On the job.
Crossing guard Barb Forrest is on the job as student Gilienne Forrest crosses the road at Hall Avenue and Raglan Street near Queen Elizabeth Public School. Monday night, Renfrew council approved the first pay hike for school crossing guards in six years.
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
School-crossing guards working at six different Renfrew locations are receiving raises.
Their first raises in six years were approved by Renfrew council Monday night.
At present, most of the wages are paid by the Town of Renfrew, except those staffing the crossing on Raglan Street South, near St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School. Costs for that crossing are shared 50-50 with the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board.
The public board doesn’t contribute to the wages for staff at the other five locations, which are located closest to Central Public School and Queen Elizabeth Public School.
The Renfrew County District School Board used to contribute to those wages until about 15 years ago, but Renfrew clerk Kim Bulmer says the board will be asked to share the cost.
The five intersections that are closest to the public schools include these three near Queen Elizabeth — Hall Avenue and Barr Street; west- and eastbound crossings on Veterans Memorial Boulevard; and Hall Avenue, Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Raglan Street, which many local residents refer to as Confusion Corner.
There are also two school crossings near Central Public — at Munroe Avenue and Raglan Street, and on Munroe Avenue in front of the elementary school.
The Renfrew locations are staffed by five full-time guards and two part-time guards. A standby guard is available to cover absenteisms.
The recent salary raises mean the program’s overall cost is rising $7,000 to about $40,000. The town has administered the program since the 1970s.
The raises were determined after surveying the cost of crossing guards in Arnprior, Carleton Place, Collingwood, Oshawa, Pembroke and Whitby. They were paid as low as $600 (Pembroke) and as much as $790 (Whitby), or an average of $700 per month.
Renfrew’s pay structure was $500 monthly for full-time guards, who work before and after school and at lunch hour. Their salaries are increasing to $600.
Part-time guards work before and after school, while some guards work for an hourly wage. Part-time pay is jumping from $350 to $425, while wages are rising from $10 to $12.50 per shift for those working standby.
Clerk Bulmer says the pay structure will probably be visited again in two or three years. The salary raises are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013.