Published at sanmarcosrecord.com
During its Sept. 28 meeting, the Hays CISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve a 3% pay increase for its district employees, along with additional benefits to specific departments.
After an initial 2% pay increase approved in June, another 1% increase was added in response to an ever-changing work environment of the 2020-21 school year.
“As we’re looking at enrollment and as we’re under this pandemic, it’s been difficult,” Chief Human Resources Officer Marivel Sedillo said. “We want to make sure our employees feel like we appreciate them. We know that every single employee is working super hard right now under the current constraints and challenges that we have. This would really go a long way for our employees to feel valued and appreciated as we move forward through unprecedented times.”
The compensation plan provides retention incentives for departments that have historically and currently experienced low staff numbers, according to Superintendent Eric Wright.
Such benefits include a $250 bonus in December and May for custodial and child nutrition staff; a minimum starting pay of $17.01 with a guaranteed eight-hour work day for bus drivers; and a $5 pay increase for substitute teachers.
“These are positions that we’ve had a very hard time filling, and again, you know, pay is not always the most competitive and they have options and choice but they choose to stay in Hays CISD,” Sedillo said. “This would be one way for us to reward those who have stayed with us during this pandemic, because quite frankly, they’ve been on the front line since April.”
With an estimated total of $1.8 million of the district’s budget, the plan will also offer $50 referral incentives for all employees with an additional $50 if new employees retain for six months, and a $6,000 stipend for sports events coverage.
“We cannot pay teachers their worth — we cannot pay our auxiliary staff their worth — because we don’t have billions and billions of dollars,” board President Esperanza Orosco said. “But if we can make some kind of adjustment to really help get our people where they need to be, I think that’ll be amazing … Good stuff is happening in Hays CISD. I love it.”