Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Friday that the Philadelphia School District is giving its non-unionized employees a raise.
Workers who have been at the district for two years or more will see a 2 percent salary bump effective Oct. 21, the date of their next paycheck. Everyone gets another 2 percent raise July 1.
Officials said the move would cost the district about $500,000 this year to cover the cost of raising 326 workers' pay — a sum that represents less than one-fiftieth of 1 percent of the school system's annual budget.
Hite, in an email to staff, said the pay hike was an acknowledgement of the district's more stable fiscal picture and the sacrifices employees have made to get the school system there.
"Your service has reset the standard for commitment to the students, parents and teachers of Philadelphia," Hite wrote.
Many nonrepresented employees took pay cuts in 2012; some began paying toward their healthcare in 2010, and all in 2012.
The move is likely to raise ire among the ranks of teachers and other unionized school-based staff who have been working without a contract for three years.
School Reform Commissioner Bill Green said at a Thursday SRC meeting that the district made a "serious" offer to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in June — a 3 percent lump-sum payment, plus "step" increases for members' years of experience. That proposal would have cost the district less than $100 million over five years.
PFT President Jerry Jordan countered with a proposal whose terms were not disclosed, but Green termed it "ridiculously absurd" and said it would have cost the district $593 million over five years.
Jordan said the district's June proposal was "an insult," and "an absolute joke."
Of the non-unionized workers' raise, Jordan said Friday that he did not begrudge them their money.
"They're working people too. I'm very happy for these individuals. But — just as they are deserving of it, so are my members," he said.
Mayor Kenney said this week that he is involving himself in the stalled negotiations, directing a top lieutenant to assist the two sides.
Kenney noted that the district is losing educators to other districts and professions because of the contract stalemate.