JCPS school board approves raises for all district employees - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS school board approves raises for all district employees

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a salary schedule that includes raises and a move to bump the district's lowest paid employees to at least $14 an hour.

The move means all employees will receive a .75 percent increase in pay, plus experience-based step increases, for the 2016-17 year under the district's "me too" policy. The salary increases are retroactive to July 1, 2016, with employees getting a separate paycheck within the next few months. The new pay rate will be reflected in the next pay period.

In addition, any employee who after the increase continues to make less than $14 an hour will have their hourly rate boosted to that threshold. About 800 employees -- mostly clerks, instructional assistants, custodians and nutrition assistants -- will see their hourly rates bumped, a move that will cost $1.3 million.

By approving the salary schedules, the board also approved the tentative agreements the district reached with its five employee unions over pay.

"We all value our employees, ensuring that JCPS offers competitive salaries that can be sustained over time," Superintendent Donna Hargens told the board. 

The district recently reached a tentative two-year agreement with the Jefferson County Teachers Association on wages, which was then approved by union membership on Sept. 14.

The agreement between the two sides came after months of negotiations and tension between the two groups and would also give teachers a 1.5 percent raise in 2017-18.

Aside from teachers, bus drivers and others employees represented by Teamsters would also receive a 1.5 percent raise next year.

However, the contracts for the district's three other unions for the 2017-18 year will be up for negotiation in June 2017.

In addition, the board also approved the increase the rate for support staff substitutes from $9 per hour to $10.10 per hour, and the rate for substitute custodians from $9 per hour to just over $12.75 per hour, effective Sept. 24.

Rates for other substitutes and temporary employees would remain unchanged.

The district's athletic coaches will also see a slight increase in pay, according to the 2016-17 salary schedule.

The cost of step raises have been a point of contention between JCTA and the district.

JCPS officials initially told the school board the step raises would cost an additional $7.9 million, but JCTA President Brent McKim has said the step increases don't actually represent an additional cost to the district because they are offset by turnover savings from the retirements of higher-paid teachers being replaced with teachers with less experience who are lower on the pay scale.

On Tuesday, an independent auditor issued a report to the board showing that the 2015-2016 step raises are expected to cost about $7.9 million, but that much of that was offset by turnover savings caused by retirements so the net cost of step raises for teachers was about $1.4 million.

The auditor said the extra cost of raises and step increases for all employees this school year is about $14 million.

McKim said Tuesday night he had not seen the report from the auditor, which was also not provided to the board or the public until after it was presented at the meeting.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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