Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Just In: People Get Paid to Work for Lynn

I'm not sure if the Item has a point or is trying to make a point with the two-day profile on Lynn's municipal salaries. Today they have singled out the school department in what seems like a profile of normal salaries for jobs requiring that level of education. As a matter of fact, every salary they've mentioned has been well below what I would consider a decent wage for a senior level position of any kind. So.. I say three cheers to our municipal workers. It's not the salaries that are the problem (where we have problems).

I would think the Item would want to do some more comparisons to the state average or similar communities to Lynn in size and income levels. They do not do this, leaving us to wonder... is this a lot of money... or not enough? Our superintendent of schools, for example is at the 75th percentile if compared to Superintendents nationally. This came from  If education is one of our issues in Lynn, shouldn't we be doing our best to compensate the right talent. It's not the salary that's the issue. We are the ninth largest city in a state with a high cost of living.

I have to share with you my favorite quote from today's paper. It's one of the finest examples of investigative journalism I have ever seen.:

"The amount spent on salaries in 2009 was $90,730,031, compared to $85,051,514 in 2008, which City Treasurer Richard Fortucci said represents a 6.7 percent increase." *

Wait.... let me read that last part for you again:

"which City Treasurer Richard Fortucci said represents a 6.7 percent increase."*

Well thank god we got to the bottom of that. This is not a dig at Fortucci, by the way. The poor thing was probably asked that question. How would that interview have gone? Maybe something like this:

Reporter: Hey, Mr. Treasurer, do you know that the school department salaries went from 85M to 90.7M in one year?

Mr. Treasurer: Um...Yes.

Reporter: Do you know what percentage that is year over year?

Mr. Treasurer: Well, umm.... don't you have a calculator or something back at your office?

Reporter: I do, but percentages always kind of confuse me. 

Mr. Treasurer: Oh, well I could probably do this in my head, but maybe you could just use your computer when you get back to your office?

Reporter: Hmmm.... yeah...about that... They just gave me this pencil and notepad.... Gonna need you to give me that percentage. It's my right due to the freedom of information act. 

Mr. Treasurer:  Whatever! Let me think...... 6.7 %

Reporter: Thank you. That's all for now.

This is not news. Yet, some of our public will be fooled with the clipart of big money held by an iron fist and headshots of the senior leaders of Lynn which bring on the feel of mugshots.  The only news here is that the people who work for Lynn and still getting paid to work for Lynn. Way to go, City Payroll Department. 

I personally would like to thank all of you for your service to Lynn and honestly, I don't care how much you make. All I care about, is that you're doing your job. 

Thanks Phil. Keep up the good work. 


Kaminski, Robin (2010, March 16). Lynn schools shell out $90M in salaries The Daily Item. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from


  1. It's easy LCD programming. LCD in this case, standing for Lowest Common Denominator.

    Neatly package publicly available information completely out of context, and wait for the under-informed outrage.

    Most young educators are buried in debt and working nights to support their teaching habits. On top of that, they have to fit in professional development classes and obtain Master's degrees without the assistance of anything like a Quinn Bill.

    And then to add insult to injury, they are being scapegoated for education's ills, which are more societal and systemic than exclusively the faults of teachers (except for a rare few teachers who actually are bad.)

  2. the item reports the salaries every year.

  3. they could cut the salaries in this recession (or depression?)

    and help create new jobs
    and help the schools enrich their programs at the same time.

    non-profits need to join ventures.
    take unemployment or low income and give them jobs in their fields teaching children instead of a pay out.

  4. I'm aware of that, Anon, but Lynn does not exist in a vacuum. There should be comparisons with a cross-section of cities and towns so the readership can understand the data. And along with it, there should be a breakdown of state (chapter 70) aid vs. local budget dollars.

  5. medias. my comments were not towards your post. from the timing, we were writing at the same time.
    i thought i was first :)

    I agree with you. lol

  6. Teachers already receive bottom of the barrel pay compared with the level of education they're supposed to obtain. Anon, maybe we should teach while on the dole? Should we put teachers in public housing and give them food stamps so we don't have to pay them competitive wages in their areas of expertise?

    And co-operation with non-profits is usually a good idea, but their money has to come from somewhere, also. I like after-school enrichment programs. Who will pay for them, in this recession, as you say?

    There are grants out there, but it is not possible to pay full-time teaching staff from grants. Grants are great for after-school programs, supplies, trainings, and other ancillary things. Grants also run out.

    A sustainable fix has to be found.

  7. I love how they single out teachers failing. What about parents? They have to take responsibility. Does not matter if you are poor or of another race. No excuses, take ownership and help your children succeed. Take out the children causing problems for others. Take ownership. Morals and values are taught at home.

    Sadly what robs communities is pensions and retirements.

    It's sad Lynn has some great neighborhoods but people go to great lengths to make sure their children are schooled elsewhere.

    I had a child entering schools and it would of possibly been Lynn and my partner and I were horrified and stunned at the other parents, class room size and school conditions. Had we not moved we would of home schooled.. it was that bad! Young familes move all the time for schools.

  8. hey Media.
    yeah.. i don't mean cut all teachers pay.. just the top dogs they posted in the item today that make over six figures.
    i know how much young teachers make.

    i want to correct myself and say..they should cut down the six figure job pays to make room for more jobs.

  9. 6 figures under 200k is really a middle of the road income for a person with a very high education. i know many struggling within this price range. people who education themselves deserve more $.

  10. plz. i know many with great educations that can only get 50,000.

    6 figures is not middle ground. who are you kidding?

  11. the average household income is 42,000

    are you really gonna say 150,000 is middle ground. ha ha ha

  12. The Item does this every year. It's a sure fire way to manufacture outrage among what is probably their key demographic. I often wonder whether the Item reporters are proud of the job they do. They do a lot of reporting by template, recycling last year's stories with different names and numbers. I read the same lead sentence year after year on their annual "it's time to license your dog" story. Us Lynners have such creative names for our dogs!

  13. 34 of 2000 employees in the school department made more then 100K. I would hope so!

    So, the positions they called out were Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, high school principal and grade school principal.

    According to, here is the national average for supers and principals:

    Superintendent - 136K (186K fully loaded)

    School Principal - 93K (126K with benefits)

    I would think since we are in MA, we'd be higher then these numbers on average.

    I certainly wouldn't want a pay cut in a recession, would you, anon?

  14. Lights just went out at the Item building. That's my cue to check the online version of the paper. They have an editorial in the Thursday paper which does a better job of showing year over year comparisons.

    They pitch it as the paper's duty to show us how our tax dollars are being spent. I would be fine with a list. It's in how they single people and groups out along with the presentation of the stories that is irresponsible and provides no service to the taxpayers whatsoever.


Search This Blog

Web Analytics