Wake school board considering higher pay for 'all employees'

7December 2021

— The Wake County Board of Education will consider a proposal Tuesday night to raise pay for all employees.

Wake schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten told WRAL News on Monday that the compensation would be on top of what the school board and the state General Assembly approved last month.

Details aren’t yet available on most of what the compensation would be.

The proposal could increase minimum employee pay to $15 per hour, according to memos sent to employees. About 3,600 school district employees are currently paid less than $15 per hour.

One of the memos, sent to instructional assistants and reviewed by WRAL News, says the district will propose a higher minimum wage for instructional assistants.

District officials have also previously communicated to employees that they wanted to request higher minimum pay for bus drivers, who currently earn $15 per hour starting out, but would need to work with state and local officials on obtaining the money to do so.

That was before a new state budget raised minimum pay to $13 per hour this year and $15 per hour next year. Wake County had already allocated its own money to pay for minimum wage increases to $13 per hour. Now that money will come from the state instead of county taxes.

Wake schools employees and school board members have said they were frustrated with only raising minimum pay, because of the “compression” of wage increases that creates across experience levels. In some cases, a new hire would earn just as much now as a person with several years of experience. Employees across experience levels have been pressing the school board and the state for months and even years for raises after years of stagnant wages and frozen step increases.

Cafeteria workers and bus drivers have each staged “sick outs” this fall to protest working conditions strained by staffing shortages – in part because of low pay – and, in the case of cafeteria workers, supply shortages.

The state by law funds education, and counties fund education facilities. Counties often use their own tax dollars to fund more positions and to pay more than what the state provides.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. People supporting higher wages plan to rally before the meeting.

This post was originally published on this site

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