Rob Hyatt – Alachua County School Board District 5 Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all School Board workers including part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).


a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage.

I am in favor of adopting policies that will protect contracted workers.  If the half-cent sales tax initiative is approved by the voters there will be an abundance of opportunities for local builders and contractors and there should be a strong incentive to follow guidelines. I would appreciate input from the ACLC in this matter.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

I would like to set a plan to reach a living wage over a six-year period.  An hourly increase (for educational service professionals and part-time only) of $1.33 per hour in the upcoming year would come at a cost of $4,234,571 which becomes an annual recurring cost. At the end of six years the estimated annual cost would rise to $13,658,879. For this to happen we must secure significant additional funding from the state or be allowed to raise the necessary monies. I cannot promise success in this endeavor but do promise to make it a personal priority.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

The School Board has a strong, collaborative working relationship with the ACEA representing all members of the bargaining unit. Strong relationships with unions are essential for all governmental bodies. I am still a proud union member and would prefer to do business with a union shop. The School Board provides full health benefits for all employees half-time and above.  We are the second largest employer in the county which enables us to have a positive effect on the wages and benefits of a large number of people. Increases in wages and benefits are a plank of our Strategic Plan.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted school board workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

I would expect this to be addressed in the contract and that a fair and equitable agreement would be reached to address this issue. I support the intent but would have to know the cost.

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws –Yes. That information is available online. Hard copies could be made available to those without internet access.
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and damages – I have no position on this without seeing more details and how this would be adjudicated and inforced.
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency I would support transparency in the history of the property’s bills and provide additional incentives for landlords to increase energy efficiency.

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?  Yes.