Bay District Schools’s support staff will be recieving raises effective July 1, bringing district employees up to a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
According to a release from the school district, the decision comes after a five-hour Monday evening meeting between the Bay District Schools and the Bay Educational Support Education, during which the upcoming year’s contract was settled.
In line with a March directive from Gov. Ron DeSantis, all Bay District Schools support employees who make less than $15 an hour will make at least $15 an hour.
The contract must still be ratified by the union and approved by the School Board, school district officials say, and these processes are underway.
“(This) means significant raises for all support employees and double-digit increases for many of the 78 percent of support employees who currently make less than $15 an hour,” the school district said in a press release.
“… We know that this means the world to some of our hardest-working employees who have been under the $15 an hour rate, and we’re so grateful to the union’s negotiating team and the district’s team for their late nights, hard work and dedication.”
The total cost for this salary package is just under $3.9 million, according to BDS Chief Financial Officer Jim Loyed, who outlined a few more relevant statistics:
- There are a total of 1216 employees in the support employee bargaining group.
- The average percent increase for the entire group is 18.85 percent.
- The raises range from 6.16 percent to 46.63 percent. The new salaries are slated to take effect July 1, 2022, after contract ratification and board approval. They are not retroactive but will be applied going forward.
While the new raises represent huge steps forward on the salary schedule for the lowest-paid employees, they also generate much-needed increases for all support employees.
The governor’s mandate to increase support salaries to a minimum of $15 an hour mirrors his requirement that districts increase all teacher salaries to a minimum of $47,500.
“While these initiatives are extremely beneficial to those on the lower-end of the pay scale, both the unions and the district recognize that some inequities have been inadvertently created,” BDS said. “BESPA and the district will be working together on a committee this year to look at the district’s pay scales and develop some suggested modifications for the School Board to consider.”
Contracts and salaries are currently being negotiated with the Association of Bay County Educators, which represents those employees on the instructional pay scale.
The school board and superintendent will determine raises for non-bargaining employees (administrators and confidential staff) separately.
Any employees interested in following all of the BDS/BESPA or BDS/ABCE negotiations can do so on the BDS website at https://www.bay.k12.fl.us/union.
All documents are uploaded as presented/negotiated.