Iowa City school board gives superintendent pay raise

Gregg Hennigan
Published: December 11 2013 | 8:15 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 12:42 am in
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The Iowa City school board Tuesday night gave Superintendent Stephen Murley a 4.2 percent salary increase.

Murley will be paid $200,000 a year, up from $192,000, in an agreement that is retroactive to July 1. The board, with its 5-1 vote,* also increased the annual contribution to Murley’s supplemental retirement plan by $1,000, setting it at $26,000.

“I think this contract signifies that we are quite happy with his performance,” board member Jeff McGinness said.

Patti Fields cast the dissenting vote. Board member Tuyet Dorau was out of the country and participated in parts of the meeting electronically, but she told The Gazette her attempts to vote "no" on the contract were not heard.

Unchanged were Murley’s annual vehicle allowance, $7,150, and the $6,000 salary bump he would get for receiving his doctoral degree, something Murley has said he is working toward but has been too busy to complete. The school board no longer will reimburse Murley for some of his tuition.

It is the second year in a row Murley’s contract was approved in December despite school board policies and contract language saying it should be done in the summer.

This year, Murley and board officers have said the deadlines voluntarily were pushed by both sides to focus on a 10-year facilities plan.

Some school board members the past couple of years have questioned Murley’s counting of his paid time off. He receives the same number of vacation days (30), sick days (15) and discretionary days (10) as in the previous contract.

The school board evaluated Murley and discussed his contract in closed sessions, as is allowed under Iowa law. Tuesday's vote occurred at 11:35 p.m.

The district's teachers received a 4.5 percent total package increase last summer, which includes salary and benefits.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly had the vote at 6-0.

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