EBR School Board could grant $500 employee bonuses
BATON ROUGE - School employees working full-time could get a one-time pay adjustment in November if the board approves. Teacher unions say the extra $500 is nice, but they want a permanent pay increase.
"That's not enough, we need to address the pay schedule," said Tia Mills with the EBR Association of Educators.
With the exception of a modest pay bump this summer, EBR Parish School teachers haven't had an across the board pay increase in 10 years.
"What we received [this summer] was not a salary raise, it was an increase from frozen salary steps over the course of three years," said Mills. "Basically it's what we were owed and we didn't get everything."
EBR Superintendent Warren Drake said he supports a pay increase but is unsure how to pay for it.
"We want to give teachers raises but we don't have a clear funding stream, we're actually running a deficit," said Drake.
The unions have partnered with community activist group Together Baton Rouge in lobbying the school board to deny tax exemptions to big industries in the parish like the Exxon oil refinery. They want the revenue diverted to help pay for raises.
Last year teachers in several states walked out on strike to secure higher pay. This year Governor John Bel Edwards said he'll support pay raises for teachers across the state.
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