Per Commissioner's Memo FIN-18-044 issued 05/14/2018, the new classified employee minimum wage for school year 2018-2019 is $8.64 per hour. The code and calculations are explained below and an example of the calculation is attached. Arkansas Issue 5 increases the Arkansas minimum wage to $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2019. Effective January 1, 2019 use the required Arkansas hourly rate of $9.25 per hour for full-time classified employees only. "Full-time classified employee" is defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 6-17-2202(2) as "any classified employee who works twenty (20) or more hours per week for the public school district.
For future planning of classified salaries, Arkansas Issue 5 is designed to raise the minimum wage in Arkansas from $8.50 (as of 2018) to $11.00 per hour by 2021. The wages were designed to be raised as follows:
- January 1, 2019: $ 9.25 per hour
- January 1, 2020: $10.00 per hour
- January 1, 2021: $11.00 per hour
Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-17-2203 requires school districts to increase the minimum hourly rate paid to full-time classified school employees by a percentage equal to the percentage increase of the minimum hourly rate paid to full-time classified school employees by a percentage equal to the percentage increase of the CPI. The result is the new minimum hourly rate to be paid to all full-time classified school employees. The legislation does not provide a specific source for the CPI data. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) recognizes the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website as a valid source of CPI data: http://www.bls.gov.
CPI data used for the percentage increase calculation is found at http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?cw. Check the first box on the screen, which is labeled, "U.S. All items, 1982-84=100-CWUR0000SA0," then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the button labeled "Retrieve Data".
The data on this page was used to calculate that the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers increased by 2.10% (.0210) from the twelve-month average of May 2016 through April 2017 to the twelve-moth average of May 2017 through April 2018. The minimum hourly rate for the 2017-2018 school year was $8.46. The established increase for 2018-2019 is 2.10% or $0.18 per hour, which results in the new minimum rate of $8.64 per hour.
For more information on the CPI, go to the following website:
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm. If you cannot click on the above links, copy and paste the URLs into the Internet browser address bar.