GILLETTE, Wyo. — On July 1, hundreds of Campbell County School District education support professionals will receive step increases.
Tonight, the Campbell County school board unanimously approved reclassifications for 16 positions in the district.
The changes impact about 630 employees, or almost two-thirds of the district’s education support professionals, Human Resources Director Larry Reznicek said at the meeting. Half of the $1.5 million cost is reimbursable.
He said that school principals at both the elementary and secondary school levels have had difficulty finding and keeping instructional aides and custodians. There has also been turnover in the nutrition services department, and there’s been a shortage of bus drivers for two years.
One staffing challenge is that wages for certain district jobs don’t compare well to similar jobs at other entities, as a consultant found, according to Reznicek. Sometimes, people will work for the district for a year and then leave for a similar job at a company or public agency after gaining training through the district.
In the past three years, 75 people have come and gone through nutrition services, he said. More than 100 custodians have transitioned through the school district in the last three years, and it takes a year to fully train a district custodian to use all the equipment and chemicals. Aides complete professional development with district funding.
“A lot of that is just walking out the door and going to work somewhere else,” Reznicek said. “And that’s unfortunate. It’s hard to build the capacity and the culture of learning.”
The consultant’s recommendations included making transportation pay increases permanent.
Board Vice-Chair Lisa Durgin said before the vote that the changes under consideration are for jobs of people who are essential for the district and that the district wants to attract the best employees. Nearly all of these roles feature direct contact with students.
“Even though we tried to keep up with this with salary increases this spring, I think this shows that we’re still behind, so I think keeping up with this is essential,” she said.
Reznicek said that next school year, the district will concentrate on other jobs, which involve about 200 employees. Those jobs include administrative assistants, assistant secretaries, technology aides and plumbers.
The earliest actions taken on those positions would be in May 2024, he said after the meeting.