Cincinnati boosts pay for school crossing guards to $15/hour
CPS and the City will jointly announce the wage increase at a briefing on Wednesday.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - School crossing guards in Cincinnati will soon have the same hourly minimum wage as full-time City employees—$15/hour.
The raise comes after a year in which nearly a third of Cincinnati crossing guard positions (44 of 150) went unfilled, according to a city spokesperson.
Previously crossing guards earned $11/hour. The spokesperson on Monday called that rate “uncompetitive” compared to prevailing wages.
Said Iranetta Wright, CPS Superintendent, “Our roadways are busier, and the need to strengthen and increase the city’s crossing guard presence is essential to reducing pedestrian-vehicle accidents. We cannot focus on student achievement in our schools without students and staff safely entering and leaving our schools. A crossing guard is a critical role in our Cincinnati neighborhoods, and increasing their pay structure is a good first step.”
Cincinnati crossing guards are technically employees in the police department. Per a City-CPS contract, the district reimburses the City for all wages, overtime, training costs and other compensation and benefits. CPS also pays the city an administrative fee equal to 7.5 percent of all costs.
The City administration and the CPS Board of Education can each independently appoint crossing guards. On wages, the contract is murky.
The administration initially set the wage at $11/hour upon classifying crossing guards as seasonal and part-time employees. It isn’t clear whether the CPS Board had to sign off on that wage.
Full-time employees of the City earn a minimum of $15/hour.
Former City Council member David Mann introduced a motion in August 2021 to increase wages for crossing guards to $15/hour, calling crossing guards “essential” to the city, “the eyes and ears” in our neighborhoods and “a first line of defense for the safety of our most vulnerable school children.”
The motion didn’t go anywhere. It isn’t clear City Council can legislatively compel CPS to increase the wages.
The spokesperson explained on Monday that City Council member Mark Jeffreys had met with a CPS Board member to discuss City Council’s passage in November 2021 of a motion raising crossing guard wages.
That motion does not appear in city records as of this writing.
The CPS Board did have to approve the present wage increase, and it did so unanimously. The City then finalized the agreement, the spokesperson said.
“No family or child should fear for their safety on their way to or from school. Paying a competitive wage will help ensure we will have crossing guards when students return to school in the fall,” Jeffreys said. “This is a great example of the City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools working together to address a real need for our schools.”
CPS and the City will announce the wage increase at a briefing on Wednesday.
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