Employee Pay Raises Coming to MISD

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Midland ISD teachers across the district are getting a pay boost. The salary increase proposal passed four to one with one abstention with the MISD Board of Trustees.

Teachers, substitutes, administrators, support staff and bus drivers are all now getting a pay raise.

The booming economy has made competition for these staff members tough but it's also the reason for the increase.

More than $6 million were voted into district employees' pockets on Tuesday.

The district got the money from the state, a reward for their enrollment growth after they grew by 1,400 students in the last two years.

Officials estimate the growth will give them an extra $9 million in revenue next year and some of that was spent to help their employees afford to live and work for them.

"That's the whole point that we're dealing with right now," MISD Superintendent, Dr. Ryder Warren, said. "It's just the frustration with the cost of living in Midland. The housing issues that we're dealing with."

These salary boosts are far-reaching across the district.

"About 250 bus drivers. 240 custodial workers. On the maintenance side, we've got right around 80. There's 1,484 teachers," MISD Assistant Superintendent, David Garcia, said.

All of their annual incomes, starting September 1st, 2012, will see an increase of thousands of dollars.

"It's an actual increase to the entry-level teacher of $2,600. Every teacher from year one to year 49 will receive $2,800 in additional salary. Year 40, that's our top year of the salary schedule, will receive $2,180," Garcia said.

Support staff like bus drivers will see an hourly increase to their salary of $1.32.

The district wants this boost to send a message to their staff.

"The great people we have now, we're trying to keep them here. We're trying to attract new blood. We're trying to do the full-meal deal," Warren said.

The lone board member who voted against the raises was James Fuller who cited his reasoning that these salary raises did not address the middle dip in salary increases.

For instance, sometimes a school district will raise salaries to attract new employees but can't afford the same raises for their current employees, creating a dip in increases as the years progress.

As employees leave for better paying jobs, the district may increase the salary boost to keep their current employees, finishing the middle dip.

Fuller said he wanted to see that middle dip addressed before he voted in favor of the increase.