Starting Monday, Manhattan-Ogden school district’s janitors, bus drivers and paraeducators will see 50-cent raises on their hourly rate.

The USD 383 school board voted Wednesday to approve the raise as part of the first phase of two planned phases that administrators said would bring district classified employee wages to more competitive levels for the region.

The second phase would increase the new classified pay rates by a set percentage, which will be determined once the district negotiates raises with its other employee groups. However, the percentage increase would not be retroactive to any pay before a board decision on the second phase, Lew Faust, director of business services for the district, said.

Eric Reid, assistant superintendent, said school principals indicated they wanted to prioritize classified employee wages.

“We wanted to get ahead of that,” Reid said. “Sometimes, classified employees have been last up (for raises), so we wanted to take care of that in the budget process.”

Wednesday’s meeting was also the board’s first of the 2019-20 fiscal year, which started July 1, so the board handled its administrative matters.

The board reelected president Curt Herrman and vice president Karla Hagemeister to terms that end in January, since a new state law requires school boards to elect new officers in January.

Education reporter for the Manhattan Mercury. Follow me on Twitter at @byRafaelGarcia.