Pay raise cap

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Pay raise cap

I am a non-union, non-certified employee in a school district. My rate of pay is hourly; I make $12.63 an hour. We had to provide our educational background I have only 84 credit hours. I am listed as a paraprofessional, I was an instructional aid, last year but they moved me to the library as an assistant. Based on this criteria, I should have been bumped up to $13.50 an hour for a instructional aid. However, they have not moved me into a different category even though my position has changed. They told me that state law does not permit them to raise my hourly rate more than 6%, which would be the $13.50 rate that I am entitled to and the number of years that I have worked in the district, which is 14 years but 21 years working in schools. They are only giving me a 5.9% raise because of the cap. Can they do that? My hourly rate would be at $13.38. I am retiring soon and my retirement is based on my rate of pay. I know it is only a few cents but I would love to be justifiably compensated. We as paraprofessional only make 1/4 what a teacher earns even though we are required to have at least 2 years of college and be licensed. I am 71 years old and this won’t benefit me, however working with students with numerous challenges should be justly compensated.

Asked on September 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you don't have a contract, including a union agreement, which guarantees or specifies a certain raise, you only get the raise your employer wants to give you: raises are not mandatory, and are completely discretionary on the employee's part except when guaranteed them by a contract. So regardless of the reason they gave you, without a contract specifying the raise to which you are entitled, they may limit your raise to anything they like--and did not have to give you a raise at all.


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