MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - All district employees in Mesa Public Schools are set to get a pay raise this fall. On May 25, the Governing Board unanimously approved a plan to give all teachers a 2% raise. "Teachers feel beaten up. I think this is a small but very important gesture to making amends," said Mesa teacher Christina Bustos.
All hourly employees, like bus drivers, cafeteria workers and custodians, will get a raise of $1 an hour. The compensation plan also includes a $3,000 payment to all district employees. Joshua Buckley, the president of the Mesa Education Association, helped spearhead negotiations to get all employees raises. "Working with the district on making sure that we were using federal funding that we received in order to support teachers and keep teachers in the classroom," said Buckley.
Buckley said the bonus is a way for the district to retain teachers following a difficult year during the pandemic. Educators like Bustos say the district's move makes her feel valued. "If the goal is to value education, and value our students, then we have to invest in them. The best way to invest in them, is to invest in the people who help create them -- that would be the community, the teachers," said Bustos.
At this time, the district employees are only set to get the stipend in the fall, but Buckley said they are pushing for it to be permanent in the future.