Moffitt move to Rominger approved, salary compensation report approval postponed

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Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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Following the approval of moving the third grade to the Shirley Rominger Intermediate school site at the Feb. 7 Winters Joint Unified School Board meeting, trustees were asked to approve a waterfall of connected proposals to help officially put the move into action. The first was to amend the Winters Elementary School CDS (County-District-School) code to Waggoner Elementary (TK-2) and to establish Rominger Intermediate School (3-5). President Rob Warren brought up that when he first became a trustee the school board was asked to merge the two sites to the singular Winters Elementary School. He said at the time the proposal was being sold they brought up that the consolidation of the two sites would help to share resources. Superintendent Todd Cutler explained that while both sites are under the umbrella code of WES, they each operate as two separate sites. It’s more effective and efficient for each site to have its own budget divided up by the number of students enrolled for the year. “I wasn’t here when you were asked to make them one. I’m assuming at the time it was a good decision to make it happen,” said Cutler. “It has been very clear that it’s not a very effective system for our administrations and for the collaboration of teachers. It’s really split and divided. In essence they’re two separate sites that are being held together by one name.” Trustee Michael Olivas said at the time eliminating administration positions was one of the ways they saved money, but with the conversation of moving third grade over it’s a good move back. Cutler added that while the cost of an additional principal was a little more expensive than that of an assistant principal, the goal to create a united school site that worked together as an individual unit was ideal. The trustees unanimously voted to approve the change from the WES CDS code to two individual sites of Waggoner and Rominger. Following the vote Cutler proposed to trustees to approve the reassignment of WES Principal Greg Moffitt to Principal of Rominger effective July 1. In a letter sent home to WES families on Friday, Jan. 25 Cutler wrote, “I believe Greg’s leadership will be needed as we move classrooms and create a strong third-fifth grade program.” While Trustees Olivas, Ralph Anderson, Rudolph Muldong and Carrie Green all voted to approve the reassignment, President Warren was the single ‘no’ vote. Warren said that from his observation he didn’t believe Moffitt was the educational leader to help move the school forward because he hasn’t seen the success that was expected at the elementary schools. The reassignment was approved with a four ‘yes,’ one ‘no’ vote. Many who attended the meeting shared disappointment in the comment. WES parent and volunteer Marissa Morales told the Express, “As an involved parent that has countless hours volunteering in the class, has sat on Site Council the last two years and is the current Vice President of the PTA, I have witnessed nothing but wonderful leadership skills from Mr. Moffitt, as well as his ability to connect with every single student making them feel important and excited to come to school and learn.” “I’m excited he will be moving to Rominger to make the move feel as seamless as possible. The phenomenal staff and teachers that continue to be dedicated to both sites reassures families that the focus will remain on students success,” said Morales. “As a parent, I am really excited to be a part of the next chapter for both our schools.” Trustees were also asked to accept the findings of a compensation report conducted and presented by Educational Management Solutions at the Jan. 17 school board meeting. A summary of their findings recommended:

