ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester City Schools have announced a three-year contract successor agreement with Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees (BENTE), the union which represents more than 1,200 non-teaching employees within the district.

Key points of the collective bargaining agreement include a minimum 3% wage increase each year, paying a more competitive wage to help ensure recruitment and retention, and a salary increase from $12.50 an hour to $15 an hour.

“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," Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small said in a statement. "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."

"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," BENTE President Dan DiClemente said in a statement. "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 committment from the Superintendent and the Board of Education to recognize the vital services our members provide to the children who attend city schools."

The agreement follows some tumultuous times, as there were massive lay-offs to non-teaching staff during the pandemic due to students being remote.