New Hanover County School Board approves modest pay increase for teacher assistants

New Hanover County School Board addressed pay for teacher assistants and support staff.
New Hanover County School Board addressed pay for teacher assistants and support staff.(WECT)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 10:16 PM EST
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County School Board approved the proposed local salary schedule budget unanimously for the 2021-22 year at a meeting Tuesday evening.

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

It was noted that these increases were just a starting point for negotiations in the next school budget year.

The approved salaries for the 2021-22 year included $15/hour minimum for bus drivers, $14/hour for teacher assistants, and $13/hour minimum for non-certified personnel, rising to $15/hour in 2022-23.

Other increases ranging from 1.3% to 2.5% will be applied to state salaries for central office administrators, teachers and instructional support salaries, assistant principals and principals.

State budget salary increases will be effective January 1, 2022 and a bonus, equal to the salary increase for one half of the year, will be added retroactively for the last six months.

A premium pay bonus of $1,000 will be given to all full-time employees, with additional $500 bonus for employees making less than $75,000 per year.

Teachers and licensed employees will also get a $1,000 COVID bonus in January so long as they received training associated with COVID-19. And a $300 per teacher bonus will be given to all teachers. Performance-related bonuses will be restored in 2022-23.

Local ESSER funds will be applied to give one-time $1,000 bonuses for school support staff, including non-certified staff, to be paid on December 15.

The board heard the presentation by Mary Hazel Small about local salary schedules and expressed appreciation for all that teachers and non-licensed teacher assistants do in schools.

“The funding available is currently budgeted,” said Small “We can add positions but we can’t use ESSER funding for raises.” The school board will have to go the NHC Board of Commissioners for money for pay raises for future years.

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 the next budget is planned.

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