All Rowan-Salisbury Schools (RSS) employees will receive raises and bonuses in the coming weeks, thanks to the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education and the newly approved state budget.
During their November 15 meeting, the Board approved a one-time $2,000 bonus payment for all staff to be paid on December 21, 2021, pending an ESSER budget amendment approval. They also approved a revised salary scale for RSS bus drivers, effective December 1, 2021.
The Board discussed at length ways to demonstrate appreciation to all RSS staff. This conversation was a continuation of the Board’s efforts to reward the hard work of staff who have persevered for students in spite of the pandemic.
In response to staff’s dedication, in June 2021, the Board approved a one-time bonus payment for all staff – 6.5 percent of their annual base salary for non-certified staff and $1,000 for certified staff. They also approved two paid wellness days for all staff in October 2021.
The bus driver salary scale increase is a part of the district’s ongoing salary study work. The Board acted on bus driver salaries without a state budget and intended to address all classified salaries as part of the ongoing plan. However, that plan got a sudden bump when the state of North Carolina passed a budget that Governor Roy Cooper signed on Thursday.
“We are committed to improving all classified salaries, but given our available resources, we had to take one step at a time. The first step began with bus drivers, and new school nutrition salary recommendations will be presented at the next Board meeting,” said Superintendent Dr. Tony B. Watlington, Sr. “As a school district, we have more work to do, and we look forward to collaborating with classified staff in informational meetings that will occur after the Thanksgiving holiday. I am so thankful the passage of a state budget has enabled all staff to realize a meaningful pay increase they so richly deserve.”
The state budget includes raises for all employees, with an average 2.5 percent raise this year retroactive to July 1, 2021. The new state salary scales go into effect on January 1, 2022, and are applicable to staff employed on that date. Retroactive pay from July 1 through December 31, 2021, will be paid in the form of a bonus in January 2022.
Additionally, all full-time staff will receive a $1,000 premium pay bonus funded from the State’s COVID Fiscal Recovery Fund. Employees making less than $75,000 per year will receive an additional $500 bonus.