SUSD Governing Board approves pay raise for district employees

Dr. John Kriekard, next to Scottsdale Schools Executive Admin Coordinator Sondra Como, at a January Governing Board meeting. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

At a special meeting Thursday, March 7, the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved funding a 5 percent pay raise for all SUSD employees for the 2019-20 school year.

“This decision allows us to compete for the best and brightest talent,” Superintendent John Kriekard said in a prepared statement.

“We know that we are operating in a competitive environment for that talent, and we want to send the message that here at Scottsdale, we appreciate our employees. We want to encourage the best talent to join our organization.”

In addition to across-the-board pay raises, the Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the issuance of employee contracts, achieving its goal of making 2019-20 contracts available before spring break recess.

Adding to the list of employment-related decisions, the Governing Board also voted unanimously to approve a plan calling for the district to absorb a 6 percent increase in medical insurance premiums and offer a more robust benefits package with expanded insurance options.

Over the past five years, SUSD has made increasing compensation for teachers a top priority, according to a press release.

In 2015-16, SUSD increased teacher pay by 3.5-5.5 percent using Proposition 123 funds with a graduated raise that depended on years of service. In 2016-17, SUSD provided 2 percent pay raises for teachers.

In 2017-18, SUSD provided a 2 percent teacher salary increase. In 2018-19, SUSD increased teacher pay by 10 percent. In 2019-20, SUSD will provide a 5 percent increase to teacher pay, in support of Gov. Doug Ducey’s 20 percent by 2020 plan.

“Our fiscally responsible operations have given us the ability to reinvest savings into the district, allowing us to maintain effective student-teacher ratios and adding to SUSD’s strong, 123-year student-focused legacy,” Dr. Kriekard said.

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