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Rowan-Salisbury Schools workers react to news of significant bonuses and pay increases

The measure still requires approval of a budget amendment, but for right now, there are thousands of people in this county who are very happy with this news.
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 3:14 PM EST
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Christmas may be coming early for more than 3000 employees of a local school system. The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted on Monday night to give every employee in the system a $2000 bonus in December, and this is on top of significant raises for some other school workers.

The measure still requires approval of a budget amendment, but for right now, there are thousands of people in this county who are very happy with this news.

At Hurley Elementary School…even the students are happy about it.

“The teachers do a good job teaching and the bus drivers have to make sure the kids get here at school,” said 5th grader Cooper Price.

“They really deserve it because of all that they do for us,” added Hope Woodward.

Kelly Hain is a kindergarten teacher at Hurley. She is cautiously optimistic about the news.

“It’s a positive signal, I mean everybody is struggling, it’s been a hard year for everybody, not just teachers, but everybody, but for them to step up and say we’re going to try and help you and show that we appreciate you, that’s a big message.”

The Board of Education approved $2000 bonuses for every employee in December. Bus drivers were approved for significant raises with rates going from $12.07 per hour to $16.49, and the high end going from $15.35 to $25.39 per hour. For longtime driver Debra Campbell, it could be life changing.

“I am planning on retiring in January, and the fact, money talks, I may change my mind,” Campbell said. “I mean money talks.”

Driver Samantha McClary says the pay increase was much needed: “I would say it’s long overdue. It’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of weight on your shoulders.”

These bonuses will be paid by COVID relief funds pending state approval.

“I’m excited, I think,” Hain added. “I want it to go through, it has to be passed by the state before we actually get the money.”

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