  • Adopt a job title hierarchy that reflects the relative levels of pay and job scope as well as industry practices. 
  • Change the titles of 31 classifications to provide a more uniform job title structure.
  • Reallocate nine job classifications to a higher range and one classification to a lower range.
  • Market findings and recommendations need to be considered following action upon the above recommendations.
Following Parliamentary Procedure Trustee Muldong moved to approve the EMS recommendations to begin discussion. Many WJUSD staff and past staff took a moment to share concerns regarding EMS report and on the Job Titles/Salary Schedules recommendation, which was listed as an information item on the agenda, and respectfully asked they postpone taking action. Kathy Colagrossi, WJUSD Fiscal Analyst, said she does not believe there are any other groups who have a problem with the study, but she believed it is important for the district to follow up with them regarding the findings for accuracy and support of it. “I believe there has been a lack of transparency with this study and getting feedback from various stakeholders that it impacts,” said Colagrossi. She questioned if the study and its recommendations were an accurate reflection of what is right for the school district. “I have to say I didn’t understand some of their findings and I am specifically challenging their recommendations for the Supervisory/Confidential salary schedule and the lowering of the range of the Accounts Payable Technician on the Classified Salary Schedule,” said Colagrossi. “ In the past when there have been proposed changes to the Supervisory/Confidential Salary Schedule the group was informed of the proposed changes. This was not the case with these changes.” She said her main concern was in whether the following job classifications of Accounts Payable Technician, Payroll Technician, Personnel Technician, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent and the Fiscal Analyst were looked at with equal due diligence and compared to to other districts with the same number of positions that WJUSD has. Denise Draper, WJUSD Payroll Technician, Claudette Adams, WJUSD Accounts Payable Technician echoed Colagrossi’s concerns. Draper said she had only just found out about the proposed recommendations and had issue in the fact that no one had reached out to her. “I was never approached by EMS or anyone else regarding my position; not one question was asked of me, no inquired about my daily, weekly, monthly or yearly job responsibilities, what these responsibilities entailnot one question,” said Draper. Draper continued that no inquiry had been made about how many hours were needed to complete the work she did each week. She said that in her 22 years of experience and knowledge with the district she knows what is involved with the growing complexity the Payroll Technician position. “The recommended salary schedule is not in accordance with the duties of this position,” Draper said. “ I believe the proposed salary schedule does not encourage quality employees to stay at the Winters JUSD.” Adams, who currently is in the one classified position the EMS report proposed to be reduced from range 31 to range 25 and re-titled, said that while she realizes the proposed change would not affect her she had several reasons to believe the report is inaccurate. Adams said there is a higher level of understanding of accounting systems, a responsibility for oversight and correction and a quasi supervisory obligation to compel their timely reporting in the position that indicates an elevation in range. “The Educational Management Solutions report fails to provide any reasoning for the only downgrading of a position in their report, failing to include it in their Market Analysis,” said Adams. “If a position is to be downgraded, shouldn’t it have been included in the Market Analysis? Shouldn’t there be some mention of it in the report giving reasons for the reduction?” She said currently the Payroll Technician position is under compensated by 7.4 percent according to the EMS report and that as part of a smaller school district its responsibilities include more than just one function. “I believe this position in this district is more accurately in line with the wide range of duties, knowledge and experience required to be described as Accounting Specialist rather than Accounting Technician,” said Adams. “The position has responsibilities not only Accounts Payable, but attendance, purchasing and assistance with audits.” Taryn Tyrell, former WJUSD Personnel Technician, also spoke at the podium in support of her colleagues. She said comparing their smaller school district to larger districts, like Woodland and Davis, that have multiple hierarchies does not give accurate information. “Data can easily be skewed and misrepresented, which is what I believe was done. You have heard from my fellow employees that they were never engaged, although on page one of the report it says that this has happened,” said Tyrell. “While I agree with the findings that there is a need for a reorganization, I do not agree with their findings. Comparing our smaller district to larger districts with multiple hierarchy is like comparing apples to a rhinoceros.” Cutler and Warren, who both engaged with the EMS representatives conducting the study, said they were given the impression that they had talked to all staff. Cutler said when he met with them he brought up this specific unit for EMS to take a look at to follow up on a request from fall 2016 when salary changes were brought forward, but the board made the decision not to move forward with them due to lack of information. “We hired the company to do the study. It was driven by the Classified Unit to update the job descriptions and not move forward until we did take a look at them,” said Cutler. “We asked that the positions are asked what they are and what they do, and their salary.” Trustee Olivas said he too had been under the understanding that EMS had talked to all employees, and now that he knew this wasn’t accurate, he had a problem. Warren said some of their findings weren’t a surprise, but what was surprising was their claim of due diligence. “That’s a problem if they looked at an old job descriptions but didn’t talk to anyone. That’s flawed,” said Olivas. Based on the employee presentations, Muldong withdrew his motion to approve the findings. Cutler said he would take action to get to the bottom of the issue and bring it back to the board at a later date.]]>

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4 comments
  1. Mr. Moffitt is one of the most inspiring, organized, tireless leaders I have ever worked him. He was my daughter’s teacher and her academics and social skills all grew in his classroom. He’s an outstanding education, outstanding leader, and one of the best principals Winters has ever had. I am confounded by the disparaging remarks in this paper.

  2. Mr. Moffitt is one of the most inspiring, organized, tireless leaders I have ever worked him. He was my daughter’s teacher and her academics and social skills all grew in his classroom. He’s an outstanding education, outstanding leader, and one of the best principals Winters has ever had. I am confounded by the disparaging remarks in this paper.

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