay both years (while classified and managers are allowed to cash in vacation days, they are limited to accumulating 30 days and may only cash them in upon retirement; the President is being allowed to accumulated leave days with no such caps, and to cash them in while remaining employed at Lane). So while nominally it appears that the President wasn’t receiving raises, the actual income did increase each of these years.

Also, the President negotiated a provision last year that the $500,000 life insurance policy that the College carried and that would have provided half of the payout to the College to cover the costs of the loss of its president, was now given fully to her. Since such policies are cashable assets and the value of them is taxable income, President Spilde also negotiated that the college paid her the cost of the taxes she would pay on the value of the policy.

The President’s benefits include $950 a month for “automobile expenses” (plus a card for all fuel costs), fully (100%) employer paid medical insurance costs, and an “early retirement” provision that will pay the President 20% of her final salary (thus currently over $40,600 per year) for seven years after retiring, along with 100% paid medical insurance until Medicare. Compare this with the $175 dollar per month stipend ($2,100 per year) that early retiring contracted faculty will receive, along with limited medical insurance coverage. Further consider that President Spilde and the Administration are currently proposing to freeze how much the college pays for faculty and staff insurance (requiring employees to pick up 100% of medical insurance hikes for two full years, or more), and have proposed to eliminate eligibility for new faculty for the “early retirement” program (despite that fact that in the faculty’s case, it saves the college money).

Finally, the college President receives a number of leave days, including standard categories such as vacation, sick, and emergency days, and less common leaves such as twelve (12) annual “professional development” leave days, and a bi-annual “sabbatical” of 30 days, many or all of which are accruable, and some of which the President may cash out while an active employee.

We encourage you to consider how the President’s compensation compares with faculty and staff compensation, including how each group has been and is now being treated. The same week that the President’s contract was signed in which she received a 3.5% permanent salary increase and allowed a 8.33% annual salary bonus for “unused vacation days,” the classified (and the faculty shortly thereafter) were told the Administration once again doesn’t want to pay the steps employees earned, proposed a 0.5% COLA that’s well less than inflation, and wants employees to pick up the entire insurance rate hike we will face the next two years.

One simple question:  Is this fair and reasonable?

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