The School District of Philadelphia announced it will offer bonuses and increased pay for fill-in employees as incentives to combat the worker shortage.
The decision will be effective immediately and last until April 2022. Substitute teachers, librarians, and counselors will receive a $50 daily bonus, nurses will be paid an additional $100, and secretaries, teacher assistants, climate staff, and food and support service workers will receive $20 bonuses each day, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
In addition to these daily bonuses, some workers will receive increased hourly pay as well. Substitute food service assistants will be paid $14 instead of $9.50, climate staff pay will be raised to $14 from $11, and hourly wages for secretaries, teacher assistants, and support service assistants will rise to $15 from $11.
The bonuses will increase workers’ daily pay significantly. Philly Voice reported that uncertified substitute teachers will make $176.76 daily, certified teachers and counselors will make $210.06 daily, and retired certified teachers and counselors will make $274.06 daily. Counselors and librarians who take on long-term positions will also earn $279.92 per day.
Substitute workers are paid and provided to the school district by Kelly Educational Services, which hopes to encourage experienced workers to return to schools during the pandemic.
“Substitutes and support staff play a critical role in our education system,” Brad Beckner, vice president of operations for Kelly Educational Services’ northeast region, said in a statement published in the Inquirer. “Kelly and the School District of Philadelphia offer job seekers in search of flexible and meaningful work the opportunity to enrich the lives of students and move pre-K through 12 education forward.”
Within the School District of Philadelphia, students and faculty have recently raised concerns about unsafe working conditions such as asbestos in school buildings and a lack of transparency in magnet school admissions.
Penn has also faced criticism for the alleged mistreatment of its employees. In the spring of 2021, the Student Labor Action Project created a petition that garnered over 600 signatures demanding that subcontracted dining workers should be able to get tested for COVID-19 on Penn’s campus.