The Worthington school district's salary freeze will extend to administrators for the next two years.

The Worthington school district's salary freeze will extend to administrators for the next two years.

The Worthington Board of Education approved the new compensation and fringe-benefits package for administrators during its July 25 meeting.

The package calls for no salary increases in 2011-12 or in 2012-13. In the following school year, administrators will receive a 0.5-percent salary increase, plus a 0.5-percent increase if the district receives a rating of "Excellent with Distinction" on the state report card or meets other state achievement goals.

Also, administrators will abide by the same health-care cost cap that Worthington teachers had agreed to in their most recent contract. Taxpayer liability will be capped at $20,800 a year for family coverage.

"While I think it unlikely that the cap will be reached in the three years of this agreement, it does set a ceiling on health-care costs that will be useful in levy planning," board president Marc Schare said.

The administrative package is not the result of collective bargaining but instead is set by the school board every three years.

The salary freeze comes on the heels of administrators conceding their salary increases in 2009-10.

Along with the freezes accepted by the new superintendent, the Worthington Education Association (WEA) and the Worthington classified-workers association, school employees evidently recognize the financial times we are in, Schare said.

The agreement also holds administrators harmless if state legislation forbids the current practice of paying the employee portion of retirement.

Schare said he did not think it was fair to ask a group to take a de facto 11-percent pay cut.

"With this final agreement in place, our district has achieved a high level of cost certainty subject only to increases in employee health-care costs, and even those are capped," he said.