More than 1,200 Bay District employees will see some more cash in their bank accounts.

The Bay Educational Support Personnel Association (BESPA) and school district negotiators reached an agreement on a contract.

The hikes, according to union leaders, will assist departments to attract and keeping personnel.

Union Executive Board Member Shaun Brown said: “There’s a lot of people hiring, there’s a lot of jobs out there, and a lot of jobs that are paying pretty good. And it means a lot for our employees to be on par with the surrounding jobs.”

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As per Bay District Schools CFO Jim Loyed, 78 percent of support personnel presently earn less than $15 per hour. Support personnel earning more than $15 per hour will also get pay increases.

Bay District Schools CFO Jim Loyed said: “Every year we have to prioritize what we’re going to do with our funds, and we took to the board and to the unions in our flexible discretionary new dollars this year, we had a little over $4 million and the boards spending about $3.9 million on this one group.”

The $15 minimum wage established by the state of Florida does not take effect until October. However, Loyed said that Bay District School intended to grant raises to employees as soon as possible in order to combat inflation.

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 “I’ve talked to quite a few employees and there all very excited about getting a very nice raise,” Brown said. “It’s really going to help out with the gas prices and everything going up, and inflation.”

The average wage will rise by 20 percent. The agreement must now be confirmed by the workforce, which Brown anticipates will happen within the next 10 days.

Bay District Schools calculates how much more workers will make, once the new salary goes into effect on July 1.

Source: My Panhandle.com

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