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A Brennan blunder: Bad offer for top administrators

Manchester Board of School Committee member Art Beaudry had a good point last Monday when he criticized school Superintendent Tom Brennan for offering 2.5 percent cost-of-living raises to three of the district's top administrators.

The board voted to renew the contracts of Business Administrator Karen DeFrancis and Assistant Superintendents Karen Burkush and Michael Tursi. Before the renewal, Brennan proposed including the raises in their contracts. Brennan said it would be OK because the administrators would not accept the raises. Beaudry's counter-point was dead on.

Noting that the board must negotiate school union contracts next year, Beaudry said, "The union guys sitting up in the balcony listening now can say, 'You offered your administrators 2.5 percent, why not us?' It's just a poor way of negotiating."

It was foolish to offer raises to these well-paid administrators when everyone knows the district will have to seek reduced compensation for union members next year. The administration has made getting those necessary union concessions more difficult.

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