While pay raises for teachers and staff will likely be a hot-button issue this year as the Burbank Unified School District deals with a $3.5-million structural deficit, some of the district’s lowest-paid employees saw their wages increase slightly on Jan. 1.
California Senate Bill 3, the Minimum Wage Act signed into law in 2016, provided 129 district employees with a pay hike to $12 per hour, according to figures from Sarah Niemann, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources.
Many of those employees are students, such as year-round helpers and summer short-term workers, who help with various tasks. Their wages were previously $11.22 per hour.
The senate bill has put California on a path to a minimum wage of $15 per an hour by 2022 for employers with 26 or more workers and by 2023 for employers with fewer employees.
The state rate contrasts considerably with the federal minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since it increased to $7.25 per hour in 2009.
“When the state differs from the federal minimum wage, you have to take the higher of the two,” Niemann said.
Burbank is on par to raise the wages for its least-compensated workers by $1 per year until 2022.
Wages for other positions also saw modest gains with the new year.
Salaries for short-term assignment athletic and performing arts coaches rose from $12.83 per hour to $13.09.
Stipends for CIF playoff games climbed from $171.40 to $174.83 for head coaches and from $93.20 to $95.06 for assistant coaches, though those additional paychecks are not bonuses.
“It’s essentially an extension of the season,” Niemann said of the postseason paychecks.
“The rate is based on the season and then, if the season is extended because of the CIF playoffs or something along those lines, then they’re getting extra compensation for extra time.”
Other miscellaneous jobs that received per-hour raises included bilingual translators, which increased from $15.92 to $16.24 per hour, Associated Student Body/athletic supervisors, from $16.08 to $16.40, and the adult school choral conductor, from $24.95 to $25.45.
Site technology specialists also had their semester stipend bumped up from $1,059 to $1,081, while an advanced custodial training stipend raised by $4, to $165.