RCSD, non-teaching employees union announce collective bargaining agreement

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester City School District and the members from the Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees (BENTE) Tuesday announced they came to a collective bargaining agreement.

The BENTE union represents non-teaching employees of the RCSD, such as custodial, food service and security staff.

BENTE members suffered heavy layoffs last school year after the RCSD was all remote for the first half of the year, and only returned some students to in-person learning during the second half of the year.

The collective bargaining negotiations began in March of 2021 according to the RCSD.

The school district said the three-year agreement includes a 3% minimum wage increase each year retroactive to July 1, 2021 and salary increases from $12.50 per hour to $15 per hour as of July 1, 2021.

The RCSD provided the following statements:

Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small:

“This successor agreement with BENTE is an important step in ensuring our support staff: clerical, custodial, food service, maintenance, sentries, and transportation staff are better cared for. We are proud to offer a minimum $15 per hour! These team members have been here for our children and families through two of the most challenging academic years in our lives. It’s vital to the health and well-being of our community that our support staff is compensated to better support their families."

BENTE President Dan DiClemente:

"We are pleased to reach an agreement with the District that affords frontline workers a livable wage, bringing them all up to a minimum of $15 an hour. This agreement also recognizes the need to increase the wages of members who work in critical areas that have been difficult to staff due to a worker shortage. It illustrates a commitment from the Superintendent and the Board of Education to recognize the vital services our members provide to the children who attend city schools."