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More school system employees expected to get raise

More school system employees expected to get raise

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Child nutrition workers and teacher assistants would get a raise under a plan approved by the finance committee of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education Tuesday.

The plan is expected to be approved by the full board of education at its next meeting on Jan. 26.

Under the plan, the minimum hourly pay for child nutrition workers would go from $10.28 to $11.66. Employees who make near or over this salary would get a 50-cent boost in their hourly wage. 

The pay would be reviewed and adjusted in year two and three of the three-year plan.

The annual cost would be about $490,000, which would come from the child nutrition budget.

Teacher assistants would also see a bump in pay in the plan, with minimum monthly pay going from $2,007 to $2,102. The minimum monthly pay for teacher assistants in the exceptional children's program would go from $2,136 to $2,231. Teacher assistants would be ensured of a $95 a month raise. 

The cost for this jump in pay would be about $1 million a year and come from Forsyth County. 

The school board is restructuring salaries for many of its employees, the result of a compensation study that a consulting firm presented to the board last year. 

In December, the school board approved a pay raise for bus drivers, bumping their minimum pay from $13.64 to $15 an hour. All bus drivers got at least a 50-cent raise.

Custodians, occupational therapists and physical therapists are in line for the next set of raises, according to Jevelyn Bonner-Reed, the chief human resources officer for the district.

Elisabeth Motsinger and Lida Calvert-Hayes both said the board needs to push the local delegation to the General Assembly to include school system employees among state employees earning a minimum of $15 an hour. 

"I hope our board, as well as the N.C. School Board Association, continues to stress to the General Assembly that they made it $15 an hour for all state employees but they excluded school system employees, and I think it's important that we as a body stress to them that we really believe all of our employees should get $15 an hour as a minimum salary," Motsinger said.

In other news, the school system's attorney Dionne Jenkins clarified a board policy that all people on school grounds must wear a mask, including parents who are in their cars while dropping off their children.

Staff members approach those cars, ask parents questions and take the temperature of children.

Earlier this week, board members Dana Caudill Jones and Lida Calvert-Hayes helped out at a school and saw only a few parents wearing masks in the car-rider line. 

"I was alarmed by that," said Jones, who was taking the temperature of children. 

Interim Superintendent Tricia McManus said the district may consider putting up signs reminding parents to put on their masks.

Jenkins also presented a timeline to fill the board's vacant seat. Interested applicants have until Friday, 5 p.m. to turn in paperwork. Candidates will be sorted and ranked, with the board announcing the new board member on Jan. 26. The new member will be sworn in on Feb. 9.

Barbara Burke left the school board in early December to take a seat on the Winston-Salem City Council. A Democrat, Burke represented District 1, which covers the district's urban core. 

336-727-7420

@lisaodonnellWSJ

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