Española Schools Board Mandates Living Wage Of $10 Per Hour: All Staff And Substitutes Included
By Robert A. Naranjo
ESPAÑOLA – The Española Public Schools Board of Education at their regular Board meeting held July 15, 2015 instructed staff to pay people who work for the schools, in any capacity, a minimum of ten dollars per hour.
The action was taken while the Board reviewed and approved the 2015- 2016 Salary Schedule. The lowest wage according to the Salary Schedule being reviewed by the Board at the meeting and visible to present on a large screen was seven (7) dollars per hour for certain substitutes in various departments. After a staff member finished explaining the Salary Schedule, and was about to leave the podium, there came a last-second query from a board member.
“Actually I have one more question, I’m sorry,” said Board Vice President, Lucas Fresquez, “On the last page– page 21, (of Salary Schedule), under the substitutes…the reason I bring this up is that I thought that last year…we would pay them $10 an hour,” he asked.
“Yes, but that was for regular staff…when we say staff we mean anyone…who gets benefits, ” was the reply from the staffer.
Not to be deterred, Fresquez said he thought that the amount of ten dollars per hour for all people who worked for the Española Public Schools had been discussed at a past Board meeting and had actually been approved by the Board.
“I was very clear, and the intent of that ($10 per hour) was that anybody who worked for the Española Schools…would get ten dollars an hour,” Fresquez pointed out. Other board members echoed his sentiments with comments to that effect. The Salary Schedule for 2015-2016 was ordered changed as discussed.
Ultimately, Agenda Item V, in action involving the ten (10) Consent Items, the Board voted and approved all except Item #6 “Approval of 2015-2016 Salary Schedules.” Item #6 will be approved once the administration staff replaces all substitute staff ‘s hourly amount in the Schedule to ten (10) dollars an hour from seven (7) dollars per hour. This is nearly a thirty percent increase for District substitutes when school resumes for School-Year 2015-16.