District 87 is giving its paraprofessionals pay raises to get them closer to the $15 per hour they will get under the state's minimum wage law in 2025.
The district's 80 paraprofessionals currently start at $11.76 per hour.
“That’s a problem if we are trying to get to that $15 per hour in a process that made a lot of sense,” said Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Herschel Hannah.
Under a new five-year labor agreement which the District 87 school board approved on Wednesday, paraprofessionals will be bumped to $13 an hour and will see increases the next four years between 2.5% and 3%.
First-year paraprofessionals would get $13.33 during the 2020-21 school year. The rate increases to $13.66 in 2021-22, to $14.07 in 2023-24, then to $14.49 the following academic year.
Hannah said the contract makes the district's pay more competitive.
“Those folks that are in that one-to-four-year time frame, they are more interested in money in their pocket,” Hannah said. “That became another issue for us.”
He added the district was having trouble keeping paraprofessionals who were finding better paying jobs elsewhere.
The paraprofessionals are represented by Bloomington Educational Support Personnel.
The new contract will cost the district an additional $527,000 over five years. It takes effect July 1.
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