All Seguin ISD employees, like these counselors, are getting a pay raise. The school board approved the new salaries during its meeting Tuesday night. The counselors before the start of school went on a bus tour of Seguin, so that they could have a better understand of the kids that the serve and where they live and play.
(Seguin) -- The Seguin ISD is extending what it says is a well deserved pay raise to not only teachers but to each of its employees district wide. The Seguin ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the salary increase for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
Superintendent Dr. Matthew Gutierrez says he is proud that the district was able to offer the across the board salary pay raise for professionals and non-exempt staff such as paraprofessional, clerical, auxiliary and transportation.
"I want to extend my appreciation to the board of trustees for approving a two percent salary increase for professional employees and a two and a half percent increase for our non-exempt employees. It certainly does show how much our board values and supports our employees and to be able to do a little bit more for non-exempt employees, I think is really just a strong show of support and I wish we could do more for them," said Dr. Gutierrez.
All other professional staff include, librarians, nurses, diagnosticians and counselors.
Dr. Gutierrez says changes to the district's salary scale not only helps with recruiting but also in retaining and engaging employees.
"What this is going to do for us as a school district is to put us in a competitive place when it comes to paying employees compared to our neighboring districts that we tend to lose employees to specifically teachers and what I'm really proud of is the fact that we are going to be able to say that when we are out there recruiting new teachers that we start out teachers at $49,000. That's a significant jump from last school year starting at a $46,500 which now puts us third behind Schertz and New Braunfels and so I think that is going to give us an edge when it comes time to recruit so I'm really excited about that opportunity as well," said Dr. Gutierrez.
The new salary increases impact all district employees, not just the professional staff. These members of the transportation department are also slated to receive a bump in pay.
When compared to the districts of Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD and New Braunfels ISD, the Seguin ISD is now only $1,000 less than their $50,000 starting salary for first year teachers – those fresh out of college. He says the Seguin ISD is even more competitive when compared to other districts as well. He says although many of them are smaller in size, they each often draw from the same teacher pool -- creating the competition.
Dr. Gutierrez says thanks to being fiscally responsible, the district is confident that it can fully fund these increases for all Seguin ISD employees.
"Thanks to the decisions that we have been able to make over the last couple of years, we are in a position to where we can do that -- where we do have a healthy budget. In fact, with this approval, we still have a little bit of a surplus and that's one thing that I'm certainly fortunate for as I'm looking at what other school districts are doing. Many, you'll find, are freezing salaries or cutting positions because they are not in a position to be able to support salary increases so we are very fortunate in a place to where we are able to do that and I appreciate the board recognizing that as well," said Dr. Gutierrez.
According to Dot Whitman, the assistant superintendent of human resources, many of the proposed changes were based on a TASB study that was conducted on salaries this past spring. She says according to recommendations forwarded to the district by the Texas Association of School Boards, the Seguin ISD moved toward offering a flat rate increase across the board and among the various groups of employees. They also did away or reduced stipends for teachers as part of salary negotiations. She says in many cases, cost for travel or self stipends are already rolled into their job descriptions. Whitman says making the necessary changes in salary and proposing a salary increase was definitely pushing the envelope. She says "this was big for us to be competitive in our regional area."
The newly adopted 2018-2019 salary increases will be effective during the September 2018 payroll.