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Thousands of St. Lucie Public Schools employees will receive raises

'We're all competing for the same work force,' chief academic officer says
Posted at 6:03 AM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 21:20:37-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Thousands of St. Lucie Public School employees will be receiving raises retroactive to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

School board members are set to approve a 3% raise for all non-instructional staff members Tuesday night.

School district officials said roughly 2100 employees will benefit.

"For our employees that are already here, we want them to know they are valued, we want them to stay with us," said Dr. Helen Wild, chief academic officer. "This is for us to be competitive so that they don't feel the need to go elsewhere, and then also as we're recruiting new employees, we have openings in all of those targeted areas that I mentioned. In that arena, we want to be very competitive."

Wild said the raises are part of the district's plan to retain and recruit skilled workers.

"We're all competing for the same work force, so we felt that it was critically important to put this additional attention on our non-instructional staff right now with this package," said Wild.

Non-instructional positions considered to be critically staffed will also get an additional dollar per hour raise.

For employees receiving both, Wild said its considered to be between a 5-8% raise.

She said as students return to the classroom, the district is looking to hire additional staff compared to pre-pandemic to help close the learning gap.

Earlier this year, school board members and the Education Association of St. Lucie County negotiated $1,000 COVID-19 disaster relief bonuses for all employees.

Wild said negotiations for teacher raises are still ongoing and could be finished by the end of the calendar year.

The raises approved Tuesday for non-instructional staff now must be ratified by the Education Association of St. Lucie County. on November 17th.