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

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Kenai Municipal Airport on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. A kiosk that will offer educational programming and interpretive products about the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is coming to the airport. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsua Clarion)
Wildlife refuge kiosk coming to airport

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge stickers, T-shirts, magnets, travel stamps and enamel pins will be available.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
5 more COVID deaths reported

The total nationwide fatalities surpass population of Alaska.

Velda Geller fills goodie bags at the Kenai Senior Center on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 for next weekend’s drive-through trick-or-treat event. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘This has been a lifesaver’

Seniors seek human connection as pandemic continues.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A very slippery slope that we need to be careful of’

Approval of library grant postponed after Kenai council requests to preview book purchases

This undated photo released by the Alaska State Department of Public Safety shows Robin Pelkey just before her 18th birthday. The remains of a woman known for 37 years only as Horseshoe Harriet, one of 17 victims of a notorious Alaska serial killer, have been identified through DNA profiling as Robin Pelkey, authorities said Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Alaska State Department of Public Safety via AP)
DNA match IDs serial killer’s victim after 37 years

Robin Pelkey was 19 and living on the streets of Anchorage when she was killed by Robert Hansen in the early 1980s, investigators said.

A moose is photographed in Kalifornsky, Alaska, in July 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Illegal moose harvest down from past 5 years

The large majority of moose this year were harvested from North and South Kasilof River areas.

Renee Behymer and Katelyn Behymer (right) of Anchorage win this week’s vaccine lottery college scholarship sweepstakes. (Photo provided)
Dillingham and Anchorage residents win 6th vaccine lottery

“Get it done,” one winner said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”

Most Read