The Burbank Unified School Board decided to postpone a discussion Thursday night about whether to give its top administrator a $15,000 raise.
Burbank Unified Supt. Jan Britz requested to pull the item at the start of the meeting. The proposal would have bumped her salary from $190,000 to $205,000.
The Burbank Unified School District has not given raises to any of its employees since 2007, but with an increase in state funding expected over the next few years, educators have been hopeful in recent weeks that the dry spell will come to an end.
Meanwhile, school board members said this week the classified employees union and the Burbank teacher’s union are still in negotiations. Salary proposals tied to them have not yet come to the board.
Muir Middle School teacher Barry Sarna, who also sits on the middle school board of directors for the Burbank Teachers Assn., told the school board Thursday night it was important to remember “that all of us should be valued.”
“We should definitely consider taking care of all our staff with raises that have not happened since 2007,” he said. “I think everyone deserves something.”
For Britz to pull the salary proposal from the agenda, school board President Dave Kemp said it took “an incredible amount of leadership.”
“She recognized the fact that employees are still struggling,” Kemp added. “Nobody’s given her credit for that, but I’m going to do that…I’ve worked with Dr. Britz ever since she’s been at Burbank [Unified]. I know she’s a tireless individual. She works so hard — has her heart and soul in this district every minute. And don’t think for a minute that she doesn’t care about…the people that work in the Burbank Unified School District. She absolutely does.”
School board member Larry Applebaum did not specifically address Britz in his comments, but said that as a longtime business owner and elected official, he believes “that you lead from your heart and use common sense.”
“Common sense has always been to me, you take care of people who are serving you before you take care of yourself,” he added.
School board member Roberta Reynolds said, “We absolutely need to value our frontline staff.”
After pulling the item, Britz said that district staff will continue to work with the district’s employee unions and come to an agreement on a compensation package.
“We are fortunate that [the Burbank Unified School District] has employees who make our district a great place to be,” she said. “I appreciate them and value the work they do. As for the renewal of my contract, I believe the board of education and I can continue to work together with things as they are for now.”
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.