Burlington School Support Staff

Talking Points

1. FAIRNESS: The next Burlington Superintendent needs to reflect our community values. Paying school workers a fair and livable wage is essential. The City of Burlington passed a Livable Wage Ordinance for all municipal workers in 2001. We cannot continue to have a two-tier system in the City where school workers earn poverty wages while municipal workers are guaranteed a livable wage. The school board should hire a superintendent who is committed to paying fair wages to all school workers.

2. SCHOOL BOARD PRIORITIES: The School Board listed increasing wages for the school’s lowest paid workers as a priority for this school year during your August retreat. The three lowest paid occupations in the schools are food service workers, maintenance workers and paraeducators. The School Board should make this priority a reality and ask candidates for the superintendent position where they stand in principle on paying livable wages to school workers.

3. WOMEN & WAGES: Traditionally more women tend to fill paraeducator positions than men. In Burlington, of the 664 total municipal workers 73% are men. The City Livable Wage Ordinance increased the City’s lowest paid positions to a livable wage level in 2001. These positions are primarily meter readers and city parking garage attendants. 82% of all Burlington paraeducators are women. Virtually no paraeducator makes a livable wage ($12.02/hour (2005 LW figure). Only 11% of all paraeducators make above a livable wage. The school board should correct the gender gap between municipal and school workers and hire a superintendent who is publicly committed to gender equity.


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Vermont Livable Wage Campaign
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