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Shelby County Schools to raise living wage pay for all part-time employees in primary roles

During a special meeting Tuesday, the board of education unanimously approved the district's more than $2 billion budget.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools will raise living wage pay for all part-time employees in primary roles in the largest budget ever made.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the board of education unanimously approved the district's more than $2 billion budget. It will be presented to the Shelby County Commission Wednesday.

The proposed increase included in the budget would benefit around 590 employees who work more than four hours in permanent positions. All other primary roles currently make $15 an hour.

The plan also includes a 2% teacher pay raise and funding for building renovations.

Read the full news release below:

During a special called meeting on May 18, 2021, Shelby County Schools presented its fiscal year 2021-2022 budget to the Shelby County Board of Education that included a living wage adjustment for all part-time employees in primary roles (employees working more than four hours in permanent positions). The proposed increase would benefit approximately 590 employees, as all other primary roles are currently making at least $15 per hour. The proposal, unanimously approved by the Board, also included a teacher compensation implementation of steps and lanes and 2% increase.

In 2018, Shelby County Schools was the first in Shelby County to increase the hourly wage for full-time office and clerical assistants, warehouse staff, school nutrition workers, education assistants and various other school support roles to $15 an hour.

In 2019, Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray shared his intention to continue taking bold steps toward salary equity across the District.

“This is something we’ve always aimed to accomplish,” said SCS Board Chair Miska Clay Bibbs. “I’m proud we can move forward with our plan to reimagine education, schools and communities, ensuring a living wage for employees.”

“As superintendent, it is promising to provide our employees higher salaries for their continuous HEART work,” said Dr. Joris M. Ray. “We are driven by the idea of equitable opportunities for all as we strive to recruit the most effective educators in the nation and ensure stability in an ever-changing economy.”

Salaries and benefits increased primarily due to a strategic compensation plan for all employees. The General Fund includes school personnel salaries and benefits, academic programs, extra-curricular and enrichment programs, special education services, transportation, and charter school payments. The SCS General Fund budget is approximately $1.081 billion in fiscal year 2021-22, which for FY22 makes up about 49% of the District’s total budget across all funds.

The proposed budget will be presented to the Shelby County Commission today.

You can view the entire budget proposal here