New Hanover County School Board Approves Modest Wage Increase for Teacher Assistants

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The New Hanover County School Board unanimously approved the proposed budget for the local salary scale for the year 2021-22 in a meeting on Tuesday night.

The motion to approve the local salary grid as presented was approved unanimously.

It was noted that these increases were only a starting point for negotiations for the school’s next budget year.

Salaries approved for the year 2021-2022 included a minimum of $ 15 / hour for bus drivers, $ 14 / hour for teacher assistants and a minimum of $ 13 / hour for uncertified staff, rising to 15 $ / hour in 2022-2023.

Further increases ranging from 1.3% to 2.5% will be applied to state salaries for central office administrators, teachers and pedagogical support salaries, deputy directors and directors.

The state budget salary increases will be effective on January 1, 2022 and a bonus, equal to the one-semester salary increase, will be added retroactively for the last six months.

A bonus of $ 1,000 will be awarded to all full-time employees, with an additional bonus of $ 500 for employees earning less than $ 75,000 per year.

Teachers and certified employees will also receive a COVID bonus of $ 1,000 in January as long as they receive training associated with COVID-19. And a bonus of $ 300 per teacher will be given to all teachers. Performance bonuses will be reinstated in 2022-2023.

Local ESSER funds will be applied to give one-time bonuses of $ 1,000 to academic support staff, including non-certified staff, payable on December 15th.

The board heard Mary Hazel Small’s presentation on local salary scales and expressed appreciation for all that unauthorized teachers and teacher assistants do in schools.

“The funding available is currently on budget,” Small said. “We can add positions, but we cannot use ESSER funding for increases. The school board will have to go to the NHC Council of Commissioners for money for salary increases for years to come.

Small added that 86% of the budget is spent on salaries and benefits. Also, the results of a salary study will be available in February 2022 before planning the next budget.

Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.

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