Fulton County Schools to Raise Minimum Wage to $16 and Introduces New Compensation

Atlanta, Georgia – In the regularly scheduled work session, Fulton County Schools unanimously approved a mid-year compensation adjustment brought by Superintendent Mike Looney for their 14,000 employees.

The full package brings the minimum starting pay up to $16.00 per hour, with commensurate adjustments to the associated compensation schedule, and includes generous pay increases and one-time payments for all employees. The hourly positions include critical roles, such as food service workers, bus drivers, custodians, paraprofessionals, professional assistants, clinic assistants, parent liaisons, and more, that have been difficult to fill. The mid-year adjustment is the first of a two-wave employee compensation initiative planned by Looney that follows the Board’s commitment to and investment in retaining and recruiting quality teachers and staff. 

“Our people, staff and students, are Fulton County Schools,” said Board President Julia Bernath. “One of the four pillars of our long-term strategic plan and ongoing commitments by the Board is to ‘People and Culture’. 

The employees of this district are dedicated to educating our students, and this is our way of confirming our dedication to them.

  • All full-time employees will receive a one-time payment of $1,200 
  • All part-time employees will receive a one-time payment of $600 
  • All substitute teachers who work 20 days during the second semester will receive a one-time payment of $250 at the end of the school year.
  • School leaders, such as principals, executive directors, and chief officers will receive a retention stipend
  • All eligible employees, including teachers and staff, will receive an on average 2.3% salary boost via a mid-year step increase.

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Salary increases will be effective January 30, 2022, while one-time stipends will be provided in December for all employees.

 
“Given that we have been understaffed this year and everyone has worked hard to fill the void, we are providing this investment in you, to acknowledge and thank you.”

Superintendent Mike Looney, Fulton County Schools

While all metro Atlanta school districts have felt the sting of staff shortages, competition is felt more keenly in Fulton County Schools is at a disadvantage due to its unique geographic position-with over 80-mile-long district is surrounded by 10 contiguous school districts and one directly inside the county (Atlanta Public Schools), each with their own increasingly competitive compensation packages. In addition,  other industries are competing as well, from health care seeking nurses to Amazon recruiting drivers, adding enticements such as signing bonuses.     “

“We have a map problem. No other district faces the challenges in staffing that Fulton County Schools faces due to our geography. But, with this action, Fulton County Schools becomes one of the very few, if not the only metro district to truly address a living wage for our employees by lifting starting pay to $16 per hour.”  

Ron Wade, Chief Talent Officer

  The FY22 mid-year adjustment will cost an estimated $28.7M, with the one-time payment equaling $15.3M and $13.4M added for the salary increases.

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