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Reading School District Increases Pay for All Safe School Officers

Enhancing School Safety is Top Priority for Leaders

The Reading School District gained School Board approval on July 20 to increase pay for all School Safety Officers (SSOs) and to increase starting wages to $22 per hour for all new SSO hires beginning August 1, 2022.

“School safety is a top priority,” said Superintendent Jennifer Murray. “We know that if students don’t feel safe in school, they can’t concentrate on learning. By increasing wages, we hope to attract more caring adults committed to building strong relationships with our students. This spring, our students asked us to hire more safety officers and improve school security. To do so, we needed more competitive wages.”

“With the growing population of students and demands of current events in the world, it is important that we hire more Safe Schools Officers,” said David Britt, chief steward for our Safe School Officers (SPFPA Local No. 506). 

Research shows that school climate and student performance improve when there are more caring adults in schools. And the role of school safety officers is a critical one. “We (SSOs) believe that it is important that we provide for the care, welfare and safety of our students and staff to the fullest,” Britt continued. ”With such a demanding role and the importance of professionalism— in being firm but fair— the wages must continue to be competitive to draw recruits.”

The Reading School District is set to employ 56 Safe Schools employees, with 33 of those positions filled and 23 vacant positions to fill. The District is hosting a Job Fair on August 9, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Central Middle School, where applicants can apply and be interviewed in person. Anyone interested in working for Reading School District in a support role is invited to the Job Fair.

School Safety Officers (SSO) are members of the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) and its Amalgamated, Local No. 506, which covers all full and part-time school security personnel in the Reading School District. In response to staffing shortages, the District approached the union to reopen discussions on salary schedules. As a result, all current SSO staff will receive an increase of $4.00 per hour beginning August 1, 2022; a 21% increase in the average wage for SSOs for the 2022-23 school year.

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