The district currently has 90 openings among its auxiliary and paraprofessional positions, according to a meeting document. Because many school districts are “increasing their compensation,” the district cites the “even more competitive [job] market” as its reason to increase compensation for auxiliary, instructional, clerical, paraprofessional and substitute teacher positions.
The board’s approval means starting pay for a variety of auxiliary and instructional positions has increased anywhere from 6.1% to as much as 12.5%, according to the document. The transportation bus driver starting pay, for example, increased from $19 per hour to $21.
Substitute teachers will also get pay raises. According to the document, certified substitute teacher pay will increase from $90 a day to $110 daily. Pay for substitutes who have 60 or more college hours will increase from $85 a day to $100 daily, and paraprofessional substitute pay will increase from $70 daily to $90 a day.
The district also voted to increase pay by 5% for all current auxiliary and instructional support employees, along with a 5% base salary pay increase for all clerical employees, the document stated.
“Our [staff] shortages are impacting our campuses and our district locations on how we serve children,” Gema Padgett, GCISD executive director of human resources, said at the meeting. “Our hourly pay is the lowest in our surrounding areas.”
In addition to pay increases, the district also approved a $500 quarterly retention payment for auxiliary and paraprofessional positions in the facility services, KidzU, transportation, child nutrition, warehouse, instructional paraprofessional and Early Childhood Development Center departments, the document stated.
The district also approved a $500 one-time retention payment for all full-time GCISD employees, along with a $250 one-time retention payment for part-time employees, employed on or prior to Nov. 15, 2021.
“Hopefully, this will bring in and we'll acquire new employees to fill this, but this is about retaining what we have,” Louie Sullins, GCISD board member, said.
The decision to increase pay comes after the board approved its fiscal year 2021-22 general operating budget with a 2% midpoint pay increase on June 21. The trustees then approved an additional pay increase to all teachers, nurses, librarians and 44 other district employees in various positions by at least $600 at its Aug. 23 meeting.
The latest pay increase will go into effect during the Oct. 30 pay period for bi-weekly employees, and during the Nov. 1 pay period for monthly employees, according to the document. The one-time retention payment will be paid to employees on Dec. 3.