Several Jefferson Parish School Employees Getting a Pay Raise

JEFFERSON PARISH (WGNO) - After getting stiffed for three-years most Jefferson Parish Public School employees have a pay raise coming. Tonight WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano reports teachers say it’s a small step in the right direction.

Deborah Westcott has spent seven years in the Jefferson Parish Public School system. For the last three years, ever since her salary was frozen, she’s had to make ends meet with no additional income.

“But a lot of us have a lot of time, and we’ve put in so much effort, and the one thing that we have that they can’t take from us is heart, or we still wouldn’t be here,” explains Westcott.

Tonight Deborah and several of other Jefferson Parish public school employees are getting some relief.

Jefferson Parish School Board members unanimously vote to increase salaries. It’s a move superintendent James Meza calls necessary.

“We’re going to give them a raise to eliminate the compression as well as give them a step increase if they teach effectively this year,” says Meza.

For some it could mean an increase of as much as $2,400 in salary next year.

President of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers Meladie Munch says, “Anybody who came in this year was paid for their years of experience, so going forward the only way that teachers will see an increase is if they were rated not ineffective, then they will get a step increase.”

Those affected will begin to see the changes on their pay checks in the 2014- 2015 academic year.

“I feel very skeptical. Until I see it and we get it, and I’m talking about everybody, not just teachers,” says Westcott.

It’s a total of $10.5-Million in raises that will affect most full-time employees in the Jefferson Parish Public Schools, not only teachers. The decision will not affect those hired in the 2013- 2014 school year.

Superintendent Meza says this week they`ll be meeting with principals and staff so that everyone affected can find out exactly how much money they`ll be getting.

For more on the increase click here.