The Hays CISD board of trustees voted unanimously Sept. 28 to approve a new district compensation plan that included recommendations for retention incentives for some departments and a 1% increase to all employee compensation 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 during a Sept. 21 meeting. "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 totaled $1.8 million and will come out of the district's budget.

Custodial and child nutrition staff will receive $250 in incentives in both December and May to improve retention.

"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," said Marivel Sedillo, HCISD Chief Human Resources Officer, during the board's Sept. 21 meeting. "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 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 were added to the compensation plan for all employees and an additional $50 will also be paid out if the recommended employee is retained for six months.

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

"Amazing work that our team has done—Ms. Sedillo, Dr. Wright, Randy Rao and all our team—putting this compensation package together for our employees," Orosco said during the board's Sept. 28 meeting.