Pay rate to return to pre-pandemic level in Peoria Unified


A decision to formalize a temporary pay increase for Peoria Unified employees who replace teachers during class has failed.

A temporary initiative was approved by the school board in January due to needs during the pandemic. Staff brought him back to the board on July 9 because the initiative ended at the end of the school year and officials said the need for compensation still exists.
The practice of substitution is common in schools when it is not possible, feasible or practical to provide a substitute teacher.

The article failed with a split vote – board members David Sandoval and Cory Underhill supported the measure and Rep. Beverly Pingerelli and Rebecca Hill opposed it.

Council member Bill Sorensen was absent.

If a vote ends in a tie, the vote is rejected.

An approval would have maintained the rate of pay of $ 25 per hour and $ 37.50 / 90 minutes for certified personnel. It will cost around $ 20 an hour for non-certified staff.

Chief of staff Carter Davidson said the need was great and from January to the end of the school year, more than 660 staff provided more than 3,100 hours of in-class coverage.
They are staff members who volunteered their time during the school day instead of attending to their own preparation period or who brought extra students into their class when another teacher’s class was not there. covered, he said.

“We have a compensation strategy for situations on campus when we don’t have guest teachers and when we aren’t able to find those people to support us,” Davidson said. “It’s more of a ‘just in time’ scenario where maybe a teacher has to leave for some reason and a class isn’t full. So we have a strategy where individuals can serve and support fulfilling that role. “

This was not brought forward as part of the budget process, but officials said the district had the capacity to cover the recommendation from a budget perspective.

Pingerelli said she was torn over that vote.

“In many positions, people are asked to intervene and not be compensated. I’ll stop there, ”she said.

Hill said the initiative was a temporary workload-based increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is not interested in implementing it further.

“For me, it was the hardship allowance that was specific to COVID-19 and now that we are returning to a normal atmosphere in the classrooms, I do not think it is necessary from this point on,” he said. she declared.

Underhill said this is another essential part of the PUSD workforce and a good incentive for teachers who are going to waste time preparing their own students.

“With all the extra stuff that comes with it and when you’re asked to cover someone, it’s a challenge because you lose any preparation you might have had. I also know that the prices for this type of coverage, as well as many other prices, have not gone up for a very, very long time, ”she said. “It is necessary to ensure that all of our students are taken care of every day. “

President Sandoval said it was about valuing the members of the PUSD team and knowing how they go beyond their duties.

“For me, it is what our teachers and staff do on a daily basis and what they do for our society – and especially our young people and our young academics – that is simply invaluable,” he said. . “It’s just another way to value and respect this on a daily basis.”

Philip Haldiman can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.


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