Cafeteria Workers Participate in “Sick Out”



Wake County Public School System posted this to Twitter, letting parents know they have secured lunch for all students. They also thanked the parents and employees that offered assistance.

EvanKate Page, Staff Reporter

  Parents had to step into cafeterias today to make sure students would get their proper lunch after cafeteria staff from more than 30 Wake County Schools called out. Several parents and community members bought food or organized food drop-offs. Businesses also found a way to help by preparing small meals to donate. Keith Sutton, Wake County Board of Education chair, suggested that schools would order pizza if needed. Individual WCPSS schools are notifying parents and doing everything possible to make sure students get fed at lunch even if the protest continues. 32 percent of students rely on the free lunch at Wake County which is why WCPSS worked so hard to make sure every student was provided a nutritious meal. 

  The minimum wage is currently $13 per hour for cafeteria and other staff members after the Board of Education’s change earlier this month. The cafeteria staff is the district’s lowest-paid employees. This cafeteria strike comes weeks after the bus drivers went on strike due to compensation complaints as well. The district has discussed increasing starting pay for the non-educator workforce, including bus drivers and cafeteria workers. President of the Wake branch of North Carolina Association of Educators, Kristin Beller, thinks the raise is a nice start, but not good enough. The board has just approved $3,750 in bonuses for some employees throughout the current school year and the beginning of the next. This is a step in the right direction, but it is still not enough for some employees working overtime or multiple jobs just to make ends meet.