Does the School Committee’s wage proposal meet or exceed a “living wage”?

Yes, the School Committee has heard the request to pay Instructional Assistants a “living wage,” and responded with an offer that exceeds that threshold. 

In the negotiations process, Andover IAs pointed to the MIT Living Wage calculator to provide the definition of a “living wage.” This calculator broadly considers a number of important factors and ultimately determines a per-hour living wage rate.

Per MIT, the living wage for an individual employee is $17.74 per hour statewide or $18.88 per hour for Essex county.  In addition to other financial components, the School Committee has proposed hourly rates for the current school year of between $18.24 per hour (step 1) and $27.41 per hour (top step). 

There are some nuances to the MIT methodology that are not directly comparable to Andover Instructional Assistants. For example, it would not be appropriate to translate MIT’s hourly rate into an expected annual living wage for Andover IA because MIT “consider(s) full-time work to be year-round, 40 hours per week for 52 weeks, per adult,” or 2,080 hours per year. IAs work approximately 62% of those total hours (1,288 or 1,274 hours per school year). Additionally, MIT estimates the typical Essex County employee pays $847 more per year on health insurance than the average Andover IA. Nonetheless, the MIT calculator provides a helpful metric in roughly defining an hourly living wage.

Show All Answers

1. What is an Instructional Assistant?
2. How many Instructional Assistants work in Andover Public Schools?
3. What is the work year for an Instructional Assistant in Andover?
4. What is the process and timeline of bargaining between IAs and the School Committee?
5. What are the hourly rates paid to Andover Instructional Assistants?
6. How do the hourly rates offered by the School Committee compare to the hourly rates proposed by the Instructional Assistant union?
7. What percentage increases have been offered to Andover Instructional Assistants?
8. How does the salary increase offered to Andover IAs compare to salary increases for other Andover unions?
9. Does Andover Public Schools use a consistent set of districts when comparing educator, staff and administrative compensation rates?
10. How does the hourly rate offered to Andover IAs compare to hourly rates in demographically comparable districts?
11. How does the hourly rate offered to Andover IAs compare to hourly rates in geographically competitive districts?
12. Could the school department provide pay increases to IAs without a settled contract?
13. Do members of the IA union receive compensation other than hourly pay as part of their employment?
14. Do Instructional Assistants have access to health insurance benefits?
15. Do Instructional Assistants have access to pension benefits?
16. Is the IA union working without a contract?
17. Should salaries of IAs be more highly prioritized in the school operating budget?
18. Does the School Committee’s wage proposal meet or exceed a “living wage”?