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Potsdam BOE increases hourly rate for susbtitute maintenance workers

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POTSDAM - The Potsdam Central School Board of Education discussed increasing the hourly rate for maintenance substitutes from $8.50 to $12 per hour Tuesday night.

Superintendent Patrick H. Brady said the district is having a hard time filling the temporary vacancies within the building and grounds department.

“We’ve had a number of absences and that has made it challenging,” he said. “We’re not attracting people at the current rate.”

Mr. Brady said the rate of $8.50 per hour is the same rate paid to substitute cleaners, despite the extra work involved with being a maintenance worker.

Building and Grounds Superintendent Robert Brothers said that should the rate be increased he knows of at least one person who would be willing to come in and work on a temporary basis.

“We have at least one retired person who would be willing to come in an work at that rate,” he said, adding their department currently is three men down, with each of them out on a “fairly long-term basis.”

“Some of these guys have been out since school started,” Mr. Brothers said.

“We’ve had some bad luck,” Mr. Brady said. “One of our guys got ran over by a cow.”

Board of education member Wade A. Davis asked what the entry level rate was for a maintenance worker. Mr. Brady replied $32,750.

While Mr. Brady said full-time workers are not paid at an hourly rate and are considered salaried employees, based on a 40-hour work week that translates to an hourly rate of roughly $15.65 per hour.

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