The Brown County School Board of Trustees voted Nov. 3 to approve raises for non-certified school employees including custodians, paraprofessionals, school cooks and administrative office staff.
The board also voted to reset the entire salary schedule for non-certified staff.
The previous schedule had four “lanes” of experience — entry, primary, intermediate and experienced — and the new schedule will have only three lanes of experience — Level 1 with zero to one years of experience, Level 2 with two to three years experience and Level 3 with more than four years of experience.
“Essentially, you’re honoring folks for their investment in you faster because what we really want is folks to choose to be with us,” Superintendent Laura Hammack said.
Under the new pay schedule, a Level 3 school secretary will earn $13.50 an hour. An experienced secretary with more than six years of experience earned $12.98 an hour under the previous schedule.
A Level 3 elementary, junior high or high school cook will now earn $12 an hour. Previously, an experienced cook would earn $11.28 at the high school and $11.07 at the other schools. A Level 1 cook now earns $10, an increase of $1.35.
A Level 3 first- or second-shift custodian will now earn $13.50 an hour. Previously, “experienced” first- or second-shift custodians earned $12.92 an hour. A Level 1 custodian now earns $11, an increase of $1.22 an hour.
“Just like you all supported with our certified teachers, we want our folks to know that we value them for they work they bring to us every day,” Hammack said.
The largest non-certified administrative raise went to Renee Seacat, the administrative assistant to the superintendent, by $5,500 to $44,000 per year.
Other raises for non-certified administrative staff were kept below $5,250, with the majority of increases ranging between $2,000 and $3,000.
Certified substitute teachers received a $2 raise and now earn $72 per day. Non-certified teachers received the same increase and will earn $63 a day.
Money for the raises will come from the referendum voters approved this spring to increase property taxes.
“We stand by our word that we’ve given to that community regarding how those dollars will be allocated,” Hammack said.
Hammack told the board that the corporation looked at surrounding competing school districts, like Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., when creating the schedule.
“This is who we are fighting for as far as our non-certified folk are concerned. We are still below some of those benchmarks; however, we’re getting there,” she said.
Raises will be retroactive to July 1, but non-certified staff will not receive their stipend check until January. Since many staff members do not work over holiday break, their checks may be lower during that time, so stipends will help them, Hammack said.