Stipend increases approved for head custodians in Phoenixville

PHOENIXVILLE — Four head custodians in the Phoenixville Area School District received an increase to the stipends they receive for the number of hours they work each pay period.

The Phoenixville Area School Board voted unanimously to increase each man’s stipend by 55 cents per hour.

“What Mr. [Ronald] Miller, [operations director in the district], and I have been looking at our organization and also the results that we’ve been getting from our custodial crew and our maintenance crews and the heightened expectations that we have for our lead custodians, particularly in our larger buildings and the buildings where we’re getting a lot of human usage in our buildings,” said Stan Johnson, Phoenixville executive director of operations.

Although they receive a regular salary, each custodian also receives a small stipend to compensate them for the actual number of hours worked. Miller and Johnson proposed “increasing the differential” between the stipends earned by lead custodians over other members of their crews.

“Mr. Miller and I believe our head custodians have done a wonderful job in stepping up and taking more of a leadership role in their buildings,” Johnson continued.

Three building head custodians were approved for the stipend raise and the district’s head custodian also received a raise.

Head custodians at Schuylkill Elementary School, Phoenixville Area Middle School and Phoenixville Area High School all had their stipends raised from 45 cents per hour to $1.

The district’s head maintenance worker will have his stipend increased from $1.20 per hour to $1.75.

Johnson said the change in cost for the district is “not insignificant” and will likely amount to $5,000 a year, but is in line with the goals set by the district for the properties, especially since more events and rentals of space are occurring.

Raises in stipends for head janitors at other district buildings are not planned, Johnson said, because the buildings are smaller and there is not as much “public use.”

Upon construction of the planned early learning center/elementary school, Johnson said they’ll discuss an increased stipend for the head custodian there.

Although the board gave their approval, the matter is not closed, as the district must speak with the custodians’ union, the Phoenixville Educational Support Personnel Association (PESPA) to amend the collective bargaining agreement to allow the increases.

“I think the condition of our buildings is in good shape and that credit goes to our custodians,” Johnson said.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno