Robinson’s Stratford Contract Confirms Start Date, Benefit Details

Newtown’s departing School Superintendent Janet Robinson will begin her new job in Stratford no later than July 1, according to her new contract, which was provided to The Bee following a Freedom of Information request. The contract also affirms that Stratford will be compensating Dr Robinson at a rate significantly higher than what Stratford’s interim superintendent apparently earned, but less than the same individual earned when she was the contracted superintendent.

While Stratford Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester produced a copy of the newly negotiated contract with Dr Robinson, he did not honor the newspaper’s request to verify the compensation and benefits of her predecessor. He stated in an e-mail that he would provide no further comment to The Bee regarding district matters related to the superintendent’s hiring.

According to reports, Stratford’s former contracted superintendent Irene Cornish became the district’s interim superintendent in 2010, along with taking a substantial pay cut — a move that was seen as providing significant taxpayer savings. When Dr Cornish transitioned to the interim status, her salary dropped from $196,413 to $90,000, plus a $50,000 annual annuity, according to The Connecticut Post.

The first year of Dr Robinson’s three-year contract calls for her compensation to be $185,000, and permits the Stratford school board to meet each year to consider extending her three-year contract windows. Salary increases would be up to the board upon annual review.

Other benefits Dr Robinson will receive under her Stratford contract include:

*An annual mandatory nonelective contribution of $20,400 to a 403(b) account for the benefit of the superintendent.

*Added payment of $2,255 to be contributed to a Teacher Retirement Board voluntary account.

*Payment of the total premium for a term life insurance policy on the life of the superintendent in the amount of one and one-half times her annual salary to the nearest $1,000 with the superintendent having the right to designate a beneficiary.

*Eighteen sick days annually cumulative to 200.

*Thirty vacation days annually, exclusive of legal holidays (which are per the Stratford Administrators Association, Inc contract, to be taken during the year in which they are earned).

*The cost for the superintendent to maintain professional association memberships in relevant local, regional, state and national organizations to include but not be limited to local, regional, state and national superintendents associations.

*A $550 per month transportation allowance.

*Four personal days annually to be used for legal, business, religious, medical, education or family matters.

*The board shall pay reasonable expenses as approved by the board for the superintendent to continue professional development and attend professional meetings at the local, state and national level.

*Five days of bereavement leave to be used for death in her immediate family.

The board agrees to provide the superintendent with long-term disability insurance, at a rate of 60 percent of her gross pay, up to a maximum of $7,000 per month if disabled, commencing after six  months of disability, for the remainder of the contract term.

*Providing the superintendent with a cellphone and laptop computer to be used as needed to conduct board business.

*Covering the cost for long-term health care insurance in the amount of $2,500 per year to the carrier of her choice.

Dr Robinson will also be required to have a comprehensive medical examination once each year. A statement from the examining physician certifying to the competency of the superintendent to perform her duties shall be filed with the clerk or the secretary of the board and treated as confidential information by the board.

The entire cost of that annual medical examination and report shall be borne by the district.

Dr Robinson’s Stratford contract will also be permit her to undertake consultative work, speaking engagements, writing, lecturing or other professional duties and obligations provided such activities do not interfere with the meeting of her responsibilities. The contract also states that Dr Robinson could commence her employment in Stratford prior to July 1, depending on whether the Newtown board agrees to release her earlier than June 30.

Dr Robinson’s current Newtown contract provides a salary of $174,180, plus $20,500 to be paid to the superintendent so that she may contribute to an elective tax-sheltered annuity of her choice made through a payroll deduction. She also receives $2,255 that she may contribute to the Teachers’ Retirement Board voluntary account.

The superintendent has not responded to several requests by The Bee for comment about her planned transition.

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