ARLINGTON — Arlington school district trustees approved $2.8 million in annual pay increases that will boost paychecks for 2,407 employees this month.Trustees voted 5-0 Thursday night in favor of raising pay by 2 to 3 percent for those who make below the minimum rate. School board president Bowie Hogg and trustee Tony Pompa were absent. No Arlington residents spoke at the public hearing before the final vote.The district will send letters to employees next week to let them know if they qualify for the salary adjustments or not, said Cindy Powell, the district’s chief financial officer. “This positions the Arlington ISD to be competitive in the market with our employees, and is a step in implementing our strategic plan to recruit and retain the highest quality staff,” Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos said. The district learned that candidates for positions like assistant principal were rejecting job offers because of pay after the Texas Association of School Boards was hired to conduct the first salary market study in 10 years in September. Administrative support, paraprofessional and manual trades workers also expressed concerns about low pay. The study revealed that administrative support employees make 88 percent of local and state averages, though the goal is for the Arlington ISD workers to be within 5 percentage points of the those levels, Powell previously told the Star-Telegram. Administrators are doing well, as they are at 96 percent of the average for local districts and the state.Professionals like counselors and diagnosticians will make 2 percent more than teachers with master’s degrees, and employees that have above average experience but make below average pay will receive adjustments at 3 percent of the proposed midpoint. Pay increases will cost the district $922,976 for the remaining 2013-2014 school year.
Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792 Twitter:@MonicaNagyFWST