Wake school leaders approve raises for employees, including $15 minimum wage non-certified staff

Wake County News

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County school leaders Tuesday night approved raising pay for non-certified support staff to $15 an hour with increases of 30 percent or more going to the employees in the lowest pay grades.

Under the proposal adopted by the school board, bus drivers will see their starting hourly pay go from $15 to $16.20. The maximum pay increased from $23.27 to $24.20.

Instructional assistants will also see starting pay rise to $16.20. Previously, an IA had to work for the district for almost 30 years to reach that pay grade. Their pay will max out at $24.20 an hour.

Wake NCAE President Kristin Beller said the group is fighting for a $17 minimum wage for non-certified staff, but said Tuesday was a step in the right direction.

“It definitely looks like this is a great step in the right direction and moving our folks closer to that $17 an hour,” Beller said.

Employees on the lower end of the pay scale will receive the biggest pay increases — some more than 30 percent.

Wake NCAE also wants to see extra pay for extra work, like subbing. It’s something Beller said has become more common since the pandemic.

“Some staff are not able to be compensated for that and in some schools they are,” Beller said. “So we really wanna see that become more centralized, where everyone is compensated when they cover a class where they’re subbing for part of the day, that they get compensated for that extra work.”

Certified staff, like teachers, will get a 2.5-percent raise in the local salary supplement. Wake NCAE was hoping for a 6-percent increase. Science teacher Rebecca Subat said she wants the board to address compression.

“If you’ve been working for five or 10 years and then suddenly the new hire is making the same as you, you really get to wondering like hey what is my value, what is my worth,” Subat said.

The district said it will need $22 million of local funding to keep the minimum wage at $15 for next year. The new pay goes into effect in January.

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