Board of education raises temporary employee wages

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, November 4, 2015 10:13pm
  • News

The Board of Education approved pay increases for three substitute and temporary employee positions effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Concerns were raised over the adequacy of the current wages not affected by the hike, while some board members supported the new schedule, which will raise up wages for bus drivers, pool employees and temporary help, during Monday’s meeting.

“I am really happy that we have increased this temporary pay schedule, and brought it up to par,” said board member Penny Vadla. “I wanted to thank the administration for that.”

A July 6 board action item for a pay schedule for the 2015-2016 school year included a substitute pay rate comparison among the Anchorage School District, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Juneau School District and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. The Kodiak Island Borough School District was also included in the comparison.

The graph showed the Kenai Peninsula School District as having the lowest rates for substitute nurses and paraprofessionals. For substitute secretaries and custodians there was only one school district that paid less than Kenai’s, and for substitute food service, certified teachers and non-certified teachers, there were only two lower-paying school districts.

Board member Lynn Hohl, however, said rates for the aide-instructional assistants and the tutors and bilingual instructors (who are in the same category) are still insufficient. In the new schedule, the two positions are paid $10.50 per hour.

“They are working with our most at-risk kids and it just is an inequity to me,” Hohl said.

Hohl made a motion to increase the rates, which failed.

“I have a problem every year that … especially the people that are on the front line with our kids are the lowest paid people on the salary scale,” Hohl said. “I would like to raise them to $11, and I know we don’t have any money.”

Board member Marty Anderson said he wouldn’t approve the motion because the budget is already “razor thin.” He said he wanted to see what the cumulative cost would be prior to approving a $0.50 increase.

Board member Sunni Hilts said she would not support the motion.

“It’s not because I don’t support ‘frontline people’,” Hilts said. “We’ve got hundreds of them and I wish we could give everybody a raise.”

The pay increase for the three of 14 substitute and temporary positions on the schedule is in response to state-mandated minimum wage hikes, said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dave Jones.

Jones said the activity bus driver position rate is slated to increase to from $17.50 to $19.50, for example, because on Jan. 1, 2016, minimum wage will go up from $8.75 to $9.75. According to state statute, bus drivers are required to be paid double the minimum wage.

Director of Human Resources Joann Riener said the action item was before the board now so that the school district stays ahead of state required wage hikes.

The last time the school district raised wages was for 10 substitute positions on Aug. 4, 2014, and a raise for activity bus drivers on Jan. 12, 2015, according to Jan. 12 and Aug. 4 board action items.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at

More in News

A seal pup rescued from the Kenai Beach is in the care of the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program in Seward, Alaska, on June 6, 2024. (Photo provided by Alaska SeaLife Center)
2nd seal pup rescued in Kenai, ASLC now caring for 4

A second newborn seal was rescued on Kenai Beach and admitted by… Continue reading

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, right, slices and serves fresh watermelon during North Peninsula Recreation Service Area’s Family Fun in the Midnight Sun at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center in Nikiski, Alaska, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
North Peninsula Rec holds annual summer celebration

Attractions at this year’s event included carnival games, food trucks, field games, face painting, live music and demonstrations

The Blood Bank of Alaska’s new Kenai Peninsula center is seen in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, June 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Blood Bank relaunches permanent center on Kenai Peninsula

The new location joins others in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Wasilla

Nathan Nelson directs a kite flying dozens of feet up in the sky above Millennium Square in Kenai, Alaska, during the Kenai Kite Festival on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sun, wind, friends and kites

Kiters both experienced and novice gather for Kenai festival

Marchers walk from the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to Soldotna Creek Park as part of Soldotna Pride in the Park on Saturday, June 3, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Pride in the Park, other Pride celebrations set for Saturday

The event starts with the Two-Spirit March, which meets at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex at 11:30 a.m.

Signs direct visitors at Seward City Hall on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward OKs around $362,000 in purchases for Electric Department material

A pair of resolutions were included and passed within the consent agenda

Sockeye salmon are gathered together at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnets for commercial setnet fishers given emergency approval by CFEC

Up to three 12-hour periods of commercial dipnetting “may” be allowed each week from June 20 to July 31

Council member Dave Carey speaks during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna explores its water and sewer expansion fees

The fees are a single charge to people who are newly or differently demanding or utilizing the services of the city’s water and sewer system

Sockeye salmon caught in a set gillnet are dragged up onto the beach at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Disaster determination received for 2023 east side setnet fishery

Disasters have been recognized for 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023

Most Read