The Hays CISD board of trustees will vote Sept. 28 on whether to approve a new district compensation plan that includes recommendations for retention incentives for some departments and a 1% increase to all employee compensation, which would be on top of the 2% increase approved by the board in June.

"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."

The cost of all proposed amendments to the compensation plan would total $1.8 million and would come out of the district's budget.

Superintendent Eric Wright's contract will also be discussed Sept. 28, but details about a possible contract extension and his compensation were reserved for the board's closed-door executive session Sept. 21.

Due to a dwindling custodial and child nutrition staff, Chief Human Resources Officer Marivel Sedillo presented the board with a recommendation to provide employees in these departments with $250 in incentives in both December and May.

"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 told the board. "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."

The minimum hourly pay for bus drivers would be increased to $17.01. In June, the district guaranteed drivers at least eight hours of work per day, an increase from five hours.

Referral incentives of $50 would also be added to the compensation plan for all employees and an additional $50 would also be paid if the recommended employee is retained for six months.

Stadium managers would receive a 25% pay bump, from $10,000 to $12,500. A sports coverage stipend of $6,000 would also be added to the compensation plan.

Designations and structuring for assistant cafe managers and career and technical education coordinators would also change.

"This is an amazing compensation package," Orosco said. "I love it and I cannot wait to vote yes on this."