By Steve Pickett

by Steve Pickett | CBS 11

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Independent School District wraps up the 2020-21 school year Friday, June 18, but one week later, school board members must approve an operating budget for the 2021-22.

READ MORE: Hit-And-Run: Investigators Looking For Red Toyota Camry Connected To Katie M. Derouin's Death 

One of the many decisions before elected trustees will be pay rates for thousands of district employees who work for children daily, but aren’t teachers.

Cafeteria, custodian, transport and teacher assistants are part of the Support Personnel category.

The minimum pay for a support worker is $12.12 per hour.

“We are asking for a five percent raise across-the-board for these workers, plus an additional $1,000 stipend in January 2022”, Rena Honea, President of Alliance AFT said Tuesday.

Honea leads one of the labor union groups that represent teachers and support staffers and 7,400 Dallas ISD employees are part of the support workforce.

READ MORE: Fight Delays, Cancellations Increase As Air Travel Hits Another Pandemic High

Under the proposed budget, support workers would see a minimum wage increase to $13.50. The President of NEA-Dallas, Sheila Walker, a former support worker herself, said cafeteria and custodian workers welcome the increase, but remain concerned over wages not meeting cost of living realities in Dallas.

“When we met with {DISD) leadership, we asked for $15 an hour, because that’s the going rate, $15.”

Dallas ISD’s Deputy Chief of Human Capital Management, Robert Abel, calculated a $20 million added investment for support workers with the proposed hourly rate increase.

“If you look at surrounding districts their minimum wage is $9.50 to $11. We are considerably above that at $12.12, but we want to lead the market and support our employees and move to $13.50 per hour.”, Abel said.

Abel says Dallas ISD is preparing for a $15 an hour minimum rate, however, it is at least two years away.

MORE NEWS: About 250 Pounds Of Marijuana Seized At Texas-Mexico Border

The Dallas School Board meets next Thursday, June 24.