$15 & 5%: Raises for ALL Public School Employees This Year
The County Manager's current budget proposal is unacceptable and needs to be reworked; raises for GCS staff, both classified and certified, are in jeopardy. The current raise and bonus proposals are:
- Raising the local teacher pay supplement by $10 million each year for the next five years to make us number one in the state for teacher pay.
- Recurring funds for bus driver and school nutrition raises to $15 per hour.
- Other GCS employees like custodians, front office staff, and teacher assistants not covered by the Superintendent's local funding request would be brought to $15 for the next two years with federal ESSER grant funds. If the above proposals are not met through local funds there is not enough left to cover these bonuses with federal dollars.
Here are simple steps to take and share with co-workers:
1. Send a letter to the County Commissioners TODAY: bit.ly/GCSRaises2021 Let the County Commissioners know that the County Manager's budget proposal MUST include raises.
2. Sign and share this petition: bit.ly/EducationNotIncarceration We’re calling on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to reallocate funding for half of the vacant jail positions to raises for teacher assistants, custodians, cafeteria workers, teachers and bus drivers. We have collected over 700 signatures already!Our students deserve educators who only need one job to survive.
3. Register for June 3 Rally: bit.ly/GCAEJune3 Join us outside the Board of County Commissioners at 300 West Washington St on Thursday, June 3 from 4:00 to 6 pm as we Rally for Raises! We want no less than a $15/ hour minimum wage and a 5% salary increase across the board for ALL public school employees.
4. May 26 #RedForEd: This Wednesday, post the biggest outdoors #RedForEd pic your school has ever taken! Post with the hashtags #RedForEd, #FullyFundGCS, and #GCSPayRaise. Bonus points for pictures with signs that demand a $15 minimum and a 5% raise for all!
Petition for Raises: Schools Not Jails
GCAE and Guilford for All launched a petition today for the County Commissioners to reallocate money from vacant positions in the Sheriff's Department to pay GCS classified staff that make below $15 per hour. Please sign now and share to friends, family, and co-workers!
May 26 #RedForEd Wednesday
Next Wednesday, post the biggest outdoors #RedForEd pic your school has ever taken! Post with the hashtags #RedForEd, #FullyFundGCS, and #GCSPayRaise. Bonus points for pictures with signs that demand a $15 minimum and a 5% raise for all! Check out this awesome example from Union Hill Elementary!
Tell the County Commissioners:
We Need Raises THIS YEAR!
Join us outside the Board of County Commissioners at 300 West Washington St on Thursday, June 3 from 4:00 to 6 pm as we Rally for Raises! We want no less than a $15/ hour minimum wage and a 5% salary increase across the board for ALL public school employees. Will you join us? It's the last day of school so after the rally we will adjourn to the patio at Fat Tuesday's downtown.
The Guilford County Schools budget proposal is an excellent first step towards increasing pay for all public school employees. To make these raises a reality, GCS employees will need to be involved in budget discussions every step of the way. Go to the section labeled "Actions" (at the top or the right-hand side of your screen). Bookmark this page and check back weekly for new actions.
GCAE believes that every public school employee deserves a raise. No one should make less than $15 an hour and all employees, classified and certified, should get no less than a 5% raise THIS YEAR. The first step in this process is to increase local funding. The Guilford County Commissioners will need to do significantly more than they have in past years if these pay increases are to become a reality.
Over the past decade we have lost over $121 million to property tax decreases voted on by the Commissioners. This is money that should have been used to improve education for students and retain essential staff like bus drivers and teachers. Now, after a decade of cuts, we have Teacher Assistants at schools doing the jobs of nurses, administering medication and even helping with the catheters of special needs students.
Superintendent Contreras' budget proposal represents a great start in what we see as the road to recovery: Investing in people.
The Guilford County Association of Educators fully supports these raise proposals and urges that the County fund these requests as well as make plans for every public school employee to be paid the $15 minimum within the next year. Any employee not included in the $15 minimum proposal this year should receive no less than a 5% raise.
For the past decade the Guilford County Commissioners have chosen to underfund our schools at at the expense of students and staff. Other counties have found ways to do what our Commissioners haven’t:
Wake County pays teachers $3,946 more on average per year more than Guilford County. That’s almost double for a county remarkably like Guilford
Durham County pays ALL school support staff like cafeteria workers and teacher assistants a $15 an hour minimum wage
By taking action together, we can help Guilford County dig out of the self inflicted funding crisis that has trapped us for years causing staffing issues from bus drivers to filling vacant teaching positions.