The Rochester City School District announced Aug. 10 that it reached a collective bargaining agreement with members from the Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees (BENTE) that raises pay to $15 an hour.
The deal is a three-year successor agreement to the current collective bargaining contract, effective July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024. Negotiations began in March of 2021, and the three-year agreement includes:
- a minimum 3% wage increase each year, retroactive to July 1, 2021.
- paying a more competitive, living wage to help ensure recruitment and retention
- salary increases from $12.50 per hour to $15 per hour as of July 1, 2021.
“This successor agreement with BENTE is an important step in ensuring our support staff: clerical, custodial, food service, maintenance, sentries, and transportation staff are better cared for,” Superintendent Lesli Myers’-Small said in a news release announcing the agreement. “We are proud to offer a minimum $15 per hour. These team members have been here for our children and families through two of the most challenging academic years in our lives. It’s vital to the health and well-being of our community that our support staff is compensated to better support their families.”
BENTE President Dan DiClemente said in the same news release: “We are pleased to reach an agreement with the District that affords frontline workers a livable wage, bringing them all up to a minimum of $15 an hour. This agreement also recognizes the need to increase the wages of members who work in critical areas that have been difficult to staff due to a worker shortage. It illustrates a commitment from the Superintendent and the Board of Education to recognize the vital services our members provide to the children who attend city schools.”
In July, RCSD and the Rochester Teachers Association reached a modified extension agreement of their current collective bargaining agreement through the 2021-22 school year.
That extension runs through June 2022 and includes:
- a total 4.3% increase in teacher salaries and provides 3.3% for this year and an additional 1% added to last year’s 2.3% already granted through the existing contract.
- additional compensation increases for athletic coaches.