EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Granite School District to raise non-teacher pay by $4 an hour

Jun 21, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: Jun 23, 2023, 8:31 am

FILE: Granite School District offices are pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. ...

FILE: Granite School District offices are pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. The district is studying the potential closure of one of its elementary schools. (Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake County school district wants to stop the loss of its support staff to the private sector by paying them more but needs taxpayers to kick in some more cash.

During the last legislative session, lawmakers gave Utah schoolteachers a raise of about $6,000 a year. Now, the Granite School District is planning to give their other employees, such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, a $4 an hour across-the-board pay hike.

Ben Horsley, the spokesman for the Granite School District, joins Dave Noriega and guest co-host Taylor Morgan to talk about the pay raise for all educational-support professionals in his school district.

 

“I was looking at the Granite School District — the starting pay on the lowest level is $10.99 an hour,” Dave said. “I looked at a burger joint. I’m not gonna tell you which burger joint, but let’s just say they’ll get you in and out in a jiffy. . . They make $17 an hour.”

Horsley said the pay raise will slow the flow of non-teacher workers to the private sector.

“How many staff have you been losing to the private sector?” Taylor asked.

“Since COVID, we have not been at full staffing in any of those types of positions anywhere,” Horsley said. “Ask any school. It’s hard to find what we call paraprofessionals or aides in the classrooms. We’re working about 65% of our normal staffing for food service, which has detrimental effects. We’ve been barely hanging on with our bus drivers.”

“Where are the greatest areas of need in the Granite School District?” Dave asked.

Horsley said as of the district’s last board meeting where the pay raise was adopted, there were:

  • 35 openings in secretarial and aide positions and
  • more than 50 openings in maintenance facilities, including custodial workers, plumbers, electricians, painters, etc.

Horsley added the pay hike for Granite’s non-licensed staff will require a tax hike of about $10 million in new funding, which equates to an annual increase of $71 for the average homeowner within the Granite School District.

The proposed tax hike will require the board to go through the process of truth in taxation with an additional public hearing in August, Horsley said.

“You can’t be a successful teacher. You can have quality outcomes if you don’t have the aides, the secretary, and the custodians that help make all those things function . . . and having these people in our buildings providing that support is critical,” he said.

 

(Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play)

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Granite School District to raise non-teacher pay by $4 an hour