Superintendent Greg Gray informed the Board of Education at its meeting Monday night that the district is increasing the wages given to employees who work as custodians in district schools.

Gray told the board that the number of custodians has gone down to 32, because 7-to-8 custodians recently left the district to get jobs that pay better. He says and the district needs 40 custodians to be “fully staffed” and do a thorough job of keeping district facilities clean.

Currently, the starting pay of a new custodian is $11.50 an hour, which rises to a maximum of $13.50 an hour, with the exception being that a lead custodian earns $14.50 per hour. The lead custodian schedules and manages the other custodians, according to Gray. Also, newly-hired custodians will receive a $500 signing bonus if they continue working for 90 days, and those who stay on to the end of the year will get another $500 bonus. The number of sick days and holidays will also be increased under the new arrangement.

The custodians, who are not unionized, are paid through the district’s contract with EDUStaff, with district administration overseeing the custodian program. EDUStaff describes itself as “one of the nation’s largest educational staffing providers."

Gray says the district looked at comparable custodial wages in other area districts, quickly realizing that Brighton’s pay scale was lower. He says the new arrangement will put Brighton slightly ahead of the other districts in custodial pay. In explaining the pay raise, Gray says, in his words, “We want to attract and maintain good people.” (TT)