The Washington Parish school system convened an emergency school board meeting in the Franklinton Primary School auditorium on Thursday night in response to an ongoing employee strike that began this past Tuesday.
The auditorium was full of concerned citizens, parents, and employees of the Washington Parish school system.
The board meeting began with a slideshow presentation from Director of Finance Dana Knight. The presentation broke down the general fund revenue budget of the school system.
Knight addressed a claim made during the period of the strike that employees in the district had not received a raise since 1978, stating that the last pay increase for employees took place during the 2022-2023 school year, with a $1,500 raise for certificated employees and a $750 raise for support employees.
“I went back in our records. The records I have in the office go back to 1993. Over that period of time, we’ve documented how many pay raises were given during that period,” said Knight. “In 17 different school years there was a pay raise for certificated employees, and 12 for support employees.”
In addition to these reported pay raises since 1993, Knight cited that there were 17 instances of stipends and supplements for certificated employees and 20 for support employees.
Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Thomas said that she has noticed an issue with step increases, where some employees are not receiving their step increases every year.
“That’s something that the board has acknowledged and we know, and that’s being fixed immediately,” said Thomas.
Thomas said that the parish is working to find additional revenue to address the concerns of those on strike.