UPDATE: TUSD board votes down pay increase for long-term substit - Tucson News Now

UPDATE: TUSD board votes down pay increase for long-term substitutes

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson Unified School District voted 3 to 2 against increasing long-term substitute pay Tuesday. The decision came down at around 11:30 p.m.

Michael Hicks, Adelita Grijalva, and Kristel Foster voted against the item, citing high cost in the light of budget reductions district-wide.

They believe if the district has extra money it should be spent on other things such as increased pay for current teachers and staff.

Dr. Mark Stegemen and Rachel Sedgwick voted in favor of the item.

Long-term substitutes are anyone who works for more than 15 days in a single position.

Dr. Stegeman initiated the idea. He said the goal of the proposed increase was to be more competitive with neighboring districts.

He said it is difficult to fill the substitute positions, and he had hoped the increase would bring more into the district.

Many board members and even Interim Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo believe subs should be paid more, but not everyone
can agree on the rate.

Stegeman wanted TUSD to pay subs $165 a day.

“If we can recruit fully certified subs and they like the experience then maybe they can transition to become regular teachers,” said Stegeman.

But some board members said at that rate subs would be paid the same amount, or possibly more than contracted teachers.

“My guess would be if you had a teacher who is making less than a substitute, the cry of disrespect is going to be heard loud and clear,” said Grijalva. “Additionally, there should be an advantage, and we should incentivize signing a contract.”

Trujillo and others suggest a smaller increase of $125 a day.

Foster said Stegeman’s proposal would have cost the district over $100,000, and she isn’t sure where that money would come from.

Right now, TUSD is looking to fill 140 teacher vacancies.

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