Columbia Public Schools approves employee pay raises

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COLUMBIA — The Columbia Public School board unanimously approved all pay raises to all of its employees Monday night.

These pay raises will go into effect in the 2016-17 school year. 

The total estimated increase will be over $8.7 million, according to CPS documents

"We want the best and brightest here, our kids deserve it, our families deserve it," Columbia Missouri National Education Association (CMNEA) spokesperson Mary Grupe said in a previous interview with KOMU. "We need to increase the compensation across the board."

Teacher salaries will increase by 5.77 percent. CPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dana Clippard said the pay increase "seems reasonable." 

Clippard said CPS employees have not seen a payraise since 2007.

"We need to make sure that we're paying teachers a living wage and we are keeping up with inflation, and we're keeping up with the cost of living in a community like Columbia, Missouri," board member Jonathan Sessions said. "We have not been keeping up with the cost of inflation and the cost of living."

Minimum wage for custodians and cafeteria workers will increase from $9.15 to $10/hour, and educational assistants, depending on the title, will receive up to $12.80/hour.

School psychologists are will be the biggest winners of negotiations, and expect receive an average increase of 17.14 percent.